Ian MacKaye

From Academic Kids

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Ian Mackaye

Ian MacKaye (pronounced Mc-Eye) (b. April 16, 1962) is an American musician, probably best known as the founder and owner of Dischord Records, a Washington, D.C.-based punk rock label, and as the singer for two important punk rock groups: Minor Threat and Fugazi.

MacKaye grew up in the suburbs of D.C. and listened to mainstream hard rock before discovering punk music in 1976 when he saw The Cramps perform at Georgetown University. He was particularly influenced by the D.C. and Californian punk scene. MacKaye looked up to punk icons like Bad Brains and Black Flag and was childhood friends with Henry Garfield (who later changed his name to Henry Rollins).

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Ian MacKaye at the East River Park in NYC on May 21 2005.

MacKaye played bass guitar in The Teen Idles (1979), was the lead singer for Minor Threat (1980) and Embrace (1985), and presently plays guitar and sings with Fugazi (1987) and The Evens. MacKaye has also worked with a few smaller bands on the side over the years, including Egg Hunt, Skewbald/Grand Union, and Pailhead, a collaboration between MacKaye and Al Jourgensen of the industrial band Ministry. He currently sings and plays guitar in the band The Evens with drummer and vocalist Amy Farina of the Warmers. The Evens released their self-titled album in early 2005, breaking a four-year silence by MacKaye.

He is credited with starting the straight edge philosophy and is one of the pioneers of the DIY punk ethic.

Straight Edge

The song "Straight Edge" was written by Ian for his band, Minor Threat and was released in 1980 on Minor Threat's EP, "Out of Step." The song, according to The Manchester Newspaper in 1997, was written as an obituary towards a friend of MacKaye's who died from an overdose of heroin. Ian expressed his pain, anger, and his determination of being clean and pure of any type of drug. It was a song that referenced a life free of smoking, drinking, drug use, and promiscuity. It created an impact on youth culture as Minor Threat gained popularity through numerous live shows and through sales of the song on their EP. Over time, some of the youth culture began to live the way the words MacKaye sung. Soon, many bands began to label themselves straight edge, thus the straight edge movement began.

Quotes

PSF: "How did the idea of 'straight-edge' come about?"

MacKaye: "It was just the title of a song that I wrote. I guess I coined the phrase but certainly never intended to start a movement." [1] (http://www.furious.com/perfect/fugazi.html)

UM: "You may not take responsibility for the "Straight Edge" movement, but you are credited with it. How do you feel about that?"

Ian: "I'm credited because I coined a phrase and wrote a song about it. I'm not going to spend any more energy than I already have explaining that. From the very beginning I've tried to say that this is not my opinion. That whole thing just makes me realize I don't have any control over what people think of me. And I don't really give a fuck." [2] (http://www.unomas.com/features/ianmackaye.html)

External links

nl:Ian MacKaye

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