Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions Interview with J from knoxville’s Metro Pulse

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    here’s an interview from one of the local magazines in knoxville- its funny ,but it also kind of makes you mad . This jack- ass john sewell obviously has no clue. It sounds like J was having some fun with this guy.
    here you go:

    J Mascis with Des_arc

    Friday, July 5, 10 p.m.

    Blue Cats


    J Mascis finds his way through the fog

    by John Sewell

    As funny as it may seem in retrospect, one of the most hotly debated rock ‘n’ roll topics of 10 years ago was "Who is the father of grunge?" The list of candidates for grunge progenitor included Neil Young, any member of Sonic Youth or Replacements auteur Paul Westerberg. But the prevalent opinion was that the prime mover of grunge was Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis, the singer/ songwriter/guitarist who had melded Neil Young’s countrified twang with Sonic Youth’s megadistortion, adding his own punkified hardcore twist along the way.

    Mascis’ very delivery seemed to embody the grunge aesthetic. His guitar playing within the tight framework of Dinosaur Jr was always on the verge of spinning out of control. And despite the keen pop melodic sense of his songs, Mascis’ hoarse hiccoughy vocals seemed as if they were recorded on the very first take, at the instant of their ideation.

    If grunge ever had a poster boy, it was Mascis. Everything he did communicated the "who gives a damn?" attitude that personified the grunge generation.

    Well, a decade has passed and the term "grunge" now belongs on the hipster’s verbal scrap heap. (Incidentally, the term "emo" will soon be relegated to the same pile.) Oft cited as a prime influence on many of today’s more innovative bands, Dinosaur Jr petered out in the mid-’90s. Mascis made his most obvious commercial resurgence with a 2000 solo album abetted by his backing band, The Fog. More Light featured the sort-of radio hit, "Back Before You Go." Since then, Mascis has trotted the globe playing solo shows and touring with The Fog, which has in some incarnations featured über indie rockers like Ron Asheton of the Stooges and former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt.

    More Light was a definite triumph for Mascis. While the songwriting efforts on the last couple of Dinosaur Jr albums seemed nebulous and disinterested, the muted faltering of a band in its final throes, Mascis’ solo efforts with The Fog attained newfound passion and focus.

    Though Mascis may have regained some clarity with his music, in conversation the man is still something of an enigmatic zombie. After a comical series of phone tagging with Mascis’ publicist, I finally managed to track J down for what surely proved to be one of the least illuminating interviews of my inauspicious career as a "rock journalist."

    For days, I’d call Mascis’ publicist and we’d set a time frame within which the interview could be arranged. The time would pass, I’d call the publicist again, and we’d repeat the process. After a week or so of this, I came home late one night to find a cryptic message from Mascis himself, asking me to call. It was 11 p.m. And I wasn’t particularly thrilled about doing an interview at that moment, but I figured I’d better take advantage of any chance I had with the evasive Mr. J. So I called him and he seemed stoned—really stoned. I can only hope he was stoned…

    There is no way I can convey within this text the resounding silences of this interview. I’d ask a question, J would pause for an embarrassingly long time, and then he’d answer in two or three monosyllabic words. Here’s a couple of brilliant examples of the taped conversation that ensued:

    JS: On the current tour are you playing with The Fog or just doing solo shows?

    Mascis: (After a long pause…) Solo.

    JS: So why not bring the band along this summer?

    Mascis: (another long pause) I wanted to make money. It’s hard, uh… Yea, I didn’t, I just, it’s a lot easier. I’m just kind of traveling around doing things on my own and (another long pause) playing here and there.

    JS: I heard that around a year ago you were touring with one of the guys that used to be in The Stooges. How did that come about?

    Mascis: (yet another long pause) Uh, well, [Mike] Watt, um, he invited Ron Asheton to play with us at a show in Ann Arbor. And then, um, I dunno, we invited him to some other shows. So we played with him, I dunno, five or six times or something… maybe more… like 10 times? And then, uh, um, and then Sonic Youth had that All Tomorrow’s Parties thing in L.A. And then, um, we got Scott and then his brother, I mean, Ron’s brother Scott, to play drums and just did some Stooges stuff.

    Mascis seemed pretty out of it, and I can only hope he was thoroughly enjoying himself. At one point I asked him if he was still on Artemis Records and he said he wasn’t even sure. I wasn’t under the impression Mascis really cared what came across in the interview. Granted, he seemed like a friendly fellow from the few words I managed to pry out of him.

    Mascis has never been known for his verbosity. And those in attendance at his upcoming Blue Cats show won’t be expecting a display of oratorical skills, anyway. According to most reports, Mascis’ musicianship is intact, despite or because of whatever blunted mental condition he might be in. At best, his show will be an infinite aural blast. And, at worst, he’ll be infinitely blasted. Here’s hoping for the former.

