’90s Grunge Band Soul Asylum Releasing Punk Rock Covers Album
Grunge-era rock band Soul Asylum, who are most popular for their Grammy Award-winning single “Runaway Train” from 1995’s Let Your Dim Light Shine, have been working on their first new album since 2006–the appropriately titled Delayed Reaction which is scheduled for release July 17th of this year.
In a one-two punch of nostalgia, Soul Asylum (who had their origins as a punk band) told Rolling Stone that they’ve also recorded an album of punk rock covers which includes songs by The Clash, The Dead Kennedys, and the MC5.
“When [Soul Asylum] started, we were Loud Fast Rules,” guitarist Dan Murphy told Rolling Stone. “We practiced at our bass player, Karl’s – who sadly passed away – garage. We covered the whole first side of the green Clash record [1977's The Clash], with ‘Career Opportunities,’ ‘What’s My Name,’ ‘Janie Jones.’ And we did ‘Sonic Reducer,’ the Heartbreakers – the good Heartbreakers, with Johnny Thunders, mind you. So that was really a big part of where we were coming from.”
Frontman Dave Pirner said that drummer Michael Bland “egged” them into it.
“Michael was kind of egging me into it, actually. We had been sitting around in the studio, and Michael talked to the manager about it.”
“I knew the genre well enough to have a back catalog of things I knew off the top of my head,” Pirner continued. “I just started throwing them at Michael, and it was a blast. I think that was probably the most important part of it for me – it really had to be fun, in a punk rock way. It had to be balls-out, and I think we got some results. It certainly sounds better than we used to, when we played a million miles an hour.”
Punk songs planned for the album includes the Stooges’ “TV Eye,” MC5’s “Shakin’ Street,” Generation X’s “Your Generation” by Generation X and the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks F**k Off.”
“The one that surprised the f**k out of me that I thought we did really well was Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart,'” adds Murphy. “It’s kind of a shoegazer, mopey song, but you put [on] some guitars and Dave singing, to me, it sounds pretty good.”
There seems to be a recent resurgence of activity by ’90s bands. Garbage is releasing a new album called Not Your Kind of People. Eric Erlandson, formerly of Hole, wrote a book about Kurt Cobain called Letters to Kurt. And Luscious Jackson, of the ’90s hit “Naked Eye,” has reunited and is rumored to be working with current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Beastie Boys on their new album.
“In the early ’90s, a whole new generation of rock ‘n’ roll truth became de rigueur,” said the rock star. “The rock scene in Seattle started getting worldwide attention, and the players in this revolution all seemingly had a different angle on the mostly truer and less comfortable edges of life.”
-Nadia Nior, CBS Radio, Los Angeles