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Band Has Its Soul (Asylum) Back Intact

Of the Oakland Press

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It’s been three years since its last album and 14 years since its last Top 40 hit, but Dave Pirner is very happy with the state of Soul Asylum these days.

“The whole band is very engaged now,” notes Pirner, 45, who co-founded the rock group in 1983 in Minneapolis with guitarist Dan Murphy. “That hasn’t always been the case. Now, we end up having arguments about the set list, really yelling at each other. Creative arguments.

“That is an indication, to me, that people in the band really (care).

“Why that hasn’t always been that way, I don’t know. But it’s very inspiring to know people care that much to argue about it. It’s natural and good.”

Pirner credits Soul Asylum’s current makeup — he and Murphy joined by former Prince drummer Michael Bland and bassist Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Guns ‘N Roses), who replaced the late Karl Mueller in 2005 — with this new level of commitment. Now he hopes to put together a follow-up to 2006’s “The Silver Lining,” with the group slated to come to Pirner’s home studio in New Orleans to explore the possibilities.

“I just start writing and start compiling (stuff) and throwing stuff against the wall and see what sticks to the band members,” Pirner says. “That’s always been a fascinating process, but it’s just a little different now.

“The main thing is (Bland). I didn’t really want to have a band unless I had a good drummer.

“When Michael auditioned, it took five minutes and I was like, ‘Holy ... let’s make a record!’ Now I gotta make another one, ’cause I’ve got a great drummer.”

Soul Asylum, Seven Mary Three, Sponge and Days of the New perform at 7 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 27) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $35.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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