Bob Mould, alt-rock’s gay icon, takes on American evil: ‘My head’s on fire!’

Bob Mould, alt-rock’s gay icon, takes on American evil: ‘My head’s on fire!’

September 30, 2020

The former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman is back with a career box set and an incendiary new album, having come to terms with childhood trauma, his sexuality and the death of his bandmate

It’s been a fortnight since Bob Mould could open his windows. “The air is pretty toxic,” he reports from his home in San Francisco, as the California wildfires gradually turn the skies orange. It’s just one example of the unfortunate prescience of his new album, Blue Hearts, which opens with the words “the left coast is covered in ash and flames”.

The veteran singer/songwriter’s response to the Trump presidency, Blue Hearts essays a broken America, from climate change, to rumblings of civil war (Heart on My Sleeve), to the hypocrisy of the religious right (Forecast of Rain, which anticipates Jerry Falwell Jr’s recent scandal). “The terrible division in this country right now comes from the top, from our leader,” he says, scornfully. “This is trickle-down racism.”

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