Ian Mackaye Says

Marisa Demarco
2 min read
Ian MacKaye Says
(from Monochrom.at)
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Though I cringe at the title “The Margin Walker,” this is a great interview with MacKaye of Minor Threat, Fugazi and now The Evens.

On transmitting:

“You can’t control music, anyway. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. I can’t tell you what my songs mean. You decide what they mean to you. I’m responsible for the transmission, but the reception is entirely up to you.”

Damn straight! I especially like the bit about “I’m responsible for the transmission.” It erases the tendency toward “It’s all up to the audience. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about clarity.”

On bait:

“And at some point, music got perverted. It became entertainment. It became a way for businesspeople to get an audience in. It became the bait instead of the actual reward.”

Strong concept. The reward you get for enduring this, is more of this.

On punk:

“I think of punk as a free space—it is the free space. It’s a place in music where new ideas are presented. That’s what it means. So, I can’t acknowledge or accept that a punk band can be on a major label. To my mind, by definition, that’s antithetical.”

So if you’re a throwback punk band—not on a major label but not presenting any truly new ideas—are you still punk? Can anything “old-skool” be punk? Maybe I’m just warping this with my anti-nostalgia stance.

Read the whole interview. There’s good stuff in there about fatherhood and the commercialization of children’s products and imagination.
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