Dinosaur Jr. Delivering New Album, Live DVD
Having reunited last year with its original lineup for the first time since 1989, Dinosaur Jr. is nearly finished with a new studio album. Guitarist J. Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph tracked the as-yet-untitled set at Mascis’ home studio in Amherst, Mass., and are eyeing a spring 2007 release on a label to be announced.
Tracks earmarked to appear on the disc include “By the Fire,” “This Is All I Came To Do,” “Back to Your Heart” and “Stop.” Mascis is in the process of finalizing guitar and vocal parts at present.
“We spent the better part of two years touring together, so we might as well make a record together,” Barlow said “The reunion thing went well, considering we held up and enjoyed it. The new album is just a way of extending it. The band pretty much does one thing at a time. I thought we’d be done after the tour, but then the album magically popped up. We probably won’t do anything else, but then again, we’ll see.”
Barlow says the sound of the new tracks is simpler, but with the definite feel of Dinosaur Jr.’s trademark sound. “Dinosaur is something where the sound just propels us,” Barlow says. “It’s an energy source unto itself. The minute we started playing together, it was like, ‘Oh, there it is.’ It didn’t surprise me though, since I’ve always believed in the quality of J.’s material.”
The band isn’t concerned with living up to the standards of its earlier work, according to Barlow. Instead, Dinosaur Jr. will go right back on the road after the album drops.
“Before we knew what we were doing, I thought, ‘F*ck, we’re going to get crucified,'” he admits. “In the end, though, one thing I’ve learned from touring with J. is that he has a devoted following of fans. I think, at some point, those people that do love your music become the most important. When you’re younger, it seems like you’re more interested in people you haven’t tapped into. But at this point, nothing people can write about us can shock or surprise or disappoint me.”
Also in the works is a Dinosaur Jr. live DVD, due May 8, 2007. Directed by Mascis’ brother-in-law, Phillip Virus, the release will include live performance footage from the first half of the reunion tour, including shows in New York and Boston.
“I haven’t seen it, but I’m kind of terrified because I hate live DVDs,” Barlowsays. “Looking at us playing these old songs, that runs a distant second to seeing us when we were really young and f*cked up and struggling. Some really shaky, old video — I’d rather see that. Seeing us older and more confident and paunchier… I mean, we play the songs well, but so what?”
Dinosaur Jr. is also dealing with the theft of a trailer full of its gear, which went missing in Long Island City, N.Y. Nothing has been recovered, but Barlow says the band has been too busy to dwell on the unfortunate turn of events.
“There’s going to be one major heist in your career and it’s going to be a bummer, so you have to be prepared for it,” he says. “J. had insurance on everything. He took the biggest hit, since he lost all this gear he was comfortable with. But he immediately put himself to the task of getting new sh*t. He didn’t let it get in his way, even though his stuff was worth thousands of dollars. I just lost a bass.”