With his ambitious new double album, The Argument, out today, Grant Hart has been conducting interviews with everyone from NPR Music to Spin to our very own Local Show, where the former Hüsker Dü drummer performed three songs and chatted with host David Campbell.
Many of the interviews have centered around Hart’s new album and how it relates to William S. Burroughs’ interpretation of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, not to mention Hart’s own friendship with Burroughs. But one question from the Local Show jumped out at me—I actually flinched when Campbell asked it, because it’s been lobbed at Hart and his former Hüsker bandmates so many times—and I thought Hart’s answer was especially intriguing, and brutally honest.
David Campbell: The Local Show fans will kill me if I don’t ask you this. With the recent reunion of Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg and the announcement of the first Replacements gigs in 20 years, I was curious if you’ve thought at all about getting the old band back together?
Grant Hart: Well, I really don’t know. I’ve never had the same motives as Tommy and Paul. And I don’t know what they’re gonna prove.
Campbell: They might just have a little fun.
Hart: It must be more interesting than walking Axl’s dog. I mean, hey, if they want to do it, that’s fine. I think Bob and I have had plenty of opportunities to exploit our camaraderie. You know, the last 10 years we’ve been sorting a lot of things out, as far as, ‘You didn’t really say this, did you?’ And it’s like, ‘No, I didn’t really say that! Did you really say that?’ ‘No, that was so and so.’ There comes a time where you have to put your anger away, but that doesn’t come with a guarantee that you’re going to have the same midlife crisis as your audiences are. I might be having my midlife crisis, but I might be having it with a bunch of under-30 musicians that—I pride myself, they’re having a hard time keeping up with me. But the idea of a reunion? I don’t think anybody in Hüsker needs it. It’s not going to enhance our reputation. And I think it says a lot to be the band that doesn’t take the candy from the dish. You’re seeing people that never had a union having a reunion. All these one-and-a-half album bands that—you know, everybody looks themselves in the mirror and wishes like Faust that they could relive their best days, but hell, make new great times.
Campbell: I think you might have had your midlife crisis when you were 18, playing with 40-year-olds and wearing Hawaiian shirts.
Hart: [laughs] Maybe. Oh, I’m always finding a new midlife crisis. And you know what? Midlife crisis is such a euphemism. I’m not going to live to 106.
Campbell: Are you saying you’re on the back third?
Hart: I’m not placing any bets, but if it was all to stop, I don’t think I wasted too much time.
Listen to the whole interview—which includes segments on Hart’s relationship with William S. Burroughs, his thoughts on storytelling, and his skills as a blowgun shooter—and watch videos of Grant Hart performing in the Current studios here.