BMI is saddened by the passing of Grant Hart, former drummer, singer/songwriter and co-founder of iconoclastic Minneapolis punk band, Hüsker Dü. He was 56.
As one third of the pioneering indie trio, Hart blazed a trail with Hüsker Dü for generations of American underground bands to follow. Though spawned in the early days of hardcore punk – a stealthier and more visceral strain of punk – the band initially adhered to the loud-and-fast parameters of the subgenre, but their penchant for emotionally resonant songwriting, melodicism and burgeoning abilities as musicians swiftly set them apart from the rest of the hardcore flock. Landmark albums like 1984’s ambitious Zen Arcade amply showcased the band’s depth and versatility and completely transcended its genre to be considered an underground classic of its era.
Hart’s own knack for pop hooks shone through on Hüsker Dü standards like “What’s Going On,” “Diane,” “Pink Turns Blue” and “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely.” His songs arrived with the driving guitars and propulsive rhythms that were the band’s signature, but were also marked by a distinctive sophistication. Following Hüsker Dü’s split in 1988, Hart launched a solo career before forming the band Nova Mob. Beyond making music, Hart was also a prolific poet and visual artist. His fourth album of original music, The Argument, was released in 2013. A Hüsker Dü retrospective box set, Savage Young Dü, is slated for a November release.
Grant Hart will be greatly missed by his fans and friends at BMI.