Veteran rock artist Bob Mould has joined the label collective United Musicians, founded by musicians Aimee Mann and Michael Penn. The company, in conjunction with RED Distribution and Mould's own Gran
Veteran rock artist Bob Mould has joined the label collective United Musicians, founded by musicians Aimee Mann and Michael Penn. The company, in conjunction with RED Distribution and Mould's own Granary Music label, will promote the artist's upcoming album "Modulate," which, as previously reported, is due Tuesday (March 12). United Musicians is also planning to work with Mould on two additional albums: the electronica-dominated "Long Playing Grooves" (under the pseudonym "LoudBomb") and "Body of Song," an acoustic-based set.
"Modulate" had a long gestation process, as the former Husker Du/Sugar frontman began writing songs for it in early 1999, after finishing a tour for 1998's "The Last Dog and Pony Show," his final collection for Rykodisc. But Mould took a sidetrack from the fall of 1999 through early 2000, when the artist -- an avid pro wrestling fan -- worked as a creative consultant for Turner Broadcasting's World Championship Wrestling (WCW). "I helped steer the product and the storylines and the characters," Mould says of his stint with the WCW.
After a few months of down time in 2000, Mould went back to work on the album. "I bought some new software packages to work with for sequencing and programming and picked up the guitar again, and tons of stuff started flyin' out," he says. "And it was all fresh and new and informed by a whole different style of music that I had started listening to -- a lot of trance and techno stuff, a lot of different DJs, Sasha & Digweed's stuff, Nick Warren, Paul Van Dyk, as well as really digging the second Garbage album, which was not that different from that stuff."
"Modulate," which Mould recorded entirely solo, incorporates the beats and sonic textures of contemporary electronic and dance music. But it also frequently displays the rip-roaring guitar power of Mould's earlier band and solo work, reflecting the musician's time-tested melodic craft and emotional directness. "I keep trying to find different ways to say the same things," Mould says with a self-deprecating laugh. "I think that's what my life is destined to be."
Mould will promote "Modulate" with Carnival of Light and Sound, a U.S. solo tour of small theaters that kicks off March 26 in Athens, Ga. "It's going to be the bizarre solo extravaganza," Mould says with a chuckle. "Probably I'll [perform] a fair amount of the new record to track. I'll be improv-ing guitar and vocals along with beats. In addition, the other half of the show is going to be, for lack of a better term, greatest hits: the songs that everybody likes to hear, also done to track with completely revamped versions. I don't know how people are going to take to the drum'n'bass version of Husker Du stuff. I'm trying to reinvent these yet again."
"In addition to that, I'm overseeing the production of about 32 videos," he continues. "[For] the 'light and sound' part, I'm bringing out full rear-projection systems. It's like a big, beautiful drive-in movie to me. It's panoramic and it's revealing and it's entertaining. There are parts of it that are funny. There are parts where people are going to think, 'What the hell is he thinking?'"
Here are Bob Mould's tour dates:
March 26: Athens, Ga. (Georgia Theater)
March 27: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse)
March 29: St. Louis (Pageant)
March 30: Columbia, Mo. (Blue Note)
April 1-2: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
April 3: Madison, Wisc. (Barrymore Theater)
April 4-5: Chicago (Park West)
April 7: Columbus, Ohio (PromoWest Pavilion)
April 8: Detroit (Royal Oak Theater)
April 9: Toronto (Phoenix)
April 11: New York (Town Hall)
April 12: Asbury Park, N.J. (Stone Pony)
April 13: Boston (Berlee Performing Arts Center)
April 16: Philadelphia (Trocadero)
April 17: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
April 18: Raleigh, N.C. (Rialto Theater
April 24: Phoenix (Cajun House)
April 25: Los Angeles (El Rey Theatre)
April 26: San Francisco (Palace of Fine Arts)
April 28: Seattle (King Cat Theater)
April 29: Portland, Ore. (Aladdin Theater)