The Last Days of Pompeii
Artist Biography by Chris True
Formed in 1989, Nova Mob was centered around former Hüsker Dü drummer, vocalist, and songwriter Grant Hart. Having left the drums behind to be a guitar-playing vocalist/songwriter, Hart teamed up with bassist Tom Merkl and drummer Michael Crego and released their first offering in 1991, a preview of the subsequent full-length, an EP entitled Admiral of the Sea on Rough Trade. The full-length, a complex and multi-layered rock opera (of sorts) called The Last Days of Pompeii, followed that same year. The band made some waves in Europe and was a minor touring hit there. The band remained quiet until a self-titled EP in 1994, and -- in much the same fashion as their debut -- a full-length release (also self-titled) was released that year on Restless. The lineup had changed by this point, with both Merkl and Crego out, and in their place Nova Mob had become a four-piece with Marc Retish on bass, Steve Sutherland hitting the drums, and Chris Hesler as lead guitarist. After touring for the 1994 eponymous release, Nova Mob broke up, and Grant Hart resumed his solo career (begun in 1988 with the SST release Intolerance, but put on hold for Nova Mob), releasing Ecce Homo in 1996.