Music by VICE

Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis Shows How to Turn a Guitar into a Flamethrower

In this episode of Guitar Moves, Matt Sweeney has the iconic guitar god and songwriter give insights into the "ear bleeding" sound that launched musical genres like grunge and shoegaze.

by Noisey Staff
Nov 28 2017, 6:00pm

J Mascis—who’s fronted Dinosaur Jr. since the band’s 1984 inception and has directed the group through brilliant 11 studio albums—has made a musical world of towering mountains of feedback and distortion and deep valleys of aching melody. His use of the guitar as both a weapon and a hook machine has been the blueprint the past three decades of alternative rock, and his violent use of effects pedals is the stuff of countless gearheads' wet dreams. That sound of technical skills seamlessly blended with equal parts unhinged noise and heart breaking hooks set up the commercial success of bands like Nirvana and the Pixies. In this episode of Guitar Moves, Matt Sweeney has a action packed hang with the guitar wizard—who’s traditionally not super talkative in interviews—and Mascis shines light on the origins of his guitar playing, Dinosaur Jr.’s influential sound, and gives an up close look at some of his favorite guitar moves.