Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions Jukebox vs J Mascis & Watt Dutch interview 2001

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  • #43165

    maxini
    Participant

    Hey, I know there’s a bunch of cool, friendly, charming, funny, good looking, adorable, generous, caring, intelligent people from Holland in here. (In case there’s a few flemmisch people as well, you totally rock too and I love you guys every bit as much [img]images/smiles/converted/wink.gif[/img] ) Now, would any of you by any chance have some time on your hands that you just don’t know what the heck to do with? If so, go to hootpage.com/hoot_masciswattbelgint.html, translate the J/Watt interview there into english and post it here on freakscene. Since I obviously speak swedish, I can understand a little written dutch but far from everything. Well, dammit, that just makes it even more frustrating!!

    So .. *cough* .. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!

    #54879

    jasper
    Participant

    Since I’m both Dutch and a moderator, I’ll take this task on me. It’s not a very good interview, though. So I’d take it with a grain of salt. Anyway, I cut some of the introduction out because nothing was said that you didn’t already know, and here we go.

    What we can give you are the impressions J Mascis and Mike Watt gave us concerning a few songs we played for them. We talked to these rock-dino’s before their show in the Muziek-O-Droom, Hasselt. Although Mascis’s contribution is quite modest at times.

    As first song of this juke-box session I chose for a song by Primus dating from the time of their "Pork Soda" album. It’s the song "The air is getting slippery," that describes a very hot day. Your heart is beating and sweat drips in your eyes, according to the lyrics. What do these guys think of Primus, and what events make them sweat?

    Mike Watt, the bass player of the group, has an overly enthusiastic answer to this question. He’s so impulsive that he spills the hot water, meant for his tea, over our recorder. An excuse – it’s nothing, I’ve been through more terrible interviews – and a cleaning session later we can finally hear his answer.

    "Les Claypool and his Frogs are great. I did a few shows with him, the most recent on New Year’s Day. I know the song. Les is a great bass player. Like Flea. These cats are younger than me. When I was a kid in the seventies – I’m 43 now – nobody wanted to play the bass. Unless you really couldn’t play guitar. Nowadays the instrument is much more attractive, and for many it’s the first instrument that they learn how to play. Among other things, thanks to the work that Les and Flea have done. Flea is even opening a music school for the kids."

    "But getting nervous, as in the lyrics of the song, doesn’t often happen to me. But when I play, I sweat a lot. I never stand still on stage, you know. A show is a very intense thing for me. I shake my body really hard."

    J Mascis, the personification of languor, lets us know that he’s not really interested in comedians who make music. He is not into comical music, Mascis says.

    The next song I played for these gentlemen is one by Ween. It’s the song "Jappa Road," from the album "Chocolate and Cheese." I ask them if they can remember such places for their many tours.

    Watt: "Of course. And, by the way, this is my 74th tour (actually, 47th – Watt)! I’m the child of a sailor. I’m used to traveling from one place to the other. Touring is never a bore, just read my diaries. I learn from every place I come, and any place might have something exciting to offer. As the child of a sailor, I consider the tour bus to be my boat. But we come in very diverse places. Sometimes I have to sleep on the floor, and another time in a hotel."

    Because the members of Ween are clearly also just a bunch of comedians, Mascis doesn’t seem to be interested in adding much to the answer of his bass player. "I don’t know that much of Ween."

    We move on to the new work of John Frusciante, "Going Inside," the first song if his last album.

    [Said by Watt, I assume. The interview isn’t clear about this.] "Dramatic story. Although the album before last was very bizarre, I liked it a lot. You’ll never hear it on the radio. John has come a long way. He sounds more coherent these days. He’s in a better state of mind right now. A real artist."


    Do you feel like a leader on stage? Watt: "Well, I’ve always been the boss in my own bands when I was on stage. But one thing is clear: You can’t learn everything when you’re the boss.

