by Andi Bricklin
Just back from the band’s third appearance at SXSW, Soul Asylum’s lead singer Dave Pirner talks with That Mag about longevity, DIY passion and the lost art of album covers.
SXSW was a “chaotic tight schedule. We were there for three-four days and had, like, five different appearances,” Pirner says of their latest SXSW conference in Austin, TX. “You know it’s funny, the first time we were there was like ‘Hello. Here we are!’ The second time was like ‘Why are we here? Everyone already knows who we are.’ And this time it’s like ‘Hey we’re still here.’ It was fun and hopefully productive.”
While checking out the Soul Asylum webpage, you’ll see the band’s 16 album discography, and one can’t help but notice how stunning and compelling the album art is when they are displayed side by side. “The cover art has always been my thing, I found the image for Change of Fortune in an issue of National Geographic.” Says Pirner.
The image of a Japanese snow monkey was taken by nature photographer Marsel Van Oosten after the monkey had snatched a cell phone from a tourist at the natural hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park. “We were very fortunate to be allowed to use it.” In fact, Pirner puts a lot of time and energy into each and every album cover they’ve done, and it makes for a beautiful collection of visual art, as well as great musical art!
“I’ve been trying to put the low end into punk rock for 30 years” Pirner says of Change of Fortune’s recording. “It’s like the power of the electric guitar along with the rest of rock!” You’ll know what he means immediately when you listen to the album’s first single “Doomsday”. It’s a powerful guitar track accompanied by Pirner’s unmistakable and melodic vocals that rocks hard!
Promoting the release of Change of Fortune, which is the band’s latest album, Soul Asylum takes their usual DIY approach to getting word out and reach their fans. “We don’t really have a master plan. You know you can only play as much as you can play, and we want to play every fucking day.”
This is why you’ll find Soul Asylum fans who have been there from the beginning, as well young fans who are hearing them for the first time. “We’re really trying to find the perfect two bands who we should tour with.”
And it seems as though they’ve got some shows lined up with The English Beat. The Philly show is scheduled for July 2nd at the Trocadero.
Soul Asylum will be closing out this year’s Non-COMMvention at the World Café Live this Friday night, 5/20, following a 3-day line up filled with amazing acts like Bonnie Raitt, Amos Lee, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle, and Band of Horses. It’s going to be an amazing convention and we’ll be there to cover it all!