Pity the poor sod who has to try and coax substantial answers out of J Mascis - in this case Rolling Stone's Kory Grow, who was dispatched to talk to (at?) the Dinosaur Jr frontman about the band's 90s output, which has just been reissued on Cherry Red. I'm not ashamed to dispense with any cooler-than-thou pretence and admit that I love their major-label albums much more than their grittier predecessors, so the interview was of particular personal interest.
As is often the way with artists, Mascis claims that his favourite of the four LPs is the one that is least widely celebrated, 1997's Hand It Over, which "seems to be the one that slipped through the cracks", not least because of a lack of label support. It wouldn't be my pick (that would be 1993's Where You Been) but he's absolutely right that more people should know about it. Just give 'Nothin's Goin' On' a listen and tell me it isn't on a par with anything on Without A Sound - or Where You Been, for that matter.
Credit to Grow for getting plenty more out of Mascis than might be expected - about everything from the breakdown of his relationship with Lou Barlow (now patched up) and the semi-legendary Rollercoaster tour (undertaken with The Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and, er, Blur for company) to the covers of Green Mind and Where You Been (the former a Joseph Szabo photo that Mascis first spotted in a book owned by Kim Gordon, the latter painted by an artist who was compelled to continue painting over his own work).
I didn't expect to ever "hear" him say "I wish cars still had the wood panelling", or that he was aware of Noel Fielding wearing a Without A Sound jumper on The Great British Bake-Off...