J. Mascis, a Dinosaur Jr. in his lair
The 90s, the Inrockuptibles had found probably the best term to define the cult band Dinosaur Jr: "The buzzards". Led by the misleadingly lazy militant J. Mascis, the band-sound-track of the disillusioned 90s has since risen to the rank of legend and has become in 20 years one of the bands that is immediately associated with skateboarding - their pieces, the American mag Skateboarder recently recorded, have been used 28 times in original soundtracks of skate films and that's an absolute record!
Venerated as they are prude, the members of the band never open the doors to their universe. Except to very close friends. That was the case in 2009 for the photographer and director Greg Hunt, who went to film the singer J. Mascis at his place, out in Massachusetts, for the film Mind Field, filmed by the skateboard brand Alien Workshop, with whom J. collaborates regularly as a long-time friend of its founders, the artists Mike Hill and Neil Blender. For the magazine, Greg talks about this privileged experience…
Why insert a segment with J. Mascis in Mind Field?
Greg Hunt: It was Mike Hill's idea, the artistic director and Alien Workshop skateboards co-founder, J being a long-time friend of his. Their friendship dates back to the 80s, since the other founder of the "Workshop", Neil Blender, associated the singer to the universe of their brand. On Mind Field, as usual, I had already composed a special piece for our film; Mike Hill thought that including him in person as well would be a good idea. All this happened very fast, we could go to his place and film this section in a few hours.
Did you go to his place with pro skater Omar Salazar and not another pro skater from Alien Workshop?
GH: Because at the beginning, the piece he composed for Mind Field was supposed to be used as an intro to the film, but while we were editing, we realized he'd be better on Omar's section. As a result, it was logical to have the two of them together, skating around his place.
J. Mascis is said to be a little bit unsociable, how did he approach the project?
GH: J is the coolest. We had to break the ice but as soon as he got used to our presence, he totally played the game. He still has a few skateboards at home, there was even one outside his kitchen when we showed up; it's the board he uses to cruise in Amherst, the town he lives in.
It his idea to skate during the film?
GH :Let's say I asked him if he digs it, he nodded but didn't say anything else, at the beginning. A few hours later, he told me "I think I can do a trick, it's called the daffy". That is what we immediately filmed just outside his place. The daffy, it really was his idea!
Interview : Seb Carayol
Photographies : © Greg Hunt - huntfilmwork.com