Soul Asylum promises new tunes for NorCal showshttp://www.dailyrepublic.com/news/enter ... cal-shows/
By Amy Maginnis-HoneyFrom page B1 | July 17, 2015
FAIRFIELD — Dave Pirner can still delve into self-reflection like he did in the tune “Runaway Train” that took home a Grammy award for best rock song at the 1994 Grammys.
And, there are times in conversation the train is a pretty happy ride these days.
The Soul Asylum lead singer founded the band more than 30 years. He’s weathered the changes in the business.
Pirner, 51, said he feels the revisions made have been pretty detrimental. The worst thing? The MP3.
“I don’t think they sound very good,” Pirner said. “It’s a move to make money. Not a move for music.”
Those who use music for background noise probably won’t notice the difference. True music fans will want the sound as good as it can get, he said.
That true sound comes from record albums, he said. Now, there are very few record stores left.
“It takes away the physical nature,” he said. It also takes away the chance to talk with others who enjoy music, he said.
At the same time, consumers are crying for vinyl, Pirner said.
The band is funding its new album, meanwhile, which will be available on vinyl via PledgeMusic. They’re accepting pledges for fans to purchase an acoustic band house performance in the Minneapolis area or a full band performance anywhere in the country. Other pledges can purchase a lifetime guest list pass or a personalized voicemail greeting from the band.
The key is figuring out what will interest the fans, Pirner said.
“It’s very complicated as far as I’m concerned,” he said of online crowd funding. “You have got to appease the powers that be as far as it works.”
It also allows for fans to have a personal connection with the band.
“It’s done in the spirit of fan appreciation,” he said. “And, trying to make up for the money we don’t have.”
Soul Asylum hopes to have the new record out by the end of August. However, Pirner has jokingly said it would be titled “Everything Takes Forever.”
“I’m pretty excited (about it),” he said. “I’ve listened to some of the masters. For me it sounds like Soul Asylum.”
Recent changes in personnel opened up material that past band members thought was a little too complicated or conceptual to play, he said.
“When writing for a band, it’s hard to determine if people are not picking it up because they don’t like it or they can’t play it,” he said. “The can’t play it part is gone now.”
The video for “Runaway Train” featured Pirner strumming an acoustic guitar. Photos of missing children were also shared. He knows of at least one reunion because a mother and daughter came to a show after the young woman saw herself and called her mother.
“It was an opportunity to turn a music video into a public service announcement,” Pirner said. “It was effective.”
The lyrics and music are also a key to its success.
“Runaway Train” acknowledges that life is not “a bowl of cherries,” Pirner said. At the time he wrote it, Pirner said he was questioning his own sanity.
“It touches people someplace we don’t talk about,” he said. “I think it has a hopeful sort of angle to overcoming these feelings instead of succumbing to them.”
The band is making stops in San Francisco and Sacramento. A Napa gig has been canceled.
Fans can expect to hear songs from the new record as well as some oldies. The latter are showcased in a different light thanks to new band members, Pirner said.
“It’s important for me to show off my band,” he said. “I like it where I can walk off the stage and they continue to play. That’s pretty much what’s happening.”
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• 9 p.m. July 25
• The Indepedent, 628 Divisadero, San Francisco
• 8:30 p.m. July 28
• Harlow’s, 2708 J St., Sacramento