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Jason Narducy is a Chicago guy, but he spends a ton of his time—or at least he used to—on tour, playing bass for both Bob Mould and Superchunk. In early 2020, a local theatre mounted a production of a musical called Verboten, which was based on Jason’s life—specifically his time as a pre-teen in a punk band. As a grown-up, in addition to providing the low end for those other great folks, he fronts his own band, Split Single. Under that moniker, Narducy writes the songs and recruits incredible musicians to record and play with him. For the excellent new Split Single album, Amplificado, Narducy once again asked Superchunk’s Jon Wurster to play drums, and he summoned the bassist from a certain famous Athens, Georgia band to play as well.
That’d be R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, who fleshes out the Split Single sound with his bass and backing vocals on Amplificado, which the trio recorded here in Chicago before the pandemic ground everything to a halt. Mills has kept himself busy since R.E.M. split up about ten years ago, playing with the Baseball Project and playing golf, as you’ll hear. (He’s earned it, right?) In this conversation, he also talks about a long-gestating solo album, a project that incorporates classical music, and his rescue pooch. In case you missed it, Mills’ R.E.M. bandmate Michael Stipe was on the Talkhouse Podcast just six weeks ago—we’re two for four!
Elsewhere in this conversation, Mills and Narducy talk about the pandemic, of course, as well as hope for the future, passing the baton to the next generation, and the majesty of working with excellent drummers—specifically Jon Wurster and Bill Berry. Enjoy.
This episode was produced by Melissa Kaplan. The Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by The Range. Thanks for checking it out!
(Photo courtesy of the artists, edited by Keenan Kush.)