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    Cool interview, even mentions the dixie chicks :wink:

    The Courier-Mail 8)

    A fire, an operation and some healthy misdirection make a memorable start to the year for J Mascis.

    Mascis gets fired up
    Craig Spann

    IT’S just a few months into 2003, but already it’s been a tough year for J Mascis.

    A couple of months back (he can’t remember exactly when) a large slice of his house and studio burned down, leaving most of his recording gear in ashes.

    "And then I had to miss some shows in Europe ’cause I had to get my gall bladder out," he adds Is he serious? Who knows, but chatting to Mascis you have to forget trying to work out fact from fiction.

    Exhibit A: There’s the recent press release that explains his latest album, Free So Free, was inspired by a new-found love of tandem skydiving with his dog, Bob.

    "That’s something the biographer made up. I’ve never skydived or had any interest in doing it," he says. "It seemed like an obvious joke but a lot of people seem like they didn’t get it, so that was good."

    The one thing that’s certain is that Mascis is one of the great survivors of the alternative rock revolution of the 1980s and ’90s.

    His ground-breaking band Dinosaur Jr may have long been relegated to the mists of rock history, but Mascis has been nothing if not consistent since. His two post-Dinosaur albums (under the moniker J Mascis and The Fog) More Light (2000) and now Free So Free show he may have gone a few more laps around the rock merry-go-round, but his songwriting smarts are as sharp as ever.

    Free So Free is vintage Mascis, complete with blistering guitar solos, plaintive verses and the kind of thumping choruses that can knock you back in your seat.

    And while he would stop short of declaring his latest record a "concept album" it’s pretty clear freedom, or more the lack of it, is weighing heavily on his mind.

    "When I was writing songs, freedom just kept popping up in all the songs and I didn’t edit it out so it just kind of became conceptual in that way," he explains. "I think it came from feeling a lack of freedom in the United States after September 11.

    "They seem to be using that as an excuse to take a lot of freedoms away and it’s things you never thought of before.

    " It’s weird when the Dixie Chicks say one thing about (US President George W) Bush and suddenly they’re banned from radio stations . . . it’s frightening and it’s really like this is a fascist state."

    Hardly one for small talk, it seems politics is occupying much of his thoughts at the moment. In particular he says he was angered by the US Supreme Court’s decision to hand Bush the Presidency after the vote counting debacle in Florida.

    "When I was a kid I thought that I would want to be on the Supreme Court because it kind of seemed like the ultimate job – to decide what laws there would be and stuff," he says. "And to realise that court’s totally corrupt is just really depressing for me."

    While his inspiration for many of these songs seems clear, Mascis explains there’s hardly any rhyme or reason to when or why he writes.

    "I have to wait until something comes along, it’s like fishing or something, you just play the guitar and play and wait for something to come up," he says. "I just try to make good music that I would want to hear – I don’t really know how it happens."

    Mascis returns to Australia this month to support the release of Free So Free. But this time around he’ll be leaving the Fog at home and performing a string of solo acoustic shows that anyone who saw him here in 2000 will attest must be heard to be believed – think LOUD, people.

    "Then I think I just have to go home because the house has to be gutted a little bit and put back together. Hopefully I can get the smell of smoke out of everything."

    • J Mascis plays The Zoo, Fortitude Valley, on May 14.
    Free So Free is out now on Dew-Process.


    expect nothing

    thanks for the link, another cool interviewv :D ,
    it sums J’s crazy year up :shock: and hes done alot of shows too, he deserves a long holiday after it all – some songwriting time aswell 8)



    Thanks VF 8)



    yeah, summing up all the troubles he’s been going through, it has been a hard year for J :| :(

    Thanks for the link, Allison, a nice & interesting read :)



    4hours to go to the melbourne show,
    Saying that little old antipop is excited is a huge understatement :roll:

    later trav

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