March 1, 2006 at 8:31 am #48803
If this has already been posted delete – I did not see it
Interview with Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr)
Questions by Chris Metcalfe for Cheese on Toast.
Original Source: http://cheesetoasted.blogspot.com/2006/ … ur-jr.html
Replies in italics from Lou Barlow.
This reformation tour has been underway for a number of months now, is it a hectic schedule this time around? Where are you heading next?
We have tended to maximize our touring; as many shows as possible with only a few days off but we have had some breaks. When we begin this particular leg we will have been ‘off’ for nearly three months – that’s not to say we haven’t been playing, we’re currently recording but it’s very relaxed, we’re doing it at J’s house.
Given that your relationship with J. Mascis has been somewhat tumultuous in the past, how did the reformation of Dinosaur Jr come about?
J began showing up at Sebadoh shows in the mid-90’s, which confused me at the time; eventually I went to a few of his shows, starting in 2002. We played a benefit together, he solo, me with Jason Loewenstein as Sebadoh, and during the course of the night we did an impromptu reunion of our first band, Deep Wound. Then the talk of a dinosaur reunion began, culminating in J’s management contacting Murph and I and officially pitching a tour in late 2004.
With a number of bands staging very successful reformations recently (Stooges/Pixies etc) and the re-release of the first 3 Dinosaur records, it’s hard not to be a little cynical towards the reasons behind this tour.
When you decided to reform were you looking to bury a few demons and relive your youth, or were there other motivating factors?
It’s easy enough for an armchair music commentator to be cynical. There are obviously a host of motivations behind it. Not the least of which was the opportunity to make some cash. Dinosaur was my formative band experience and I would have been a fool not accept the challenge. The fact that we put the past behind us and worked together, in close quarters, on this reunion obliterates any cynicism as far as I’m concerned; it’s a fucking miracle!
Do you have a different perspective now about your exit from the group and the publicly aired animosity that followed?
Of course. I was 22 when I left the band; I turned 39 when we toured this summer. My experiences post dinosaur eventually healed any lingering resentment. The â€œpublic airing’â€™, though necessary for me to work through the break-up at the time, seemed immature in hindsight.
Was there much preparation for the tour? Did the songs need a lot of rehearsal?
Not really – there was a lot of muscle memory involved! I learned to play bass to Murph’s drumming so when he kicked in I just followed and it ended up sounding and feeling very similar to the way it did 1989. The songs are ingrained and I love them so it only took a week of practice.
Having had 20 odd years of space from the songs, what is like to come back to them? Have they developed in their delivery or have they stood the test of time?
I think so, I think we are more consistent than we were back in the day – we are all better players but, with the exception of J extending the leads, we play the same as we did back then.
Obviously you guys are older and wiser now, how has this affected the dynamics within the band? Does it feel like it used to?
The dynamic is similar but without the pathos. We’re 85 percent less evil, 50 percent less annoying – to each other anyway!
Will the band only be playing songs from the first 3 records or can we expect a few of the later Dinosaur Jr songs as well? Perhaps some of your own material?
We’ve only ventured as far as ‘the wagon’, which was the first release after I left the band.
There’s a bit of a tenuous Sebadoh/New Folk Implosion link to NZ that you might be aware of. Imaad Wassif’s and Russ Pollard’s band alaska! released their first record on the legendary NZ label Flying Nun. Are you aware of the tradition of indie groups to come from their stable?
Of course! Everyone I knew who was listening to underground music in the late 80’s early 90’s loved New Zealand bands…from The Chills, The Gordons, Tall Dwarves through to Anapper, Dead C (though they were Xpressway) etc etc…
Both J. Mascis and yourself have maintained a devoted fan-base and more or less avoided the fickle "indie" trap that hypes one fad band and then moves quickly to the next, pouring scorn on anything that is remotely yesterday.
What is it about you guys that keeps what you do relevant and places you outside of all that crap?
I don’t think many share your opinion, I’m commonly known as a has-been to any self-respecting indie kid! Iâ€™ve seen my audience in America dwindle drastically.
How do you see Dinosaur Jr’s place in the legacy of the bands that emerged on SST during the 80’s?
I think we managed to distill the sound of the SST signature bands : Meatpuppets, Black Flag, Husker Du. I think J’s songs from our SST period are classic and in many ways surpass our influences.
Your own work with Sebadoh and Folk Implosion is somewhat removed sonically from Dinosaur Jr. Is it musically challenging for you to work within the Dinosaur sound nowadays or are there interactions and synergies between the two approaches?
Dino comes natural to me, I never attempted to replicate the sound because it was too massive and individual. It was necessary for me to start over – coming back to it has been a pleasure. Folk Implosion, in general, isn’t much like Sebadoh either, I adapt to the people I play with – that’s one of the things I love about playing music.
You’ve recently released your first full-length solo album ’emoh’. Are you planning on touring that record? Any plans to bring a Lou Barlow group down these ways?
I can’t afford to tour with a group really, but I am doing a solo show in Wellington a few days after I play in Auckland. I toured emoh in the US and Europe before starting with Dinosaur last spring and after in the fall. 2005 was a real good year for me.
Your website is quite personal and comprehensive, do you do all that yourself?
What’s on Lou Barlow’s record player currently?
Animal Collective ‘Feels’. And I just re-listened to an album I did in 2003 â€˜The New Folk Implosion’ trying to gain some perspective as I try to write for Dinosaur. NFI was my last experience in a rock band – it’s a pretty good record too; much better than I remember..heh..
Original Source: http://cheesetoasted.blogspot.com/2006/ … ur-jr.htmlMarch 1, 2006 at 5:51 pm #115033
AGAPParticipantQuote:We’re 85 percent less evil, 50 percent less annoying – to each other anyway!
Love those stats
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