Looks like that runaway train came back after all. Who cares if that store in Chicago won’t buy their CDs back? Dave Pirner sure don’t! Star Tribune:
Due at the airport in three hours for a gig in Washington, D.C., Soul Asylum guitarist Dan Murphy wanted to make sure his bandmate of 31 years, singer Dave Pirner, did not get lost finding the coffee shop arranged for our interview last month. It was in Uptown, about a half-mile from Pirner’s house.
“Let me check on Sunshine,” Murphy said, picking up his cell. He chuckled as he hung up.
“He told me he’s parking ‘right by Knut Koupee guitar shop.’ I didn’t bother telling him that Knut Koupee closed in about 1984.”
OK, so Soul Asylum is not exactly in step with the times. Some other solid reminders of how long ago the band’s commercial heyday was: They played the Clinton inauguration party (the first one); taped an “MTV Unplugged” episode (same season as Nirvana’s) and were featured on the soundtrack to “Reality Bites” (in which Pirner made a cameo with then-girlfriend Winona Ryder).
As Pirner and Murphy this week release their first album together in six years—made with the stalwart replacement lineup of drummer Michael Bland (ex-Prince) and bassist Tommy Stinson (ex-Replacements)—certain things are being done to update their old band’s image. For instance, they’re pitching for NPR radio play and taping an on-air session with 89.3 the Current, which has their new single, “Gravity,” in steady rotation. They even have a Twitter account, though a mention of it drew a blank, talking-in-Greek look from Pirner.
However, when they sat down to talk about the new record for a new label with a new outlook on the immeasurably changed music business, the Soul Asylum co-leaders wound up doing a lot of reminiscing about the old days. Not those heady days of mainstream fame and ridiculously large recording budgets, mind you, but the era when their late bassist Karl Mueller had to sell a truck for them to go on tour, and they had, as Pirner put it, “nothing but blind ambition.” Yes, the days when Knut Koupee was still open. They’re revisiting that era this week with their first 7th Street Entry gig in 25-plus years.
“I have so many fond memories, but I also have this reoccurring nightmare than those shows all sounded like [crap ],” Murphy said of the Entry, where the band plays Thursday as a warm-up to Friday’s hometown release party next door at First Avenue.