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J Mascis (born Joseph Donald Mascis on December 10 1965) is an Americanmarker musician, perhaps best-known as the singer, guitarist and songwriter for Dinosaur Jr.


Born in Amherst, Massachusettsmarker, the son of an orthodontist, Mascis formed the short-lived hardcore group Deep Wound with Lou Barlow and Scott Helland in the early 1980s. He started out on drums, but moved to guitar when he went on to found Dinosaur Jr. with bassist Barlow and drummer Emmett Jefferson 'Patrick' Murphy (aka 'Murph') in 1984 and achieved national success. His vocals have been described as "Neil Young-like" and his guitar riffs as "monolithic." After Mascis dismissed Barlow from Dinosaur Jr. in 1989, he recorded several more Dinosaur Jr. albums until 1997, including the 1996 acoustic solo album Martin & Me.

As a side-project, he was also the drummer in Bostonmarker doom metal group Upsidedown Cross (featuring Seth Putnam of Anal Cunt infamy), who released a self-titled album on Taang! Records in 1991. He also wrote songs for the film Gas, Food, Lodging, and also made a cameo appearance. In 1996, he had a small part in the movie Grace of my Heart and provided a ballad and a Beach Boys-like song for the soundtrack. He then went on to produce albums with his new band, J Mascis and the Fog, starting in 2000.

In April 2005, Mascis rejoined with Barlow and Murph, as the original trio of Dinosaur Jr., to begin a tour celebrating the re-release of the group's first three albums. They have since released two new albums; Beyond (released in 2007) and Farm (released in 2009).

In August 2005, Mascis released a new solo album under the J Mascis and Friends banner, J and Friends Sing and Chant For Amma, an album of devotional songs dedicated to Hindu religious leader Mata Amritanandamayi, or Ammachi, about whom he had previously written "Ammaring" on the first J Mascis and the Fog album More Light. The proceeds from the album are being donated to Tsunami relief efforts Ammachi's organization is spearheading.

In 2006, Mascis returned to drumming with his newly-formed heavy metal band Witch for their self-titled debut album.

His wife Luisa is from Berlinmarker, Germanymarker. They reside in Amherst, Massachusettsmarker and in September, 2007, they had a baby boy named Rory. Philipp Virus, his brother-in-law, is a German film maker who is currently working on a documentary on J Mascis.

July 2007 saw the release of a signature guitar by Fender, the J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster. The instrument comes in a Purple Sparkle finish and while otherwise visually similar to a standard Jazzmaster, it features a number of modifications J requested such as a tune-o-matic bridge (for improved intonation), a reinforced tremolo arm housing (for higher durability when subjected to repeated heavy bending, which the original Jazzmaster was never designed for), vintage style pickups, jumbo frets, and a satin finished neck and customised wiring.

Guest appearances

  • In 2009 Mascis is seen playing the guitar and riding a skateboard in Alien Workshop's video Mind Field.
  • In 2008, Mascis contributed to The Hold Steady's album, Stay Positive, playing banjo on the song 'Both Crosses'.
  • In 2007 Mascis made an appearance on Thurston Moore's second solo album, Trees Outside the Academy, which was recorded at Mascis' home studio.
  • Also in 2007, Mascis played guitar and sang back-up vocals for Kevin Drew on the song "Backed out on the ...", which appeared on Drew's solo album, Spirit If....
  • In 2006 Mascis added guitar tracks to select songs on The Lemonheads' comeback album, The Lemonheads.
  • In late summer 2005, Mascis helped Danishmarker band Mew by adding vocals to the song "Why Are You Looking Grave?" and backing vocals on "An Envoy to the Open Fields". Both songs can be found on the album And the Glass Handed Kites.
  • In 2002, Mascis went on tour with Cobra Verde when their lead guitarist Derek DePrator left the band.
  • In 1993, Mascis remixed and added vocals to the Breeders' "Do You Love Me Now Jr?" released on the "Divine Hammer" E.P.
  • In 1992, Mascis played bass on the Jad Fair album I Like It When You Smile.
  • In 1988, cameo guitar on Ciccone (Sonic) Youth's "The Whitey Album".
  • Provided the voice of J.J., the pet store employee in the Assy McGee episode "Squirrels" on July 6, 2008.
  • In 1987 J Mascis played lead guitar on the GG Allin record Hated in the Nation.


  1. J FILES: Dinosaur Jr / J Mascis
  2. Biography
  3. The Hold Steady Details 'Positive' 4th Album

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