WTF Podcast

Episode 448 - Lou Barlow

More than 100 episodes later, indie rock legend Lou Barlow is in the garage for a follow-up to Marc’s talk with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis. Lou gives his side to the initial break-up of Dinosaur Jr and talks about the formation of his other bands, Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion. Lou also gets into some of the roadblocks in his personal life leading up to his latest album. This episode is sponsored by Click on the radio mic and enter WTF to start a no-risk trial.


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Eric December 02, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Marc Maron loves the Mac Man because it’s his name, minus the Rs and the O.

ghostofzuul December 02, 2013 at 10:54 pm

that’s awesome. point, counter-point as it were.

now you just need to track down murph and you’ll have the complete oral history.

thanks marc.


Martín Celis December 03, 2013 at 11:47 am

The first time I got drunk, I got drunk with Dima Drjuchin, the guy responsible for helping me out with illustrations of Marc when I built this site. 9 shots of vodka in, Dima asked me, “Martín, are we gonna die?” “No, Dima, tomorrow we meet our hero.”

We picked ourselves up in the morning, hungover for the first time, determined to meet J at a Tower Records in-store in New York. We expected a mob and found we were the only ones there, literally no one else. Nervous, we approached, and spent some time in silence. Eventually one of us mustered, “What’s J stand for?” “Joseph.” Interview over. (We handed him a demo and like to think he crushed it under his foot as we walked off.)

This talk and the J episode were infinitely better.

No band was a bigger deal to me growing up than Dinosaur Jr, and the same holds true today. I recorded this a couple years back with them in mind. Every now and then a Dinosaur Jr fan will ask me to sell or give them a copy, and that’s the best feeling, so I’ll put it out here now:

Youtube -  Western Holiday


For those in New York, I’ll be opening for Andrew WK (Episode 313) at Santo’s Party House tomorrow, doing some of this:

Youtube -  Shake em’ on down

Thanks, Marc

Sorta Totally December 08, 2013 at 4:42 pm

The new Sebadoh album is their best since Smash Your Head on Punk Rock! so I’m excited for Lou and the guys!!

Good interview Marc.

Good stuff, Martin.

bluwasaabi December 09, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Great interview - fun stuff, life. I was a forensic accountant for a year. Don’t let them in Lou.

badpennysf December 11, 2013 at 4:30 am

I don’t catch my epiphanies on the fly.  I have a really good therapist.  And I never understand when fans write, “Oh, the blah-blah-blah from so-and-so changed my life!”  As Marc himself might say, “What does that even look like?”

Well, here’s an example from this interview with Lou Barlow. 

MM:  So you sort of have that personality… If guys have a certain sort of possession, or charisma, it’s sort like, “Yeah, that guy’s, he’s got something.”
LB:  I follow.  I follow.  I’m a follower.
MM:  I’m not saying that in a bad way.
LB:  No, I’m saying it.  I’m saying literally, I like following people…  If I meet people who are charismatic and who do have a talent, I will find a way to communicate with them and find common ground and see what will happen.  I mean, for the music and obviously personally too ‘cause it all goes hand-in-hand.
MM:  I have that too.  Was your father a charismatic guy?
LB:  He is.
MM:  Yeah, because I find that when I try to track why I will sort of glom on to lunatics or people with charisma, it’s sort of, I’m kind of wire that way.  Because my dad is sort of like, “I am the guy in the middle of the room!  This is my show!”  And there’s some part of me that’s like, “Oh, that’s the guy…”
LB:  Oh, that’s interesting.  I’ve never thought of it that way. 
MM:  Really?
LB:  I’ve never, I’ve always been kind of, I’ve never known what – I love my father – but I’ve never known how he has influenced me exactly.  I mean, I know that I’m not exactly that guy… that you’re describing.  But there are parts of me that are like that, that is a little bit like that.  But I do like charismatic people who know where they’re going.
MM:  Yeah, right.  “That seems like a fun car to be in.  It’ll be easy.”  I’ve noticed that in my life around even street lunatics…  If there’s a guy screaming at something only he can see, he will stop to ask me a question.  I’m like, am I wide open for this shit?  Am I just designed to emotionally, symbiotically connect to anybody who says, “I’m the guy who has the thing!”

Marc gave both Lou Barlow and me an “Aha!” moment.  My father is truly a larger-than-life character and I have struggled with leadership my entire life.  Professionally, I have always been more comfortable following a smart, dynamic leader.  Of course, having grown up this way, it feels like the natural order of things.  (Problems arise when the person in charge is neither smart nor dynamic.)  I possess many of the qualities that are important to leadership but have a really hard time assuming the mantle.  I have really beat myself up about this.  But what Marc said explained so much and made me feel more normal.  I actually felt more relaxed after hearing it. 

I am in the process of starting my own business for which I will have about 12 employees.  Now I have to be that guy!  (Which is going to be a little complicated because I am a woman.)  When I am struggling with that, I will think back to this interview, take a deep breath, and say, “This is my show!”


josh rulz December 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Saw Sebadoh in Tallahassee like 07 - 08

Great show, Lou Barlow was really pissed off cause they’re agent booked them against The Decembrist at a smaller venue , and Lou was talking a little bit of shit at them, riffing at them. Made me happy, i can’t stand that band. and The audience was on board, and booing at the Decembrist!

Eric Gaffney came in and kinda was kinda apologizing for Lou’s bad mood.

Somewhere in the middle of the show Lou’s anger started manifesting into the music and the set got stronger, we got some real fucking punk energy.

That was one of the best shows i’ve seen.

Sean Haggen December 31, 2013 at 12:40 am

I knew Lou Barlow in Boston through my Berklee music days and then again when the women I was living with became best friends with his then girl friend, later wife. She was with out a doubt the nicest person I have ever met and to think that she stayed with Lou this long is just really sad.
The lou I knew then was a self absorbed narcissist posing as a sensitive artist. and his music then and now is a clear reflection of that. Obviously the fact that he dumped his wife and kid after 25 years is verification enough and a clear example of whom Lou Barlow truly values:
Lou Barlow and no body else

Taylor January 31, 2014 at 5:22 am

Loved Lou’s honesty and openess. I tracked with the Dad and divorce discussions. in some way we all deal with the same crap. And those two songs he played on baritone ukulele following thise discussions were unbelievably beautiful.