How did you get into Soul Asylum?

Discuss any aspect of Soul Asylum, their music, and the band's members.
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Homesick
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How did you get into Soul Asylum?

Post by Homesick »

I've noticed that we've got quite a few members who haven't posted anything at all. Since I'd love to hear from all of you, here's a thread that everyone can participate in: How did you get into Soul Asylum?

What led you to start listening to the band, and when was that? And what was existence like before you discovered them? ;)

Any and all anecdotes are welcome and appreciated!
Jakob Kallin, webmaster of EnterTheSoulAsylum.com

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Homesick
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Post by Homesick »

Myself, I was a big fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers before I started listening to Soul Asylum. I recognized Runaway Train from many years back, though—in fact, it may be one of my very earliest musical memories. (I was only five when it was released.)

Last summer, for some reason, I wanted to expand my musical horizon from one band to two, so I started looking for other music that I might like. I remembered that one song about a runaway train—especially the chorus, of course, but also the "madman laughing in the rain" breakdown part—and found it was performed by a band called Soul Asylum. Some of the other groups I took a look at were Maroon 5, Foo Fighters, Spin Doctors, and even Crash Test Dummies, but Soul Asylum interested me the most, so I decided to check out Grave Dancers Union.

To be honest, I was fully expecting this be a one-off thing: a single album from a band that rose to fame overnight and then quietly disappeared. What's more, I got the distinct impression that these guys were Christian! I know it sounds pretty hilarious, but something about the song's message and sound gave me that impression. They just felt like the perfect example of the "hip" new Christian musicians that could appeal to the MTV generation (kind of like P.O.D., whose singer has dreadlocks just like Dave used to) and had won fifteen minutes in the spotlight. Still, I had high hopes that their one album, at least, would be a true gem.

Needless to say, Grave Dancers Union was brilliant, but I also discovered that it wasn't the be-all and end-all of Soul Asylum. Coincidentally, they released their 2006 comeback The Silver Lining just after I'd grown into them, so I got hold of that one as well. The moment I discovered that their music was just as brilliant 15 years after their breakthrough was the moment I became a die-hard Soul Asylum fan.
Jakob Kallin, webmaster of EnterTheSoulAsylum.com

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Post by Closer »

I got into them when Runaway Train was a hit. I wish I could say that I was already into them before the commercial success, but I was only 10/11 years old when it became a hit. They are one of the first rock bands I started listening to, and that's one of the reasons they will always be special to me, seeing as I grew up listening to them. But the main reason is the music, of course.

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Post by sheryl »

I walked out on them in a club in Boston in the early 80's. A friend of mine took me to see "this really awesome band". I walked in and there was some guy with nasty white boy dreds SCREAMING into a mic while a raucas din happened all around him. Two songs? later he went into a very garbled drunken discourse on how to throw up discretely onstage so nobody would know what you were doing. That was when I left.

That same friend a bit of time later decided that Hang Time was the only tape he owned, and played it unendingly in the car. It grew on me a lot. Really really dug that tape. So he brought me to see the band, not telling me it was the same band I'd walked out on. Sneaky. Very sneaky.
They sounded a whole lot better, there were no vomit references (or demonstrations, thank you god) and that was that, I was a fan.

I went to see them again when GDU came out, and Dave scared the bejesus outta me, but it was already a done deal by then. I loved them.

Weirdly enough from a soul asylum fan perspective, I always thought Dave was scary. Yes, I know. When you all get done laughing......
I loved his songwriting, loved his singing, loved Soul Asylum, and it was the music I went to to feel better, but he made me distinctly edgy. So I suppose it's strange to love somebodys words SO much, while simultaneously not really liking THEM.

No worries though, for a number of reasons I have since revised my opinion, btw. I like Dave, he's a really nice guy. Not even a little bit scary :)

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Post by Miss Fitt 2 »

I missed Soul Asylum's really early days, but I still got into them pretty early. I fell in love with them as soon as I heard Made to Be Broken. I was lucky to grow up in a town that had a really good music scene and two good college radio stations, so I was exposed to a lot of great alternative music. Still, I had somehow missed Say What You Will… when it came out – or maybe I had heard some of it on the college radio stations but it just didn't catch my attention because, even though I like that record, their sound at that time was pretty generic punk (other than "Stranger"). But after hearing "Tied to the Tracks," I had to investigate further so I bought the album and it just blew me away. I remember being a little surprised that I liked the album so much because at that time, I hated anything country and the album had those country touches mixed in some of the songs. Noone was doing that at that time. But I loved the hybrid quality of the music, which fused punk with country and featured songs that were total adrenaline rushes like "Tied to the Tracks," "Whoa!" and "Growing Pain" alongside material like "Never Really Been," which is just a masterpiece of songwriting. I also think that "Ain't That Tough" is one of their best and most underrated songs.

