1. It is partly a memorial to Mould’s father.
“I always had an interesting relationship with my dad, interesting but difficult. He was the one that brought music into my life He died in 2012. Life carries on, you stay strong, you keep touring, keep entertaining people – and then I started to get these breaks back at home, and you start really thinking about what’s happened. That was the stimulation at the front of the record.”
2. It feels more emotionally raw than his last album, Silver Age.
“The content is a little more introspective, more autobiographical. That wasn’t conscious, it’s just: this is what’s happening. I can write a fake record, or I can write the one that I probably don’t want to talk about all the time. But this is the one I have to make.”
3. One of the tracks, The War, sounds like Bruce Springsteen.
“That’s funny because the new Springsteen song American Beauty makes people think of me! I am not in that league, he’s a pretty big deal. But that’s good company to be put with, if that’s what you see in it. The War was a really important song for me. It instantly went into the A List.”
4. Unlike previous Bob Mould albums, it does not contain any thinly veiled attacks on his former Hüsker Dü bandmate Grant Hart.
“If I want to attack him I’ve got his email. No, everything’s good, we’re fine. We’re trying to put things back together. Not the band, the estate, the unfinished work, the unheard work. We’re not friends but we’re cordial, we try to do business. That’s good enough, right? Ha!”
5. It ends on an incongruously optimistic note for such a heavyweight angst-rock champion.
“The song Let The Beauty Be is derived from that contrast: you think you’re so miserable but things are actually really good. It’s just about understanding the value of life, knowing how short the good times are and how long the bad times are, and hoping for something in the middle. When people around you are failing and passing on, you think: why do I ever worry about these other little things?”
Beauty & Ruin is out on Monday June 9.