Jesse Malin
Jesse Malin

Jesse Malin

About Jesse Malin

As part of D Generation, Jesse Malin kept the spirit of the '70s alive during the height of grunge. It was a valiant struggle, earning D Generation a cult following and some positive notices, but the group had difficulty breaking outside of their native New York. Malin did better as a solo artist, realigning himself with the rawer side of Americana in the 2000s, then working as a rock & roll troubadour, bashing out albums and earnest concerts on a regular basis.
Born in Queens on January 26, 1968, Malin began playing guitar, joining the hardcore punk band Heart Attack as a vocalist and guitarist when he was 12 years old. Over the next four years, Heart Attack spit out a single and a pair of EPs, and Malin formed a lasting bond with Danny Sage. The duo formed D Generation in 1991, reviving the sound of '70s sleaze and punk with a special emphasis on the New York Dolls.
Over the course of the '90s, D Generation released three albums, with their major-label pushing the band toward a success that never quite materialized.
Following D Generation's breakup, Malin threw himself into writing songs in the vein of maverick singer/songwriters, looking at the likes of Neil Young and Tom Waits for inspiration. Ryan Adams, who'd recently left his group Whiskeytown and was gaining fame as a singer/songwriter himself, headed into the studio with Malin to produce The Fine Art of Self Destruction, Malin's solo debut. Appearing in the U.K. in October 2002, the record received some buzz, helping its lead single, "Queen of the Underworld," chart; the LP would later receive a nomination for the Shortlist Music Prize. It received stateside release from Artemis Records in January 2003, and Malin supported the record with tours on both sides of the Atlantic. He also began popping up on tribute albums that raised his profile, including contributing a version of "Hungry Heart" to the benefit album Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen. During this busy 2003, Malin and Adams also indulged in a hardcore punk side project called the Finger, recording the album We Are Fuck You.
The Heat, Malin's second album, appeared in June 2004. It didn't make many waves, so he shook things up in 2006, heading to Los Angeles to record his third album, Glitter in the Gutter. Released on Adeline Records, a label run by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, the album featured cameos from Bruce Springsteen and Jakob Dylan.
In 2008, Malin released two albums: Mercury Retrograde, which was recorded with his backing band the Heat, and On Your Sleeve, a collection of covers. The next year, Malin formed the band St. Mark's Social, who released Love It to Life on Side One Dummy in 2010. A D Generation reunion followed in 2011, with the group playing live shows while Malin simultaneously played some solo shows, including a few gigs opening for Guns N' Roses. D Generation suggested they would put out new material, but Malin instead kept releasing solo albums. New York Before the War appeared in March 2015, with the gritty Outsiders arriving that November.
Malin collaborated with his longtime friend Lucinda Williams on Sunset Kids, a 2019 album featuring Williams' production in addition to a couple of her songs. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • HOMETOWN
    Queens, NY
  • BORN
    January 26, 1968