On the early gem "Stranger," from Soul Asylum's 1984 debut LP: "The song was very different. It took a little bit of nerve to be this vulnerable in a song. I was out in the world, hanging out in downtown Minneapolis, and just being an adult for the first time. The punk rock scene in Minneapolis was something I became a part of, and it offered an amazing support system. I was invested in the music, but it's scary not knowing if it will ever work out."

On "Grave Dancers Union," their 1992 commercial breakthrough album: "We recorded the [demos] in our practice space, and it was all acoustic. I took the cassette to New York and went to six or seven different labels, and talked to people, and played the stuff for them. I noticed a similar response. I think the guy at Geffen Records said, 'So, is this a down record?' Still, people wanted the band. The 'rock and roll' band was suddenly sought after again. Bands like us that were out on the road with this DIY aesthetic, we really didn't need much help. We knew what we were doing."

On "Misery," from the 1995 follow-up record: "The music that was popular around this time was about depression, and it was deep and honest and had a lot of guitars. The song is making fun of people making money off of complaining. This is our moment to tell people how we really feel. Alternative music finally had a platform, and it was out there, and guitars were king. I miss that and how much raw emotion came out of the rock bands of the '80s and '90s."

On "If I Told You," a highlight from the new album: "My son lives in New Orleans, whereas I mostly live in Minneapolis these days, and I miss seeing him. On my records, I've tried to resist anything that resembles a traditional 'love song.' In 'If I Told You,' what I miss most is my kid; I've never missed anybody like that."