Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions Smh Interview with J Mascis, March 2001

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    J Mascis Interview


    Jurassic Art

    J. Mascis … chatty? Not exactly
    Loud, not loquacious: that’s Dinosaur Jr guitarist J. Mascis, writes SACHA MOLITORISZ.

    J. Mascis and The Fog

    Where The Metro, 624 George Street, city
    When Friday March 2, doors open at 8pm
    How much $29.50 plus booking fee
    Bookings 9287 2000
    More information Also playing Caringbah Inn on Wednesday

    J. Mascis is a wonderful guitarist. His lead breaks shed sparks as they rise and rise before culminating, usually, in a frantic, finger-twisting climax. That’s one of the identifying characteristics of Dinosaur Jr, the Massachusetts-bred rock act Mascis led from 1983 until their 1997 implosion.

    So, J. (not to be confused with J. Lo, by the way), do you practice the guitar much these days? "No," he says, before pausing long enough for three guitar solos and one verse. "I mean, I practised drums a lot when I was a kid. When you’re young you have more focus to practice an instrument."

    Fair enough. We’ll just have to assume guitar comes naturally to Mascis. Especially given he started out as Dinosaur Jr’s drummer, way back in the days before bassist Lou Barlow left the band to form The Folk Implosion and Sebadoh.

    The six-string fireworks on More Light, the new album marking Mascis’s solo debut, are as spectacular as ever. It is his best album since, ooh, Where You Been in 1993. It ranges from the typically raw Dinosaur Jr sound that helped spawn grunge, to the Beach Boy strains of Waistin, which itself recalls 1997’s gorgeous Take a Run at the Sun, a single written by Mascis for Allison Anders’s Brill Building film, Grace Of My Heart.

    Apart from buzzing with Mascis’s straining, quirky vocals (another identifying characteristic), More Light is sunnier and fresher than many of Mascis’s earlier works. That may have something to do with two impressive collaborators: Bob Pollard, singer of Guided by Voices, who provided backing harmonies on three tracks; and Kevin Shields, former singer of My Bloody Valentine, who turned up at Mascis’s home studio for seven weeks to help with producing, guitar, percussion and singing duties.

    Is Shields a friend? "Yeah, I know his whole family," says Mascis. "I just remember My Bloody Valentine coming to our gigs in England, and then seeing them when they first came to America. They fired their sound man, I remember, so I did the sound for them one night. I think I drove a lot of people out of there, which was exactly what I was supposed to do, to make it as loud as possible." Oh yeah, that’s another Mascis trait: volume. His gigs are notoriously loud.

    "A lot of people are saying More Light doesn’t sound like My Bloody Valentine, but he wasn’t trying to help me make it sound like My Bloody Valentine. He was just helping me make music."

    Mascis is on the phone from Michigan. "We just played with Ron Ashton, who was The Stooges’ guitarist, in Ann Arbor. That’s his home town. He got up on stage and played six Stooges songs with us." Wow, that must have been inspiring. After all, Mascis is a big Stooges fan. "Oh yeah. It was pretty good."

    Touring must allow him to see some wonderful live acts. "Yeah," Mascis says. Does he care to name any standouts he’s seen lately? He doesn’t answer. Slowly the silence grows louder than a Marshall stack cranked up to 10. Eventually he offers: "I’m sure I’ve seen something, but my mind is blank right now."

    That’s another thing about Mascis: he doesn’t say much. Ironic, really, that one of the world’s loudest guitarists is also one of its quietest men.



    Hey Spaceboy,

    That has gotta be the best picture I have seen of Mascis in quite awhile…too cool.
    Great article, although it just about killed
    me when they mentioned the horrifying zombie jlopez…..ahhhhhh.

    Allison [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]



    <BLOCKQUOTE><font>quote:</font><HR>Great article, although it just about killed
    me when they mentioned the horrifying zombie jlopez…..ahhhhhh.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] probably the best description of lopez we’ll ever see on the net!

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