Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis generally lets his guitar do the talking, but in a new interview with Spin’s David Bevan, he opens up about his grunge roots. He specifically recounts being the most popular kid around, to the point that Kurt Cobain and Built To Spill’s Doug Martsch each asked him to join their respective bands:
“Nirvana was playing Maxwell’s and after the show I was talking to Kurt and [Sonic Youth’s] Thurston Moore,” Mascis says, referring to Nirvana’s date at the famed Hoboken, 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. 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.”
And during the recording of Built To Spill’s epic Perfect From Now On, Martsch considered nabbing Mascis to drum, but he concedes he was too nervous. “I didn’t want to be telling J Mascis what to play on drums. I wanted to find someone I felt comfortable really expressing myself with. But there was a moment where he was almost the drummer on that record.”
Somewhere, there’s an alternate timeline where Mascis is the drummer for Nirvana. Does that make Dave Grohl the guitarist for Dinosaur Jr?