When While You Were Out came out later that same year, it felt like the biggest gift. "Closer to the Stars" in particular just knocked me out and it remains my favorite SA song to this day. I think it's some measure of how good the song is that all the versions they've done of it are great – from the early punk version to the slower acoustic/electric hybrid version they do today.

I managed to get to see a lot of club shows when I was in high school and college (thanks to a combination of all-ages shows and a fake I.D.) but somehow I missed Soul Asylum when they were playing Boston around that time (including an all ages show they played with Husker Du, which still hurts to think about). The first time I got to see them was actually during a trip to London a couple of years later. I was so excited that they were playing while I was there and I went with a friend. My friend liked the band, but wasn't quite as into them as I was, but the show blew him away. I remember him remarking, "Wow! They are definitely a live band!" Meanwhile, I went into the show expecting to enjoy it and they still blew away my expectations. I remember thinking it was the best show I had ever seen. (As a side note, I also remember being really surprised by what they looked like when they first came out. For some reason – probably because they were from Minneapolis – I had pictured Dave looking like Bob Mould, and he was younger and skinnier than I imagined, plus I was surprised by his long hair. It was still straight and un-dreadlocked at that time, which allowed for maximum hair swinging.)

I've seen them many times since, and they are still the best live band I've ever seen. Although their music has changed a lot along the way, I like all phases of Soul Asylum. And while there's definitely a part of me that would love to go back in time and see a SA show in 1988 or 1990 to experience some of that raw energy again, the set that they play now – i.e., the full set when they mix in stuff like "Closer to the Stars" and "Never Really Been" and throw in a fun cover - is pretty spectacular because it has the best of all eras (except that they really should put "Veil of Tears" back in the set or throw in something else from Horse like "Nice Guys Don’t Get Paid" or "Easy Street" :)).

I hope they continue to play for a very long time and I hope I am lucky enough to continue to see them.
All that we are not stares back at what we are. - W. H. Auden

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Post by mystic_spiral_3 »

In June of 1993, I saw the Runaway Train video. Seeing missing kids and a stolen baby really freaked me out, and I ran to hug my then-6-year-old sisters (yes, those same twins who have joined me at a few shows in the last few years). I told my best friend about this really scary video with a weird looking guy (that would be Dave). So she looked for it on MTV. Eventually we got desensitized to the video, and would seek it out on MTV. The song grew on us, and after learning from the 1993 Rolling Stone article about the band that they'd been around for awhile, we began to seek out more information about SA. We bought GDU and then gradually got the others. It was a mini-competition to see who could get the collection first. My friend won.

I'd have to say my overall fandom grew once I was able to see the band in concert, make friends on message boards, and then meet those friends at more concerts! It's been fun!

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Post by Daren »

I got into SA in 1987 when i first heard them on a local radio show. i was 14 and they blew me away! i have almost every song they ever recorded and continue to hunt for more. i did get to meet Dan and Dave at a show and was disappointed with Dave but Dan was great to talk to.i even have an autographed guitar hanging on my wall!

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Post by Monolith Maniac »

The majority on how I got into Soul Asylum be explained in my community spotlight article which can be viewed here.

I was going to post my reply here, but it kind off turned out to be more related to a "particular" part on how I got into Soul Asylum, so I felt it should be posted in the respected forum. You can read it here:
http://www.enterthesoulasylum.com/Forum ... light=#635
Jim Metz, Webmaster of EnterTheSoulAsylum.com

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Post by Miss Fitt 2 »

Daren wrote:I got into SA in 1987 when i first heard them on a local radio show. i was 14 and they blew me away! i have almost every song they ever recorded and continue to hunt for more. i did get to meet Dan and Dave at a show and was disappointed with Dave but Dan was great to talk to.i even have an autographed guitar hanging on my wall!
Disappointed with Dave? How so? I have always found him to be super nice – thoroughly charming, incredibly funny, generous with his time, and very down-to-earth.
All that we are not stares back at what we are. - W. H. Auden

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Post by Daren »

disappointed because it was a two on one situation and he really seemed disinterested. don't get me wrong, i'd still love a chance to talk to him again.

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