Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis is a famously close-mouthed kind of guy. Sure, the 47-year-old guitar god gave a somewhat revealing interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast several months back, but last year, the six-string virtuoso told SPIN that soloing is his preferred form of self-expression. “Everything is just build-up to the guitar solo,” he said.
Despite his shyness, Mascis recently dropped by Australia’s RocKwiz for a little on-camera Q&A session. Hosted by Julia Zemiro, the hour-long quiz show focuses on rock’n’roll trivia and features a mix of local experts and higher-profile musicians. Before he started playing the game, Mascis answered a few personal questions: What difference does he see between Australia and the U.S. (“Nothing much”); why didn’t he join Nirvana when Kurt Cobain asked him to on two separate occasions (“I’m not sure”); what was the first piece of music he purchased (“I think I bought Beach Boys’ 15 Big Ones,” he recalls, “Not their best record.”).
One question that squeezes a few extra words out of Mascis is how it feels to be ranked as the fifth Greatest Guitarist of All Time by SPIN. “I guess it’s an honor,” the Dino leader says. “But any list that doesn’t have Hendrix as No. 1 is kind of suspect.” Our bad, J.
Watch the full episode of RocKwiz above. Mascis comes in at the 11-minute mark, ready to rip through “Watch the Corners” from last year’s I Bet on Sky.