    "This is one of the reasons why I wanted to help out Mascis. He’s a leader for me, you know? Mascis has his qualities. Although he prefers just playing guitar."

    Mascis: "I’m just glad I can still play the guitar. I don’t really care about what I am as a leader."

    While Watt is working on his homepage, Fugazi is playing in the background with the song "And The Same" from "Margin Walker."

    What does J Mascis thing of politically correct attitude? Is this important for him?

    Mascis: "I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but political messages are not the reason why I listen to music. I’m more interested in the emotional side of music. Although I don’t want to say what Fugazi does is wrong. What they’re talking about doesn’t have to be wrong. In general I do think it’s important that people pay more attention to the general consciousness. [That’s what it says – although I doubt that J said it that way.] People should take more responsibility. Be better human beings."

    When Thurston Moore ("Psychic Hearts") is played, Mascis wonders for a moment if this is a local band. The lyrics seem very aggressive. Something Mascis isn’t into these days, as he told us before. Has that never been different?

    [Sorry to interrupt again, but weren’t they talking about [i]comical[/i] lyrics before? When did aggression come into the picture? Anyway, I’ll carry on with it.]

    Mascis: "I don’t know. Of course you can have a lot of fun. Maybe that can be a reason to make music. But it’s not my priority. Like I said, I don’t like comical music. What matters to me are feelings, emotions, things like that. Perhaps things that are more melancholic. I kinda like that side of music. But it seems that this might change. Personally, I think my last album is lighter than the Dinosaur Jr. material."

    Another song that we don’t have to spend much time on is one by Beck, "Get Real Paid."

    Mascis: "Sorry, no. I don’t like Beck."

    Pere Ubu, then. "Vacuum In My Head" from "Ray Gun Suitcase." Mascis: "Yeah, I kinda like Pere Ubu’s stuff."

    Finally I ask Mascis about Del The Funky Homosapien, with whom he wrote the song "Missing Link" for the soundtrack of Judgement Night.

    Mascis: "That was cool. I actually played with him. Unlike some of the other bands on this album. Some time ago I heard Del in a song of the Gorrilaz. He was rapping with the guys of Blur. Great video, by the way. I checked it in a gas station where they sold CD’s, and yeah: Del’s on it. I haven’t seen him since we worked together for Judgement Night. But it was fun. We even were on TV together."

    Maybe there’s a band that we didn’t play that Mascis thinks is important? One that influenced him during the nineties?

    Mascis: "Hard to say. In that period I wasn’t influenced by others that much. I was very much doing my own thing. These days I’m more influenced by others. And I can’t really name one band that’s typical for the nineties. We don’t really have enough distance from the period to say what’s typical for that time."

    Other things that Mascis has to tell me is that Buffalo Tom brought out a Greatest Hits album recently, and is performing live again. Mascis once did production work for Buffalo Tom.

    Guided by Voices, too, has a new album. They’re touring now, and according to Mascis they’re doing fine.

    (By Stijn Wuytens, with thanks to Jorg Lambrechts.)

    #54880

    Bucky Ramone
    Participant

    That’s quite a long interview! Basically it’s J. and Mike Watt reacting to songs the guy doing the interview is playing to them. Don’t know if Jasper’s post (which just broke off in mid-sentence) is going to be completed soon. If not, I will translate the article sometime next week, and post it here!

    #54881

    maxini
    Participant

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by den buck:
    <STRONG>If not, I will translate the article sometime next week, and post it here!</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Hey Jasper and den buck, thanks! Wow [img]images/smiles/converted/eek.gif[/img] , I wasn’t really expecting anyone to actually go ahead and translate the thing, since it wasn’t a small thing to ask. Cudos to you both! I’d sure appreciate it if the rest of the article could be posted too though, even if it’s not a great one as Jasper says. I’m sure other people besides me would appreciate it too. Just do it if you got the time though.

    #54882

    Bucky Ramone
    Participant

    This is quite a long post, it’s not an exact translation, and I’ve added some remarks myself…..

