Freak scene

The ongoing saga of Dinosaur Jr.
By MATT ASHARE  |  October 23, 2007

VIDEO: Dinosaur Jr., "Been There All The Time"

It’s been more than a year since Dinosaur Jr. — the original line-up of singer/guitarist J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow, and drummer Murph — announced they’d be re-forming for the first time since Mascis kicked Barlow out of the band in 1989. Given the openly aired animosity that persisted in the wake of Barlow’s firing, it hardly seemed likely the reunion would last. But with Merge reissuing the band’s first three albums last year, and Dino entering the studio to record a new one, Beyond, there’s been more than enough interest to keep the reunited outfit busy. Maybe it helps that Barlow, who went on to have his own success as the leader of Sebadoh and the Folk Implosion, lives in LA whereas Mascis and Murph have remained in the Northampton/Amherst area. Or maybe Mascis has just mellowed with age. With the band set to play a two-night stand at the Paradise on November 23 and 24, I checked in on him at his Amherst home. . . .

Did you have any idea the reunion would last this long?
Yeah, I guess it’s gone on longer than I thought it would.

So what did you anticipate?
I don’t know. Not much. It seemed like we’d do a few gigs and they’d seem to go all right so we’d do a few more gigs, and it just sorta went on and on like that. There wasn’t any plan.

Is this current round of touring the last?
I don’t know.

Do you guys talk about it?
No. Not really. We have a gig in England in May of next year, and we might go to Japan or something.

How often do you see each other?
Well, I mean, we saw each other all summer, so . . .

Okay, what’s the last time you were all in the same room together?
I guess when we played Conan. I’m not sure when that was. Or, maybe, then we played in Portland, Oregon. So our last show was in Portland, Oregon, in September. It was the beginning of September — September 15 or something.

Do you talk to Lou regularly?

So that's all done through management?
Yeah, mostly.

Have the two of you buried the hatchet, so to speak?
Uh, haven’t really thought about it too much.

I remember you saying that Lou never talked much in the early days of the band, and when he did start talking, you didn’t like him very much. Do you remember saying that?
Yeah, I said that.

Do you still feel that way?
I mean, yeah, that’s what happened back then.

Have things changed?
I still liked him better when he didn’t talk. Murph’s always talking now when we’re all together in the room. He’s always been an important part of the equation.

Do you have plans to do any more recording?
No plans.

Are you doing anything outside of Dinosaur Jr.?
Oh sure, I mean, I was trying to record with this other band I was in, Witch. We were trying to do something in the studio this month or next month. It’s not very similar to Dinosaur Jr. I play drums. We have one album already. And I just played drums on another record by MV & EE with the Golden Road. It’s on Ecstatic Peace.

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Related: Unextinct, Good vibrations, Boston music news: June 1, 2007, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Lou Barlow, Dinosaur Jr., Thurston Moore,  More more >
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