Introduction- Heroes and Villains will be a series of articles I plan to randomly submit about the people I admire and the people I disdain. Now, I am a tad bit guilty of thievery here, because the format I will be using is one that any AP History student has cringed at when taking a Richard Metropolis exam. (Their not bad tests, just a little difficult) This week I will begin with none other than, Ian Mackaye. Many of you may not know who he is, but I'd highly recommend everyone to check him out. If you think you are a "punk guru" because you listen to Blink-182 (Not Punk!!!) and own a book about Sid Vicious, well then listen to Minor Threat and get back to me!
Who: Lead singer for Fugazi and Minor Threat and many other bands. Owner of Dischord Records. Currently plays in "The Evens" with his girlfriend Amy Farina.
What: His former band Minor Threat were one of the main proponents in the Hardcore scene of the late seventies and early eighties. Ian's band Fugazi stood as an example of how a band could gain a steady cult following and still remain true to their independent values.(They did not use merchandise and merely charged $5-10 Admission for their shows).
When: 1979- Present
Where: Ian lives in Washington D. C. and runs Dischord Records there as well.
Why: Ian and many of his contemporaries essentially created an alternative universe, existing outside the mainstream, simply to disavow an industry they detested.
The Significance: Ian is an extremely focal, modern artist, who has given so much to the music community, whether it be playing in bands that garnered inspiration for future artists or simply sticking around after every show to chat with anyone that has a question for him. Ian's consistent activism throughout the years is a testament to his dedication. On a final note, In 1999, Fugazi was ranked amongst Vh1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock," they were the only band on the list, whom never had the support of a major label throughout their entire career.