I think this is a great time to start something new, and put out a new record. Traditional revenue streams seem to be drying up, but there are lots of new avenues to explore and get your music out. We are going to blaze trails.~Greg Norton
In the pantheon of Minneapolis-St. Paul music, right under Prince and next to The Replacements, punk rock trio Hüsker Dü sits comfortably and coolly in their rightful high place as local luminaries. But while a big deal back in their heyday—influencing bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and many, many others—the fact that members continued to put out amazing music makes the Husker Dudes even more impressive and iconic.
Such is still the case with mustachioed bassist Greg Norton, who to this day continues to exude chillness offstage and fiery punk power onstage; he recently announced his work in the new outfit UltraBomb. The band, which also includes Finny McConnell from The Mahones and Jamie Oliver from the UK Subs, have just debuted a new single and have a new album coming up. We took the chance to quick connect with the ever-gracious Norton on his new music, the industry status, and being a punk dad.
DISPATCH: The first UltraBomb track “Stickman Vs. Hangman” is musically explosive, but thematically a little dark, and the album is called “Time to Burn”, which is also pretty loaded. How is everyone doing in UltraBomb?
Greg Norton: We are all quite happy, life is pretty great right now. There is definitely a lot of crap going down around the world right now. Music helps us keep balanced.
Shows are up in the air, streaming doesn’t make any money, vinyl pressing is backed up . . . Is this the worst time to put out new music?
I think this is a great time to start something new, and put out a new record. Traditional revenue streams seem to be drying up, but there are lots of new avenues to explore and get your music out. We are going to blaze trails.
People are hungry for new music, pandemic gave artists space to create . . . Is this the best time to put out new music??
It’s horrible, no one has been able to play for the last couple years, everyone is trying to reschedule dates that have been postponed a few times, the supply chain issues and manufacturing backups! I think UltraBomb hits at just the right time.
You’re an icon here in Minneapolis + St. Paul—but you’re also a dad with younger kids, which can be extremely “grounding” (since kids care 1000% more about snacks than rock legend status). Which influences your high octane music more, being in Hüsker Dü or having to watch Encanto a thousand times?
You have to stay grounded, and family is the top priority that keeps you grounded. It will be hard to be back out on the road, for all of us. It will be hard to be away, and the extra work to take care of the family that I’m asking my wife to do. I am more than lucky to have her support. I just hope people come out to support the band, and like what they hear, so we have a successful tour.
One last thing, we don’t talk about Bruno.