Grant Hart’s Nova Mob, Weekending Stravinsky, Hamish Stuart and more.
LISTINGS: ROCK 34 JAZZ 37 FOLK 40 CLASSICAL 42
Sheer Hart attack
Alastair Mabbott quizzes drummer, singer and songwriter Grant Hart about life after Hiisker Dii.
Two-thirds of the way through a European tour (and already on the fifth truck). drummer-turned-frontman Grant Hart is explaining what hardcore means to him these days.
‘Well,’ he sighs. ‘it’s really peculiar. because that’s something that I’ve been casting off for eight years now. Bob is really the one that embraced the hardcore thing. He and Greg were running around with their skinheads and their combat boots and fatigues and things like that. I really didn‘t see too much future in it, and I think you can tell from my compositions at the time. I mean, on Metal Circus. I was moving directly away from hardcore when Bob was embracing it tighter than ever.‘
The American hardcore scene of the early 80$ didn‘t seem the most likely place to look for ‘The Greatest Rock Band in the World‘, but a contender appeared in the shape of a three-piece from Minneapolis called Husker Du. Their acrimonious split has had its plus side, in that both Mould and Hart have produced excellent
solo albums, but their rift is yet to be patched up. ‘The thing is,’ says Hart now, “we were all 17in 1978, and in the course of the 10 years of that band . . . let me ask you, how many people do you still hang around with that you did when you were
17?‘ Precious few, Grant.
‘Precious few. And Bob and I had grown so different from each other. There was a point in our lives when we were alike in a few different ways, but it got to the point where we were so dissimilar. But I’ll tell you something, those precious few are precious indeed, aren’t they?‘
He’s spoken of the period following the split as a time when he found out who his friends really were. His solo debut, Intolerance, took a year to make, with Hart playing all the instruments
‘It was a really frustrating time for me, because I had this statement to make, I had to make Intolerance, and I had to clear my name, because so much had been said about how inept I was — I was pretty much branded a complete opiated
idiot: the selfish fucker that broke up Hiisker Dii. And I still get hate mail. So, I guess I found support. I found support from those precious
The Nova Mob — Hart’s new team, with Thomas Merkel on bass and Michael Crego relieving Hart from the drum seat — took their name from Hart’s friend William Burroughs (‘really quite a sweet man, despite some of the horror in his writing’), and they use it with his
Hart, ‘the words man’ ofthe group, has written his first (14-song) rock opera, The Last Days of Pompeii, which The Nova Mob play in its entirety on the tour. The plot is bizarre to say the least, starting with Nazi weaponry designer Werner Von Braun escaping the destruction of the Third Reich in a rocket and meeting Pliny in AD79.
‘Then we come back on and we play things from Intolerance that people are more familiar with. It started out that when people asked for a precious few Husker Dii songs that we would-attempt them. I think we do a better version of ‘Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill’ than Hiisker Du ever did. It‘s really sweet, actually, that people want to hear those old songs, but by not doing them any more I think we’re reinforcing the presence of Nova Mob as a band with Grant Hart as a member rather than a performer with Nova Mob
as his backing band.’
Was he, then, a frustrated frontman in his nine years ofsinging from Husker Dii’s drumseat?
‘I’ve always been more ofa general entertainer,’ Hart muses. ‘Let’s say I’m a punk rock song and dance man.’ Nova Mob play Calton Studios, Edinburgh on Tues 19 and Glasgow College on Wed 20. Special guests on the Edinburgh date are The Cateran, who after three albums have decided to call it a day, and will play their farewell performance.
I AT FIRST SIGHT, it's nothing unusual. A1990 remix oi Hot Chocolate's “You Sexy Thing' by Den Leibrand, who did the honours for similar remixes oiJeli Wayne. INXS and Ram Jam. But a close look at the label reveals that the perpetrators are actually
Winner' on the B-side) out to be remixed and released. Although each year's intake
oi students releases a single on the course's own Ditterent Class records.
they are usually small-scale productions by local
in any great numbers. The
students on "It! M08" Hot Chocolate remix is a Manaeomenicoumai bold step towards the big West Lothian College who . um._ and mom pmm have managed '0 ‘3'“ 5W 1 experience ior the students
into licensing the old track
OI WIIDI II'S IIK (along with “Every 1 's a L 3 '0 “"1901!
in the real charts. ‘It was
groups, and they rarely sell
completely our own idea,’ says David Rogers, chairman oi Diiterent Class. ‘We actually went through EMl's back catalogue oi hits, and decided on a Hot Chocolate track. beiore we approached them.’ The iirst person they did approach was EMl's MD. Rupert Perry, and atterthat it wasn't hard to get others in the industry to take them seriously.
Although the record sounds like a sure-lire hit. and Steve Wright has already shown an interest in it, none oi the students will make anything otherthan experience out oi it. ‘li there’s money coming ln,‘ Rogers insists, ‘It’ll either go to charity. ortowards
next year’s course.’
I DLD-TiMERS might recall i
‘The List' going out on a clandestine airwave-busting trip with pirate station Radio Mercury. A healthy
brew oi reg'gae. dance music. tan, R58 and world music is promised.
I PREPARE FOR the coming oi The Bad Men.
Described by people inthe know as ‘a cross between Billy Connolly and The Macc Lads’. their ‘Rock Hudson Is Dead' song has already led to their immortallsation in the columns oi ‘The Sun'. and since two members are over 16 stone, with a taste for wrapping themselves in cellophane, why not? Veterans oi gigs In places like Troon and Livingston.
they're already better known in London than they are here, and they hold the distinction oi being the only third-on-the-bill band at The Marquee to getan encore this year. They should be playing in Scotland again once it's clearer who the hell their audience actually is. I STUDIOS HAVE BEEN buning lately with the sounds at The Groovy Little Numbers, demoing for London Records not long alter crucial member Joe collapsed with appendicitis . . . the ‘post-acid' Jalia Kaltan (managed by sometime STV schools presenter Lloyd Duinlan) demoing tor Island and Chrysalis. . .and overin Bulgaria, Edinburgh's own
Wild, who have been recording in the country's top studio tor a price that works out at around 75p per hour. Expect an exodus to Eastern Europe soon.
I CDRRUPTlttG IttttDCEttT YOUTH has always been what it's about in ourview, so it's music to our earsto hear that Glasgow-based rockers The Right Stuii are doing a short stint at daytime end-ot-term gigs at Scottish schools. The ones that concern 0th CHILDREN'S DEVELOPING MINDS are Wed 20 at Clydebank ngh School, Mon 25 at Penicqu High School, Tues 26 at Duckhaven High School and Fri 29 at Shawlands Academy. Get those sick notes ready.
The List 15—28June 199029