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  • #45973

    FlyingCloud
    Participant

    a cool interview with J in an online mag from downunder 8) :!: :mrgreen:
    … about drumming, the damage in Bob’s place :shock: and politics:

    THE ROAD TO J MASCIS

    April 25 2003

    The ex-Dinosaur Jr frontman’s life changed when he picked up a guitar, he tells George Palathingal.

    Play any J Mascis or Dinosaur Jr album and one thing is startlingly obvious. Here’s a man who was born to play the electric guitar.

    Mascis makes his guitar sing – or, more often, howl – and it provides a perfect, surprisingly emotive foil to his cracked, heart-wrenching vocals.

    For someone who started out as a drummer, realising he could play guitar like that must have been a personal epiphany.

    "Well, I played it just because I formed a band and it was, kinda, we needed a guitarist," says Mascis. "I still would rather play drums." Come again?

    "Yeah. I don’t know if I would wanna be in a band playing drums. I like to play drums, but I don’t like to be confined by the songs and have to play it for, like, an hour straight or something.

    "I heard Audioslave and that drummer does no fills [during songs]. To me that would be complete torture. I just like to kind of ‘go off’ on drums. I would like to have another drummer – be rhythm drum and have a lead drum …"

    But you love the guitar, too, right?

    "Yeah … Y’know, it just doesn’t feel as natural or something."

    The indie-rock icon behind the late Dinosaur Jr and his current project, J Mascis + the Fog, is dropping these fan-shocking bombshells from temporary accommodation in his home town of Amherst, Massachusetts.

    "My house was in a fire and there’s a lot of stuff I have to do to sorta get it together," he says in a drawl so laid-back it takes me a moment to register what he’s just said.

    Did you say you were in a fire?

    "Yeah. There was, like, a fire in the kitchen. Me and my girlfriend and my dog – it was at night, but we all were OK, we got out of the house. Yeah, there’s a lot of damage and we can’t live there for a while … [We’re] tryin’ to get it fixed up."

    Time for a holiday in Australia, perhaps?

    "Yeah, I like Australia. I wish I could go scuba diving …"

    Ahem? This is the man who resembles your grannie on Mogadon, asleep, when onstage. It’s a claim almost as suspicious as the PR blurb on the new album. It says Mascis was inspired to write Free So Free on "a special pet and owner skydiving weekend" with his dog, Bob.

    "Um, no, that’s something the biographer wrote – like, made it all up," says Mascis. "Yeah, it’s not my scene really. I don’t like that feeling of falling, you know?"

    Then where did the new ideas come from?

    "A lot of it just kinda came from, like, September 11," he says. "I was in New York then and … just the way the Government kinda reacted and it’s, like, taking freedoms away from people here.

    "It’s feeling kinda claustrophobic. Y’know, how they just, like, take it as an excuse to go crazy."

    And we’re right in the middle of the repercussions.

    "Oh yeah," says Mascis. "It’s amazingly sickening – what went wrong, y’know?

    I don’t even know what they hope to gain. It’s, like, how rich can they become … by destroying the whole world.

    "It’s just amazing how short-sighted it all is. I mean, I don’t understand. The motivation is so bizarre."

    Despite its serious roots and first single Everybody Lets Me Down, Free So Free is a hopeful, uplifting album, refreshingly accessible yet full of those trademark coruscating guitar lines.

    There are a few people credited with playing instruments on the album, but Mascis put it together mostly on his own. Is that because he’s a perfectionist?

    "It’s just ’cause I don’t like to practise particularly," he says. "I don’t like to teach people songs. Not a lot of people live [in Amherst] that wanna play – I have to get people to come in.

    "Some people played on the last album, but … I dunno, it’s equally a daunting task having to teach people songs or practise."

    Let’s recap. Mascis would rather drum – though not in a band – than play guitar; he doesn’t like practising; and he doesn’t like to teach people his songs.

    That could have explained why he’s playing solo at the Gaelic Club, until he said, "It costs too much money to bring [a band] over."

    So what’s his continuing motivation to make guitar-led music?

    "Oh, just to communicate, to express myself. I don’t know what else I’d be doing."

    #93270

    rambleon
    Participant
    Quote:
    I would like to have another drummer – be rhythm drum and have a lead drum …"

    cool 8) i’d like to see + hear that

    #93271

    Robert
    Participant
    "Flying Cloud" wrote:
    "It’s feeling kinda claustrophobic. Y’know, how they just, like, take it as an excuse to go crazy."

    "Oh yeah," says Mascis. "It’s amazingly sickening – what went wrong, y’know?

    I don’t even know what they hope to gain. It’s, like, how rich can they become … by destroying the whole world.

    "It’s just amazing how short-sighted it all is. I mean, I don’t understand. The motivation is so bizarre."

    Right. On. You. Are.

    #93272

    AGAP
    Participant

    Great find, hope to see more of these interviews when J is over in OZ :aliensmile: Fingers crossed we come across a Triple J thrill :mrgreen:

    I love that bit about no fills drumming, how that would be torture for him… :aliensmile:

    #93273

    expect nothing
    Participant

    Thanking You FC for this interview :mrgreen:

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