Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions Thrasher interviews J 3/05/03

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    Great article, thanks tons :!:

    We finally have the definitive answer about the whole Uma deal :aliensmile: Gotta love that Murph line, hope he plays again soon.

    Just gonna copy the article here, in case they eventually take down that page…


    The theme of the new album obviously seems to be freedom. What inspired this? I guess just feeling kind of claustrophobic after September 11th. I was in New York then and it seemed like the government is taking it as an excuse to take away a lot of freedoms we have.

    Did you decide to make the last record with the freedom theme before you started to record? No. In the songs freedom just kept popping up in all the lyrics and I decided not to edit it out and went with it.

    What are the pros and cons about touring solo compared to touring with the band? Well, touring solo, everything about it is easier. You don’t have to deal with any other people; I can buzz around on my own and I don’t have to worry about having days off or not, because I don’t have to pay a bunch of people if we have a day off. The down side is it’s harder to play alone, harder to fill up all the space and keep things going. With a band you have a lot more, there’re other people playing and it’s louder. An electric guitar is easier to play then an acoustic.

    Is it more fun recording by yourself or with a band? It depends; it’s more fun to record with people, I guess. A lot of times it’s easier to record alone. I don’t like practicing and teaching people songs and stuff.

    I read that Dinosaur Jr began with you on drums. What’s your relationship to the drums nowadays? I play drums on the last few albums. A lot of times I’ll play bass too. On this last record I didn’t play any keyboards, I don’t think, electric piano. Some people played on the last album. I tried to play keyboards too, but it’s kind of hard for me. I’m not that good at it.

    Do you still like playing the drums a lot? Yeah, the drums are cool. It’s a more primal thing, definitely the most fun instrument to play.

    Do you get asked to play guitar on other people’s projects? Is it something you’re opposed to? I don’t get asked too much to play on other people’s stuff, but I’m usually into it.

    Do you like recording more or playing live? I like playing live more lately. I guess I like both. It’s easier to play live. You have a show, you play the show and then it’s over. Recording could go on forever. You have to kind of limit yourself somehow to get it done.

    What are a few of your most influential albums? I’ve got tons of records. Maybe like the first Stooges album, this album Eater, the album, a ’77 English punk band. I was really into that. Minor Threat, their first two 45s, Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, Birthday Party, Bad Seeds EP. There’re a lot of records.

    Are you working on a Stooges cover band? I’ve been doing some shows with Ron Ashton and Scott Ashton from the Stooges and Mike Watt doing Stooges songs. We’ve done a few shows here and there.

    How’s that? Is it a fun one to do? Yeah, it’s great playing with one of my idols Ron Ashton. I don’t have to sing so it’s easier; kick back and play guitar. I guess Iggy heard about the shows and asked Ron and Scott to play on his new album, so that’s pretty cool.

    Fender or Gibson? Fender Vintage.

    Favorite pedal? Over the years I’ve played a Big Muff a lot. It’s the main pedal I’ve used.

    What’s the one where you play choruses and it loops? That’s called the lo-fi loop junky, it’s made by Z-vex. It’s made playing solo more fun for me.

    What do you think of analog recordings as opposed to digital recordings? I think it still sounds better at this point. Digital still hasn’t really caught up sound-wise. It’s a lot more forgiving. I was recording the other day and things coming back after I recorded onto the tape sounded better. That never happens on digital; it never sounds better when you play it back. It doesn’t help you out at all.

    When writing songs do you usually write the chorus first or the verse? I’m not sure; whatever riffs come out.

    How do you go about picking your song set? I just try and make it flow, the set. I’m not sure exactly how to do it.

    Do you feed off the crowd and what they want to hear? Yeah, sometimes people get into certain songs, especially in different countries. They want to hear one song.

    Outside of music what do you like to do? It takes most of my time thinking about music I guess.

    Are you still into golfing? A little bit, it’s pretty cold right now. I’ve been skiing a little bit, but it’s even too cold to do that right now.

    What are you currently reading or what was the last thing read? I’m not a big reader.

    Where do you get your inspiration when writing songs? I just kind of play guitar and wait for something to come; I’m not sure where it will come from. I just do the lyrics when I sing the song at a certain point in the recording when I want to get it going. I’ll write the lyrics when I need ’em. I don’t sit around writing lyrics otherwise.