    Have a good read!

    Juke Box vs. J Mascis en Mike Watt

    J. Mascis, frontman of Dinosaur Jr. (sadly deceased&#8230 [img]images/smiles/converted/wink.gif[/img] is back. We had written him off a couple of years ago when grunge had sold out and was dead and buried. Nowadays he’s back with the Fog, with Mike Watt (Minutemen and fIREHOSE) on bass and George Berz on drums. The sound of the Fog is not unlike that of Dinosaur Jr. with some more pop-influenced melodies, that might be surprising, but, even for these gentlemen, the years start to count…
    Their live-sound is a completely different thing, though…. Their Stooges-cover of ‘TV Eye’ (with Watt on vocals) is so thight and loud that it sounds like it’s intended to tear the venue down!

    By the way, you can check Watt’s personal tour-diaries at http://www.hootpage.com
    Sadly all gigs have been cancelled after their van overturned in Falkenberg, Sweden the 17th of June.

    We can offer you the thoughts of J. and Watt about some songs by other bands. This session took place before their gig in the ‘Muziek-O-Droom’ in Hasselt, J. didn’t feel like saying much by the way…….

    First track: Primus – The air is getting slippery from the album ‘Pork Soda’
    A song describing a very hot day, when the sweat is running in your eyes…. What do J. and Watt think of Primus, and what does make them sweat?

    Watt, in his enthusiasm to answer, lets his cup of hot tea crash over the tape-recorder of the guy doing the interview.
    "Les Claypool and his Frogs are fantastic. I did several shows with them, last one on New Years Day. I know this song. Les is a fantastic bass-player, just like Flea. Thes guys are a lot younger than me. When I was a kid in the 70s (I’m 43 now) nobody wanted to play bass, except when you really couldn’t play guitar. Nowadays it has become more popular to play bass, thanks to people like Les and Flea. Flea is even starting a music-school fot the kids".

    "But getting nervous (as in the lyrics of this song), I don’t do that anymore [which isn’t quite the truth, read the tour-diaries,… den Buck] But I sweat a lot when playing, I never ever stand still, a show is a very intense thing for me. I shake my body really hard."
    J., not that interested ,says that he is not interested in clowns making music, humour and music are not his thing….

    Ween – Jappa Road from ‘Chocolate and Cheese’
    Question: do you remember towns like this from your many tours?

    Watt: "Of course this is my 74th tour (actually, 47th – watt) [it’s complicated, all those numbers…den Buck]! I’m the son of a sailor, I’m used to living in different places all the times. Touring isn’t boring at all, just read my diaries! Every place is different and you’re learning new things all the time. As a sailor’s son I consider the touring-van to be our ship, the harbours we reach can be quite different: sometimes you have to sleep on a floor, sometimes you are in a decent hotel"
    Mascis opinion: "I don’t know that much of Ween."

    John Frusciante – Going inside the opening track of his new album.
    "Dramatic story, I liked his last album a lot, although that was quite bizarre, you won’t ever hear that on the radio [well, VPRO radio in Holland played it, and VPRO TV even had a briljant documentary about Frusciante in his darkest days…..den Buck]. John came back from very deep indeed… It’s now more coherent, he’s now in a more healthy state of mind, a real artist"

    Another way to get in a different state of mind is through extreme forms of religion. Tom Waits made a song about religion ‘Chocolat Jezus’.
    "Most people use religion as an alibi for hating each other. How many wars haven’t been fought because of conflicts between different religions? People have been trying for ages to do something about the black /white opinions of the fanatics, but never succeeded. It’s better to be a littIe bit drunk, just like the derwishes, dancing themselves into trance for their beliefs".

