Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dinosaur Jr. - An Encounter With the Beast: Part Three

Conclusion of a 1989 inter-
view from KCMU's Wire.

***** ***** ***** *****

Click here for part two

Fennessy: I read [a piece with] Thurston Moore saying he thought Bug was better than Daydream Nation. He said this in the same interview where he talked about all these "bugs" that came out in 1988, like your album, then the U-Men had Step on a Bug, and then Das Damen had the song "Bug." I was just wondering why all that happened. Any thoughts on why all of a sudden that was the big thing?

Murph: I don't know.

J: The Harmonic Convergence.

J: I think it was the Harmonic Convergence.

[Ah, the '80s...]

Murph: Mm-hmm. [To me] Do you like Daydream Nation?

Fennessy: I like it a lot. I know a lot of hard-
core Sonic Youth fans who really don't like it.

Murph: Yeah, it's all right. I like their other stuff better... Evol was pretty insane. I thought that was great.

Fennessy: Sister was prob-
ably the first thing I heard.

[On consideration, I think it was actually the "Death Valley '69" EP with Lydia Lunch.]

Murph: We toured with them on our first
tour when they did Evol. It was really hot.

Fennessy: Do you like the Ciccone Youth album?

Murph: Yeah, I like it a lot. I've just heard it rec-
ently. I like it better than Sonic Youth actually.

Fennessy: How about psychedelic-type stuff? Do you get that sort of reference--is that anything that you do on purpose?

J: What are you talking about?

Fennessy: People that describe you as "psychedelic."

Murph: I kind of conceive like if I was on drugs, we might
sound really cool. I don't do drugs anymore, and I especially don't do drugs and listen to us, so I wouldn't know, but there have been people tripping on acid at our shows who are just, "Wow, you guys are totally intense."

Fennessy: [to Steve] :
What was I supposed to ask about the Pixies?

Steve: J played with them.

Fennessy: Did you really?

J: At a party. There was this party where all these bands
recorded at this studio, and I played [on] "Gigantic."

Fennessy: You played guitar?

J: Yeah.

[J has also played drums in Deep Wound, with G.G. Allin,
and in the Allison Anders film Things behind the Sun.]

Fennessy: Who does the cover art for all your albums?

J: Maura Jasper.

Murph: This has been a good interview—believe it or not.

Fennessy: Really?

Murph: Yeah, usually we don't say much.

Fennessy: I haven't done many. I don't know how to...

Murph: But we're just so tired. We're bab-
bling on and on, and you've caught it all!

In any case, Dinosaur Jr. answered some musical questions,
but they preferred to digress into meandering conversations about music other than their own. No real answers as to how these "regular" guys are able to create such an extraordinary noise, but I did learn a few things from this interview: J and Murph aren't half as unfriendly or uncooperative as I'd heard, they don't know much about politics (I'm no expert either), and although they don't reveal much--they're still cool folks. Good enough for me.

Note: All images from the AMG (the late great Naomi Peterson credited for the first). End part three of three. Incidentally, I ran into J at Cellophane Square almost a year after this interview took place. Much had changed since I saw him last. Lou Barlow was out of the band, Don Fleming (the Velvet Monkeys, Gumball) was in, and they were signed to a major label (Warner Brothers). Despite being less than forthcoming when we met in 1989, he seemed genuinely happy to see me, and we had a pleasant chat.

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