    When was the last time you spoke to Neil Blender? I saw him this summer when I played in San Diego. He lives down there now. He’s been skating a lot more, I guess. It kind of got me psyched. That along with the Z-Boys movie, so I started skating a little bit more this summer. I hadn’t done it in a while. They are going to build a concrete park in North Hampton where I live, which is pretty cool.

    I was hoping you could say something about Doug Martsch as an influence or as a fellow musician. He’s great; I really like all his stuff. I saw him a little while ago playing acoustic and I thought it was a really awesome deal; he could really pull it off. He’s really talented. I just like his songs and his guitar playing and everything. They played in this small club in North Hampton a long time ago and I remember that was one of the best shows. It was just a little bar then, and Arthur Lee…those were the best shows that ever played at that place.

    What ever happened to Murph? He’s around; I just talked to him the other day. He’s got an apartment kind of near where I am. He’s kicking around. If anyone needs a drummer, he’s ready.

    Are rumors true that you used to date Uma Thurman? No. She lived near Amherst when she was a kid. Her dad was a professor at Amherst College. I met her a few times; she was a few years younger then me. She was like 15 and this guy was really psyched to drive her around in his car, but he was like 17. We all thought he was a child molester or something.

    Are you planning to record again soon? I got no plans right now; I just did something the other day for a NRBQ tribute album.

    After all these years, what keeps you motivated to keep it going? Just music. I got nothing particularly else to do. I’m just still into playing. -Schmitty


    expect nothing

    Thanks for the article :) it was a great read :)



    i havent seen a thrasher mag in YEARS.

    That is cool they have a website. I should get a new board.



    yepp, that was a nice text.



    I saw Murph play with Don Fleming at a small bar in NYC opening for Bebe Buel, Liv Tyler’s Mom. Its a small world, they are all friends. Like Murph is friends with Evan Dando and he is friends with Liv.



    thanks a lot for the link, the interview is really interesting :D

    And it’s funny to read their Doug Martsch interview: They asked Doug Martsch about the same questions, and among other things they asked Doug what he thinks about J Mascis :P

    I was hoping you could say something about J Mascis as an influence or as a fellow musician. Well when you mention influential albums, You’re Living All Over Me—right now I don’t listen to it, but as far as influencing my entire music career that record rates way up at the top. I think too that he and Brett Nexor from Caustic Resin, they are the two biggest guitar influences for me. They’re people whose styles of improvising lead guitar stuff really made me want to do that or gave me confidence to do that kind of stuff.
    I’m really not that good of a guitar player; I don’t have the chops. You can go into any Guitar Center around the country and go up to some guy and he has better chops than I do for sure. They gave me the idea that it’s about the shapes of things and what you do. You don’t have to hit a lot of notes, you don’t even have to hit it sweetly, sometimes hitting a note really shitty can give the best effect. So he’s a huge influence and in song writing and singing, in a lot of ways he’s really influenced me. I met him a couple of times and he seems like a really nice guy. It’s nice that he’s a nice guy.

    also it’s nice to see tht J appreciates Doug Martsch’s works :mrgreen:



    that was definitely a great read, thanks ! :mrgreen:



    im probably going to sound stupid, but i had no idea J skateboarded…. i looked at some of the other links on the site, and skimmed through the mudhoney interview, and i also had no idea Mark skated…. id like to see some footage of that! 8)


    Pelt Sematary

    I found this part quite interesting:

    "Are you planning to record again soon? I got no plans right now; I just did something the other day for a NRBQ tribute album. "

    I’m not too familiar with the NRBQ, but it seems everybody, from Jad Fair to Yo La Tengo (and obviously to J) seem to like em. Anyhow it’s good to know there’s a Mascis recording On The Way
    All in all the way J comes across in this interview seems to support Doug Martsch’s estimation of J’s niceness factor… :P



    hey Pelt Sematary, thanks for pointing that out :)

    Don’t know much about NRBQ, but of course it whould be interesting to get more info about the NRBQ project that is mentioned here… :? :)


    buckingham rabbit

    NRBQ has a really good song called "ridin’ in my car". one of the best songs about unrequited love ever.

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