*Closing out CJLO’s Disorientation 2010 is influential Chapel Hill, NC indie rock band Superchunk, back after a nine year hiatus. Hooked on Sonics’ Omar Goodness finally got to cross the band off his interview wishlist when he had the chance to discuss the band’s changing fanbase, how nine years away may have reinvigourated the band, Master Cleanse diets, and the legend of canadian MOR rock songsmith Kim Mitchell with Superchunk drummer and all around funnyman Jon Wurster the morning of September 16, 2010.
*ALL SONGS taken from Superchunk's latest record, Majesty Shredding.
NOTE - Audio for the interview is available below - produced and edited by Omar Husain.
[SUPERCHUNK] [HOOKED ON SONICS]
[INTERVIEW PART 1] [INTERVIEW PART 2]
---------------"Digging for Something"---------------
We're here with Jon Wurster, the drummer of Superchunk. How're you doing, Jon?
Good, doing real good. Just frantically running around trying to get stuff in order for day one of our tour.
Now, I noticed also on your twitter that this is day one of your "Master Cleanse"...
It is. Yes.
...and I was wonder how that's going so far?
It's going well. As you may have read, I'm allowing myself only Master Brand frozen pizza.
So that's what I'm sticking to for the next six months – it's a six month cleanse.
Wow, that's pretty intense.
Just gotta get that colon nice and clean, right?
There ya go.
I know how it is.
There's something about the dough that they use that's really good. Very healthy stuff.
So this is the first tour that you've done with Superchunk in almost, what, nine or eight years now?
The last actual tour tour that we did was I think in summer of 2002 where we opened for the Get Up Kids, but our last real tour of our own was for our last record that came out in the fall of 2001. So yeah, it's our first real tour in nine years, yeah.
Was there any trepidation going into this tour; were you guys nervous?
No, because we never really stopped playing, y'know, we didn't do big tours, but we'd play two or three shows a year at least ever since then. We just didn't make albums or release much.
So the performance itself is not worrisome to you, I was more concerned about the fact that you guys are gonna be together in a bus or a van for the next month or so and that's been something that you haven't done in a long time. Was there any worry about that?
No, that was always kinda the fun part. We always pretty much got along, it was more everything else that went along with it that was just kinda burning us out. We hit it really hard for pretty much eleven years; I joined in October of '91 and we were on that cycle for ten years.
Yeah, and there was a span of time too in the book that Merge Records put out about Superchunk and about Merge Records, Our Noise, where it's listed in there that there's a period of four or five years in the nineties when you guys were constantly on the road…
Yeah, when you're young you can do that. It's funny, I do that all the time with other bands – I guess I never really stopped doing that really – but when you're younger you're more excited and more jazzed about seeing what's out there and doing more and "oh, so-and-so wants us to tour with them, let's do that, and we can play here, we'll go to Brazil…", as you get older, maybe the charm kinda wears off in a way.
Plus you've kind of seen everything by that point.
It's kind of true.
Is it different playing in a band that you're an essential part of as opposed to just being a touring drummer?
Yeah, this still feels like "home" in a way. But, I love touring with the other people I've played with like Bob Mould and the Mountain Goats - I feel like a full member of the Mountain Goats. But, yeah, this is a relationship that has been going for almost twenty years.
And plus they're your songs too.
Does it work in your favour to have been away for about nine years or so from playing shows – I mean from doing extended tours or from putting out a record. Does it kind of feel like you're starting over to an extent or is there a newfound energy in it to be doing it again now after so long – to have given yourself that break?
Yeah, definitely there's a new energy and it's kind of fun. Like, we've never really thought of ourselves of having any influence on anybody; while you're doing it you never think that way, but now that there's a whole generation or two of kids in bands that are successful that say your early records were an influence on them – that's great and exciting in a way also. So that gives you a different perspective on what you do.
Especially to come back after having that sort of time away from it too, where people have been mentioning you here and there in interviews.
Yeah, you never assume that people are even gonna care about it at this point, or that they're gonna remember what you did or who you are, so it's nice that these articles are coming out with reviews of the records and people seem to like it and remember it.
Is it odd to see people always kind of use that term "legendary band" when they mention you, especially now when the new album is coming out?
Oh yeah, because 1991 seems like yesterday to me in a way.
I remember lugging my drums into Mac's little house for that first rehearsal and Laura coming to the door and saying something like "Hey, I'm Laura, I'm the weak link". So, yeah, that just seems like yesterday. To have someone say "legendary", it's flattering, but it doesn't feel like it really.
It's odd to hear I'm sure when years melt by after a certain time – twenty years goes by fast when you think about it.
Yeah, but we covered a lot of ground. I think about that too like "wow, we went to everywhere several times!"
And it's kinda cool to see where how when initially you guys came out some people used to call you guys "Hüsker Junior" –
–and now people really hold you in such a high regard and you have that cult fanbase. And the funny thing that I was noticing too, we're putting on your show in Montreal next Thursday, it's organized by the station, and we're looking forward to having you coming and the one thing that we noticed too was, I mean a couple of us who are a little bit older than everyone else at the station were obviously excited about it, but the younger crowd seems to be excited as well, and it seems kind of interesting that during those nine years your cult fanbase has stayed the same but there's a disparity within the age group – so you still have a lot of younger fans still.
Y'know, that's kind of what I'm excited about having not played a lot of these places in a quite a while and I'm curious how young it skews. Cuz around here if seems if we play in North Carolina or Chapel Hill or whatever, it seems a bit older to me, so it'll be interesting to play in New York, or D.C., Boston or up there just to see if kids do come out.
And it can kind of seem I guess like the same people that you recognize are showing up at those shows.
It should be interesting to see whether you have a whole new fanbase now.
Yeah, I'm trying to think the last time we played Montreal...
I think it was 2000 or 2001.
I'm trying to think if we played there on our last record – I remember playing a place called – is there a place called the Forum, does that sound familiar?
Yeah, but that's kind of a huge venue, I don't think you guys played there back then 'cuz I think the Forum stopped being the Forum back then too...
No that's Toronto, I think you guys played Cabaret here in 2002 or 2001.
That's it! That's it.
Yeah so it's been nine years since you've been here, it'll be interesting to see how the crowd has changed.
And we definitely played a Halloween there, I dressed up as Fred Durst
I think that would've been in '97.
[INTERVIEW PART 1] [INTERVIEW PART 2]