Features Magnapop: Quality is Job One -
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But Mould was entirely supportive, and a good influence on the band. "He put us where we needed to be," Morris says.

Morris now describes her playing as "fearless... Onstage, I closed my eyes for the first two years. And I crossed the line at some point where I felt like I could do some things." At least part of her development can be attributed to the European festivals the band has played: "It's from playing on big stages," Morris says.

"We've played Europe to death," Hopper agrees, "so it's like we've done our homework."

COOL TASTE DOES NOT A BANDMEMBER MAKE

Though she has taken her musicianship to another level, the same, apparently, could not be said for original drummer David McNair. The band recently found it necessary to let him go. Hopper says he wasn't prepared to meet the challenges the band was facing: "Artistically and musically, he couldn't lift it up."

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Magnapop, "Open The Door" from Rubbing Doen't Help
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"It's just a band," Morris adds, "but we're all doing this for the same reason--to take our brains to another place. And he couldn't go there. It was frustrating for him, and it was frustrating for us."

Hopper adds, "It was sad when [Ruthie] would be showing the band a song, and you'd have this excitement of where it was gonna go. And it could never go... Even though it's such a privilege to get to do this for a living, at the same time it's a sacrifice, and there's no reason to do it if it's not elevating you artistically and mentally."

"He used to be cool," Morris shakes her head. "He used to buy every punk single. But somewhere in the '80s he dropped out. He wasn't looking for new ideas. He was going through the motions. It was a good job for him, because he could get to the club and get beer."

"We'd suggested things like lessons," Hopper says. "We didn't think that was such a crime."

"You just felt bad for him," Morris concludes. "It was so emotional, because he's a good guy. He hates us for doing it."

Morris says she learned a lot of rock history from the drummer: "David had some cool influences. The Stooges - I think Ron Asheton's amazing. We also totally connected on Blue Cheer. Any of the old punk stuff. Johnny Thunders. The Velvet Underground. They made it look like what it should look like."

Asked who the members of Magnapop consider their peers, Morris doesn't hesitate: "Mudhoney," she says. "Totally. They totally get us. Gashuffer. All those Seattle bands are so great." Which is not to imply that her group favors roaring guitars over melody: "I think pop is not a dirty word. Teenage Fanclub are smart enough to know that pop is the power. Guided By Voices - I get it so well." About the music of Dayton's basement wunderkinds, Morris says eloquently, "I don't get a sense of loathing. I get wonder."

NO MORE STINKIN' THINKIN'

Much the same can be said of Magnapop's music. After Magnapop replaced McNair with Posgay, the band picked up and moved on, soon finding temporary homes in L.A. so they could prepare to record Rubbing Doesn't Help. For their demo sessions, the group hired punk veteran Geza X (Germs, Dead Kennedys) to produce.

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