    "We are still having the death-penalty in the US. According to some people that’s the will of God. It’s terrible when some people have egos as big as that…"

    Do you consider yourself a leader on stage?
    Watt: "In my own bands, yes, but it is obvious, being the leader you’re not learning everything , that’s one of the reasons I’m playing with J. now, so now J. is the leader for me, although he just wants to play his guitar"
    J.: "I’m glad that I still can play guitar, being a leader doesn’t interest me at all"
    Fugazi – And the same from ‘Margin Walker’.
    What is J.’s opinion about political correctness? Is it importanbt to him?
    J.: "Political messsages aren’t the reason I’m listening to music, I’m more interested in the emotional side of things. I’m not saying that it is bad, the things that Fugazi are doing, they might even be right> I think it is important that people should be more responsible for. Be better human beïngs."

    Thurston Moore – Psychic Hearts
    J. thinks that this is a local band . The lyrics sound quite aggresive, something that doesn’t appeal to J. that much anymore these days, has that ever been otherwise?
    J: "I don’t know, of course you can have a lot of fun, but that is not my priority. As I said I don’t like the combination humour/music. What is important are feelings and emotions, and so on…Even some sad things, I like that in music. I don’t think that will ever change, although the Fog album sounds quite a lot happier than the Dinosaur Jr. stuff"

    Beck – Get Real Paid
    Mascis: "Sorry, no. I don’t like Beck."

    Pere Ubu – Vacuum in my head from ‘Ray gun suitcase’
    Mascis: "I like Pere Ubu, yes…."

    Del The Funky Homosapien with whom he wrote "Missing Link" for the soundtrack of Judgement night.

    Mascis: "That was cool. I even played with him. Last thing I heard from ik Del was a sing from Gorrilaz. He’s rapping with these guys from Blur. Nice video, by the way. I checked it at a gas-station selling cd’s and it really was Del, Del’s on it. Haven’t seen him since our cooperation for Judgement night But it was fun, we’ve even been on TV together."

    Are there any other bands that have influenced J. during the nineties?
    Mascis: "Hard to say, during that period I was too busy doing my own thing. These days I’m more easily influenced. I can’t remember a band that was ‘typical nineties’, we’re still too close to that period too say what was really typical"

    Some other things J. tells me : Buffalo Tom have released a greatest hits-cd, and are touring again, Mascis has produced some Buffalo Tom-stuff. He also likes the new Guided by Voices album, and they are touring as well

    (Stijn Wuytens, credits to Jorg Lambrechts)

    #54883

    SG
    Participant

    J does`nt like Beck.
    LOL

    #54884

    maxini
    Participant

    and LOL at J thinking Thurston was a local Belgium band .. [img]images/smiles/converted/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    Thanks for the translation den buck, enjoyed your comments too [img]images/smiles/converted/smile.gif[/img]

    #54885

    Bucky Ramone
    Participant

    One more remark:

    I think that the guy doing the interview at certain points didn’t know/understand what J. and Watt where talking about, and tried to translate what he thought to be hearing quite literally, some bits of the interview didn’t make that much sense in Dutch…. [img]images/smiles/converted/wink.gif[/img]

    ps. I will post my translation/remarks on the Mike Watt list as well, see if Mr. Watt has something to say about it…..

    #54886

    maxini
    Participant

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by den buck:
    <STRONG>ps. I will post my translation/remarks on the Mike Watt list as well, see if Mr. Watt has something to say about it…..</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Let us know if he does.
    [img]images/smiles/converted/cool.gif[/img]

    #54887

    passion
    Participant

    …I always find what J believes about life – in general – interesting -not only because i like his music- but because of his dealing with feelings…I like emotions …

    #54888

    jasper
    Participant

    Thanks for the translation, den buck. [img]images/smiles/converted/wink.gif[/img] I already had the whole thing translated, but the board wasn’t working properly. I have edited my post now to add the rest of the interview, in case people want to compare translations.

    #54889

    Bucky Ramone
    Participant

    My translation has found it’s way to Mike Watt’s hootpage

    cool!!!!!

    [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]images/smiles/icon_cool.gif[/img] [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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