Whether Bob Mould moved to Berlin, Germany, three years ago looking for an escape or for new songs, it seems he's found both.
The alternative music legend just released his 13th studio album, Sunshine Rock, one of his most upbeat records in years. Mould says he started writing music a few years ago. But he didn't have an overall plan for the album until its title track came along.
"I had started writing some music and a few songs in late-'16," Mould tells Q104.3's Out of the Box With Jonathan Clarke. "And then in '17, when the song 'Sunshine Rock' appeared to me, it was like, 'Oh, there's my tent pole, so now I can start.'"
For Mould, he has a lot of friends in town, there's a great rock scene, and he just likes it. He's amused by the contrast of his Berlin album to some other famous ones. It's still unclear as to why Berlin brought out his optimistic side.
"I have absolutely no idea," he says. "I think it's incredibly funny and ironic. Somebody said that, 'Oh, you moved to Berlin to make your happy record.' I was like, 'Well, you know, I'm usually the contrary guy anyway, so it fits with my M.O."
Granted, one man's "catchy" album is another's "blue" period. And to call Sunshine Rock "happy" is with respect to its context in a career of politically-conscious punk anthems often described with words like "grim," "biting" or "haunting."
Sunshine Rock is available now.
Check out the full interview in the video above.
Here's the music video for Bob Mould's "Lost Faith":