J Mascis: ‘Kurt Cobain Asked Me To Join Nirvana… Twice’
As Dinosaur Jr, the elder statesmen of alt-rock, are currently enjoying the benefits of their new album release, I Bet On Sky (and you can read the Tone Deaf verdict here), the band’s frontman J Mascis has revealed some previously little-known information regarding how the band’s own history intertwines with that of another highly influential band.
The singer and guitarist has revealed to SPIN how he was asked by Kurt Cobain to join Nirvana, not just once – but twice.
One time as a guitarist in the late 80s and then a few years later in the early part of the new decade, to fulfil a pre-Dave Grohl drum stool.
“Nirvana was playing Maxwell’s and after the show I was talking to Kurt and [Sonic Youth's] Thurston Moore,” recounts Mascis about the grunge icons’ gig at the New Jersey venue on July 13, 1989.
“Kurt said, ‘you should join my band.’ I think he was sick of the guy Jason [Everman] who was in the band at the time, and thought I should play guitar,” reveals the Dinosaur Jr frontman about Nirvana’s brief guitarist, who is credited on the band’s debut, 1989′s Bleach.
“I didn’t think much about it. Later, there was also talk of playing drums on a single [1990's 'Sliver'] they were doing, but it ended up being [Mudhoney drummer] Dan Peters.”
Obviously the man born Joseph, “J” Mascis Jr. turned the offer down and went on to carve his own path with bandmates Lou Barlow and drummer Murph, who reunited after an extended break back in 2005, and have just released their tenth studio album, the aforementioned I Bet On Sky.
The album demonstrates the trio fizzing with renewed energy, following on from the stick-to-their-guns fuzz rock attitude of 2007′s Beyond and Farm two years later.
“While it’s not an album that should be used to introduce someone to Dinosaur Jr.,” wrote our Tone Deaf reviewer of the new record, “tracks like “I Know It Oh So Well”, “Rude” and album closer “See It On Your Side” make the album worthy of a listen for any long-term fans.”
Meanwhile, Canadian music icon Neil Young also made some recent revelations regarding Nirvana, revealing in his new memoirs that Kurt Cobain’s suicide note – which reference Young’s “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)” – ‘messed’ with Young.
“When he died and left that note, it struck a deep chord inside of me. It fucked with me,” wrote Young.
The same memoirs, entitled Waging Heavy Pace, also reveals that the legendary singer-songwriter had discussions with Apple boss Steve Jobs about getting better audio fidelity that “will force iTunes to be better and to improve quality at a faster pace.”
It’s been almost 20 years since Nirvana’s seminal Nevermind was released, and whaddya know – ‘grunge’ is so hip and cool right now. The Tone Deaf crew remember it all the first time around, so we’re going to whack on our jeans with rips in the knees, fling on a flannie shirt and put on our lace up Doc Martin boots while we relive the best grunge bands of the era. Watch this slideshow »