November 24, 2005 at 12:57 pm #48571
Gotta love the last line of the article…
Junior grows up
J Mascis rides his Dinosaur, again
by Luke Allen Hackney
Talking to Dinosaur Jr. front man J Mascis is as hard as carrying on a conversation with, say, a WWII vet who might not be all there, or a 5-year-old child. Maybe harder.Ã‚ Ã‚ ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not because heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lost or that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an idiot. Hardly. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“not very good at communicating.Ã¢â‚¬? But that defense isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t entirely accurate, given the profound impact early Dinosaur Jr. had on rock Ã¢â‚¬â„¢nÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ roll. Mascis made more than his share of wide-eyed suburban youth want to put the (wah) pedal to the metal. And what he lacked in social skills he made up for in songs like Ã¢â‚¬Å“Freak Scene,Ã¢â‚¬? which bottlenecked teen emotions and frustrations just before (and after) it landed back in 1988. The band single-handedly kicked down the doors for the commercial acceptance of Ã¢â‚¬Å“alternative rock.Ã¢â‚¬?
To coincide with the bandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reunion this year, we got the notoriously interview-shy Mascis on the phone from his home in western Massachusetts to do a bit of Ã¢â‚¬Å“communicatingÃ¢â‚¬? about the bandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s early days, getting their record deal with Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬? punk label, and the 2005 reissues of the bandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first three albums.
Metro Times: WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it like revisiting the old stuff live?
J Mascis: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty cool. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that different, because a lot of the songs IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve played for years. It is nice to play the ones I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. Plus we sound a lot better together now
MT: Better than before? So what was it like back then?
Mascis: Oh, we basically just formed and made a record. People didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand that, and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just put an album out.Ã¢â‚¬? But we did. We didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have time to shape our sound. That didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t come until the second album.
MT: I read somewhere that Mike Watt said your goal at the time was to get a record out on the it record label. Is that true?
Mascis: Yeah, it was our main goal.
Mascis: We loved the bands on the label, and what they were doing.
MT: How did it feel to reach that goal?
Mascis: Great. It allowed us to give up on being a hardcore band. It helped inspire us, and I think we got a lot better.
MT: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good to see the music back in print.
Mascis: Yeah, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cool
MT: There were a lot of sound quality issues that plagued the original records when they got transferred to CD. Did you fix those on the new reissues?
Mascis: Yeah, they sounded bad before. They sound better, and are a lot louder. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bulbs of PassionÃ¢â‚¬? always sounded off, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s much better now.
MT: Do you have any fond memories of recording these records?
Mascis: Oh, yeah, when we were recording the first record [Dinosaur], the guy didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what the hell he was doing, which became apparent. And we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know how to get what we wanted to sound like across, and it became a battle. But I also think that it made the album sound interesting.
MT: Do you have any not-so-fond memories?
Mascis: Oh, yeah, [recording] Bug wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t so much fun, there was a lot of tension.
MT: Do you think that tension is reflected in the music?
Mascis: No, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reflected to me when I listen to it.
MT: How has it been playing together again with Lou Barlow and Murph?
Mascis: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going pretty well. We can appreciate playing together more, and now that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve all done so much, there are plenty of people we can hate more than each other. After all these years, in the grand scheme, LouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that bad.
Monday, Nov. 28, at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First, Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555. With the Scars. 18 & up.
Ã‚November 24, 2005 at 2:06 pm #113061
Ahhh I’m so glad they extended the show–only 7 days to go…
-Ear plugs : check
-Boots or shoes ?: check
-Fear of passing at the border: check
-Dinosaur jr. : Priceless
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)