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David Pirner is the lead vocalist for the band Soul Asylum.Read More...
He was born on April 16, 1964 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. By the time he was 17, he was living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dave taught himself how to play the drums. By age 20, Dave started his career drumming with a punk band called Loud Fast Rules as part of the Minneapolis scene, together with Karl Mueller (bass) and Dan Murphy (guitar). When Pirner switched to singing and playing rhythm guitar, Pat Morley joined on drums. Pat was later replaced by Grant Young, and the band changed their name to Soul Asylum. At first, critics said the band was sloppy and erratic but at the same time captivating. The band achieved big-time success with the single "Runaway Train" off the 1992 album Grave Dancers Union. The video for the song featured stills of missing children against the backdrop of a baby being kidnapped from a young mother. Their other big hit from the album was "Black Gold", and because of those two songs, the album went on to sell more than two million copies.
As Soul Asylum became more popular, Pirner decided to spread his talent around and started to do guest appearances on different albums of artists he greatly admired, such as Paul Westerberg, Mike Watt and The Autumn Defense.
By 1999, Soul Asylum went into hiatus, after making 1998's Candy from a Stranger, which sold the least amount of copies of the big three (1992's Grave Dancer's Union, 1995's Let Your Dim Light Shine, which yielded the big hits "Misery" and "Just Like Anyone") But after four years, Soul Asylum got back together and started writing songs in the studio, dying bassist Karl Mueller's idea. Karl passed away after suffering a long battle with throat cancer on June 17th, 2005. He was 42. About a year after his death, Soul Asylum released their most recent album The Silver Lining on Legacy Recordings, which was dedicated to the life and memory of Karl. About half the songs on the album were recorded with the late bassist, such as "Lately", "Slowly Rising" and "Standing Water". The first hit from this album was "Stand Up And Be Strong". Since last year, Dave Pirner has been cutting back on smoking and drinking. Soul Asylum is currently on tour with their new lineup, which consists of Dave Pirner on guitar and vocals, Dan Murphy on lead guitar, Michael Bland on drums and Tommy Stinson on bass (as well as John Fields standing in on bass and piano for Tommy).
Dave became famous for his personal life just as much for his music. Pirner dated movie star Winona Ryder and subsequently made a cameo appearance in her 1994 film Reality Bites. Pirner was also a part of the all-star band assembled for the soundtrack of the 1994 film Backbeat. A misunderstanding of the lyrical content in Primus's hit single "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" led to a short rivalry with Les Claypool (which Claypool apparently wasn't even aware of until the topic was brought up in an interview). He also contributed to the soundtrack of Kevin Smith's 1997 film Chasing Amy.The song "Cant Even Tell" is featured in Clerks, then they used the song "Misery" in Kevin Smith's most recent flick, Clerks II.
In 2002 Dave released his first solo album entitled Faces & Names on Ultimatum Music. He also contributed guest vocals on the song "Chillout Tent" in The Hold Steady's 2006 release, Boys and Girls in America.
Radio host Eddie Trunk said in an episode of Vh1 Classic turntables that Dave was a songwriter he marveled.
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