J Mascis’s signature Jazzmaster adorns the cover of Premier Guitar’s April issue. Inside, there’s a multiple-page feature story and Q&A with the Dinosaur Jr. frontman, who recently released his first ever solo studio album, Several Shades of Why. (Check out our Fender News piece for details behind the acoustic album.)
Here’s a few gear gems from the Premier Guitar article.
On the story behind his first Jazzmaster …
“I got it from a place called Slimy Bob’s Guitar Rip Off shop in Connecticut,” tells Mascis. “He’d always advertise all the stuff he had in the local paper, The Valley Advocate. I wanted to get a Strat and I’d saved up money. There was one for $400 and the store was pretty far away for me — over an hour or an hour-and-a-half drive. When I finally got there, he was like, ‘Oh yeah, the Strat—that’s $450.’ I didn’t have that much, but he had a Jaguar and a Jazzmaster that were cheaper. The Jaguar was $200 and the Jazzmaster was $300. I thought the Jaguar looked cooler, but the neck on the Jazzmaster felt better. It was longer, worn down, and it had the big Grover turning pegs—which somehow impressed me from seeing them on, like, Peter Frampton’s Les Paul or something. They were all crammed in on one side of the Fender. So I went for that one.”
Mascis also reveals that he eventually sold the guitar to the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
As for the Purple Sparkle finish on his Fender signature model, Mascis explained that “It’s just two things that I like together. I like sparkly things from playing drums—they always had blue sparkles or silver sparkles, and I had painted some of my guitars with sparkles. Purple is my favorite color. So it’s a combination I guess.”
PG also asks him about favoring a high action on his guitars.
“Whenever I get the guitars set up, the (repair) guys are always like, ‘We can fix the action,’ but I always like the action super high—just so I can bend the strings, I guess,” he explains. “Jumbo frets also seem easier for me. I always use new strings and they’re pretty slippery. If I didn’t use new strings, they’d break a lot. So I change them every day.”
Click here for the full interview.