by Dave Segal
on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM
Mark Arm, in the green shirt and intense eyes.
Seeing Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm pulling records from shelves in Sub Pop's warehouse is akin to finding Iggy Pop at the Jiffy Lube. Really? Arm—one of the catalysts of gr*ng*—has to work a day job? He can't live off the royalties from "Touch Me I'm Sick"? What kind of world is this?
On record and onstage, Arm sounds like one of the most dissatisfied, cantankerous characters ever to expectorate onto a microphone. But gliding around this warehouse and leaning against this table before a Flatron computer (wait, dude doesn't even have his own chair?!), processing orders from music retailers worldwide, he exudes a calm, comfortable acceptance of his role in the universe. Dressed in a forest-green T-shirt emblazoned with no band logos or any design whatsoever and wearing black jeans and sneakers, Sub Pop's warehouse manager looks at least 15 years younger than his actual 50. He has all of his hair, which still hangs lankly, longly, and blondly from his noggin.
If you get near Arm, you'll notice he has the most intense eyes; you feel like if you touched his brow, the radiation from his disdain could incinerate you. But he also possesses one of the broadest smiles I've ever seen and frequently laughs like a champ.
Arm is a guitar-thrashing, larynx-shredding icon of Seattle music, so people probably have grandiose ideas about what his life is like. Maybe this article is a demystification.