J Mascis’s career has been fairly consistent. Even during the time Dinosaur Jr. had disbanded, he kept busy with his solo project, making sure that every couple of years we got a fresh dose of yearning-to-connect vocals and brontosaurus-sized fuzz-guitar. His long-suffering publicists have also made sure that we’ve had a steady supply of stilted, strained interviews. Because you demanded it, faithful reader, here’s Five More Awkward J Mascis Interviews. And before you asked, we searched high and low for that infamous Kennedy MTV debacle, but alas we could not find a working video. (Have one? Drop it in the comments section.) But fear not, there’s still plenty of uncomfortable chats to relive.
1. The one in which Mascis wears a ‘Big Bertha” golf visor, oversize sunglasses, purple suede Pumas and an ill-fitting, navy wool 42-long into a Brooks Brothers. Man, Without A Sound really was a big album for these guys, wasn’t it? This 1994 Entertainment Weekly piece had many of the hallmark of a Mascis feature, plenty of references to his poor interviewing skills, lots of outside quotes and as little from the subject’s own mouth as possible. But when it came time actually to use quotes from the “assiduously unkempt frontman,” it was nothing less than pure, wonderful Mascis.
”I,” he mumbles in his famously sleepy drawl, ”am not usually too enthusiastic.”
2. The one where we learn that Mascis likes the crowd to match his energy level. It’s good to see these guys getting along so well in this Mania TV interview. Murph and Lou do most of the heavy lifting here, but Mascis does chime in with his opinion about the Live In The Middle East DVD they were promoting. “I like it because the crowd’s not too enthusiastic.” J Mascis, enemy of enthusiasm.
Also: confirmation that Mascis’s furniture is all purple, which we’ve always kind of assumed. Why hasn’t this guy worked with Prince already?
3. The one where Ted Leo tries his best. A chat with SOTC hero Ted Leo, who gives it his all for this IFC SXSW interview series. As always, Mascis’s most enthused answers are the “sure” and “uh….”
4. The One In Which We Learn How Many Stuffed Animals J Owns. In this 120 Minutes clip, Dave Kendall (wearing an EMF shirt!) grills Mascis about “destroying” The Cure, his stuffed animals collection and the Lou Barlow situation. He then gives his viewers a number they can call to audition to join the band. Given Mascis’ enthusiasm about the situation, we can only assume they had to add multiple phone lines to handle all the responses.
5. The One Where We Hear About J’s Wad. Uhm, we’re not sure how to preface this one. You should just click on it.
Our first set of Awesomely Awkward J Mascis Interviews. Mascis’s new solo album Several Shades Of Why is available now through Sub Pop.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 4, 2011