Bob Mould is a man always on the lookout for a new challenge. After Hüsker Dü (one of the most celebrated rock bands ever) folded in 1988, Mould would helm another powerful trio, Sugar, before beginning a fascinating, ongoing series of solo releases that have ranged from introspective to danceable, from melodic to nearly chaotic. The enigmatic guitar (and cultural) hero is finishing up what promises to be a fascinating memoir to be published next year and has just released a rock-solid solo disc, Life And Times. Read our new Q&A with him and earlier ones from 2008 and 2002. Mould will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week.
Mould: We live in a world filled with too much information. Sometimes, I wonder if the Internet is the coal that fuels a large section of the pharmaceutical industry. The constant search for unnecessary information has realigned our synapses, and the only way to cope is to grab a prescription for the newest adult-ADHD drug. I suspect these drugs are nothing more than government-sanctioned meth, packaged with smiling faces, floating clouds and the promise of being “better able to sit through meetings and movies.” I have trouble finishing tasks, learning new things and paying attention to people who ramble on with no final destination in sight. Do I qualify for one of these drugs? Given my youthful dabblings with, nay, quasi-enslavement to pill-form amphetamine, I initially balked at the thought. I was able to sample one of these new wonder drugs, modafinil, marketed under the brand name Provigil. A Schedule IV drug, it is primarily used for the treatment of various sleep disorders. Athletes and Air Force pilots have also been known to enjoy the benefits of increased energy levels and the ability to function for up to 88 hours, respectively.
My first experience with Provigil was a half-dose. It gave me a lift, one that I couldn’t really pin down. It wasn’t the abrupt and jagged jolt of street speed, nor was it the slow and steady churn of caffeine. It was focus, power and the velvet touch of a futuristic deity. Kidding, especially on the last one. It was OK. I had no sudden urge to fly a plane, run a marathon or watch a movie. They were only samples. I have two and a half left in my toiletries kit, just in case. One thing I learned early on, with both recreational and professional drugs, is to do half of what the pusher says is the proper dose. You can always do more, but you can’t do less. Or something like that.