J Mascis is probably best known as the frontman of the highly influential indie rock trio Dinosaur Jr. With acclaimed LPs like 1987's "You're Living All Over Me" and 1988's "Bug," the group emerged among the most highly regarded in alternative rock history, with Mascis' brilliant volume-infused guitar heroics becoming a primary influence on the burgeoning grunge movement. Mascis was also credited by many for single-handedly bringing back the guitar solo to underground and indie rock. By reintroducing volume and attack in his songs Mascis shed the strict limitations of early eighties hardcore and practically reinvented punk rock in the process. Mascis' body of work continues to inspire a generation of guitar players and songwriters today.
In 1991, Dinosaur Jr. disbanded and Mascis released "More Light," his first recording under the moniker J Mascis + The Fog. With its revolving line-up of stellar musicians J Mascis + The Fog continues to churn out new material and tour. Members and collaborators of The Fog have included Mike Watt (Minutemen / fIREHOSE), Ron Asheton (The Stooges), Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices), Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) Dave Schools (Stockholm Syndrome/Widespread Panic) and Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk). Aside from his work with The Fog, Mascis also finds himself behind the drums in the band Witch, and most recently playing guitar with garage rockers Sweet Apple. He is also known to perform solo acoustic shows, proving that there are truly no limitations to his abilities. Fans of Mascis' huge guitar wails will not be disappointed by his intimate acoustic performances as he always brings plenty of pedals to pepper the sets with the solos he's best known for.
In addition to his own work, Mascis has been heavily involved behind the scenes, appearing on, producing and mixing records for a string of highly regarded acts including fIREHOSE, Tad, Buffalo Tom, Beachwood Sparks, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and The Breeders. Mascis has also composed music for film and has occasionally appeared in films such as Allison Anders' critically acclaimed "Gas Food Lodging."
When the original lineup of Mascis, Lou Barlow on bass and drummer Murph re-formed in 2005 for select live dates it was apparent that the years apart had not eroded any of their vitality. The first album of new material from the trio, 2007's "Beyond," made old ears perk up and new ears take notice. In 2009, the band released "Farm," Dinosaur Jr.'s first double LP and fifth full-length studio album by the original lineup, which showcased one of America's greatest living rock bands hitting their stride.
Sub Pop Records released Mascis' debut solo acoustic album, "Several Shades of Why," on March 15, 2011.