    July 4, 2002 * Vol. 12, No. 27
    © 2002 Metro Pulse

    <small>[ 07-08-2002, 10:56 PM: Message edited by: HATCHETFACE ]</small>



    Yeah….as a REAL journalist, I can tell you that guy was a jackass. It is also clear that he didn’t know shit about music. Grunge huh? Mmmmm….OK.

    Name dropping and rehashing the same tired shit = lame!

    J rules! I’m glad he is above the "mammals!"




    A week or two ago, another paycheck-stealin’ scribe said J has been straight-edge since the mid- 80’s and now this one seems to think he is perpetually stoned. I know, who gives a damn what J does or doesn’t do in his daily life, but it is funny to see such varied and begrudged negativity about our patron.

    I would be interested to hear someone comment on how good he writes lyrics and choreographs them with the written music for the best possibile listening effects. I think he is a hell of great arranger and it is no wonder why he is sought for producing work for others.

    Lastly, thanks to HATCHET, coco, sludge and Jeremiah and anyone else I forgot for the attendance, reviews etc for these shows. I would thank all the time but the Packard Bell hoopty be damn slow to post often.

    <small>[ 07-09-2002, 12:58 AM: Message edited by: Half-Man ]</small>



    thanks for posting that Hatchetface!

    what an abbrasive fuck this guy is.

    can’t believe he said J was stoned because he paused after he asked questions that J has probably already answered in every interview since the tour started and could have easily been answered if this idiot had done some research and *gasp* tried to ask something a little original. <img>

    some people.

    "I finally managed to track J down for what surely proved to be one of the least illuminating interviews of my inauspicious career as a ‘rock journalist.’" – John Sewell – rock journalist posterboy



    I think this guy fits in with the "journalists" that RJ was talking about awhile back when Layne Stayley died <img>



    Ok, this guy makes me ashamed. Christ, I’m on a freaking high school newspaper and I know better than him. If you interview someone, you better know their life story inside and out otherwise you look like an idiot asking ‘are you playing with a band or solo’. Jesus, he’s been giging solo for months. Then there’s the sticking his two sense in during his little intro. Neil Young? God dammit. The most important thing to remember is that most often it’s fans that read a story like this, so they’ll tear you apart if you go on with you opinion about so and so’s influence and go on about how their songwriting went down the hole. You don’t say things like that unless you’ve got the person saying things that back it up. <img> Sorry, I vent because I care and whenever I read a bad interview I feel a combination of anger and pity for both artist and journalist. I’m done.

    <small>[ 07-09-2002, 12:52 PM: Message edited by: Screaming Tree ]</small>



    </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font><strong>More Light featured the sort-of radio hit, "Back Before You Go." </strong></font><hr></blockquote><font>I don’t remember ever hearing of anyone hearing this on the radio. I thought Where’d You Go and Waistin’ were the singles anyway.



    </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font>Originally posted by Jaron:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font><strong>More Light featured the sort-of radio hit, "Back Before You Go." </strong></font><hr></blockquote><font>I don’t remember ever hearing of anyone hearing this on the radio. I thought Where’d You Go and Waistin’ were the singles anyway.</strong></font><hr></blockquote><font><img> good point <img> How did I miss that? LOL



    yeah…i picked up that mag in knoxville, too. my friend den & i talked to j about it before the gig that night.
    play by play:

    den: ‘hey we read yr interview in the paper today’
    j: ‘really..how was it?’
    den: ‘well..pretty good’
    j: ‘really?..cool…’
    chris: ‘it was alright..i dont think the reporter GOT IT on his end of the phone, though’
    j : ‘right’

    my DAT of the gig turned out great. flew a mic stand in front of the board w. the gefells..

    milan mi



    i totally love how j is a man of few words. it makes me wish a few other musicians who run their mouths to what i consider an excessive degree would learn a lesson from him.



    Hey Boilerman,
    I sent you a PM concerning Knoxville. Check it out.



    What a great interview! <img> One of the funniest J ionterviews ever! Har har!



    As I have mentioned in other postings…these guys that do these interviews with J, just don’t get it do they? I laugh my ass off everytime I read a new one. I got to see Boilerman (another Chris, and also very cool) again at this show, and I also picked up a copy of the interview. As long as "the questions remain the same", J should play the same tune for them. …Get it? <img> I couldn’t guess what it must feel like to have someone new guy in your face in a different city ask the same questions to only print the same repeated history and have the same narrow outlook as these "reporters" do.

    I’m with Screaming Tree… <img>

    …let’s have all the high school news paper reporters do interviews. At least we would get to read original and well thought out questions and know that they did there homework before sitting down face to face or talking with someone over the phone for an interview. <img>


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