It is this spirit of openness — taking inspiration from wherever it comes and giving it back — that has always informed Malkmus's music, and his approach to life in general. An individualistic, creative person with a strong inner vision, he takes in new information and incorporates it into an ever-evolving universe of his own imagination, and that's one of the things that has made him not just an interesting artist, but an influential one.

Asked whether he feels that he helped create a new vocabulary for music in the '90s, Malkmus says, "That would be nice. I mean, I have unfortunately gotten stuck on this Jimmy Page open-D tuning. I try to mix it up and try to give myself some new hurdles with tuning, and that keeps it sounding different. I'm not trying to play like Led Zeppelin; we're done with that. I love the way their albums sound and stuff, and their production. I hope I'm more minimal, more like a Lou Reed guitar solo, but also like Jimmy Page and Brian May. I like fucking around."

"It's original," acknowledges Malkmus reluctantly. "You don't want to copy things — though I do copy a lot of things, but I try not to steal that well. But I don't want to sound like too much of a narcissist or something by saying I can't even steal well."

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Chris Vann
Chris Vann

Pavement was the real deal....Back in '93

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