Grant Hart, a drummer, vocalist and songwriter for the influential Minnesota rock band Hüsker Dü, died Wednesday at his home in St. Paul. He was 56.
The band’s publicist, Ken Weinstein, said the cause was cancer.
Hüsker Dü was formed by Hart, guitarist and singer Bob Mould and bassist Greg Norton in the late 1970s in St. Paul, and soon became known for high-volume blasts of heart-quickening rock that could not quite disguise the hooks buried beneath the noise.
An early member of the hardcore movement, Hüsker Dü was a prolific presence in the 1980s, releasing six albums in fewer than six years. The band’s 1984 double album, “Zen Arcade,” was lauded by Robert Palmer of The New York Times, who said it might be the best record “to have emerged from the hardcore scene.”
Challenging punk orthodoxy with experimental takes on the genre and ambitious narrative elements, “Zen Arcade” introduced the band to a wider audience and reimagined the boundaries of hardcore.
Hart and Mould met in a record store in 1978 and soon began to play together, along with Norton, whom Mould had known previously. The group bonded over their love for significant punk bands of the decade, including the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.
Though Hart and Mould were both gay, their sexual orientation was not a major part of the band’s identity.
“Really, it didn’t define much about the band,” Hart told The A.V. Club in 2000. “If anything, it would have been just another question mark, because we were so unlike the stereotype du jour.”
Hart and Mould, both independent-minded musicians, frequently clashed over…
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