Husker Du drummer, vocalist and solo artist Grant Hart has died.
“Grant Hart was a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story teller, and a frighteningly talented musician. Everyone touched by his spirit will always remember,” Hart’s Husker Du bandmate Bob Mould wrote on Facebook.
They began playing hardcore punk rock, but quickly evolved into something much more complex and melodic, growth that was fueled by the somewhat unusual situation w both Hart and Mould wrote songs and sang lead vocals.
Born Grantzberg Vernon Hart on March 18, 1961, to a credit union employee and shop teacher, Hart inherited his brother’s drum kit and record collection after he was killed by a drunk driver.
Mould and Hart took an ambitious approach to the double album “Zen Arcade,” a sort of punk rock opera that told the tale of a young man who runs away from his broken home only to find the world at large was no more welcoming.
In a 2000 interview with the AV Club, Hart described his ambitions beyond punk rock: “I saw it as part of a whole set of possibilities for expression, but I found the hardcore thing very limiting and very dumb.”
On Facebook, Mould wrote that he stayed in contact with Hart in the years since the end of Husker Du, describing the time as “Sometimes peaceful, sometimes difficult For better or worse, that’s how it was, and occasionally that’s what it is when two people care deeply about everything they built together.”
In November, the Chicago-based reissue label Numero Group will release “Savage Young Du,” a collection of Husker Du material recorded prior to their deal with SST. One of the label’s founders, Ken Shipley, worked with Hart in recent years on the project.
“The real Grant Hart disarming and masterminding all at once.”