American, b. 1962, Washington D.C.
Interview conducted in Washington, DC on July 7, 2005 for the 2008 documentary film Beautiful Losers.
Ian MacKaye founded Dischord Records as a teenager in 1980 with partner Jeff Nelson. Their original intent was simply to release a single to document their recently defunct band, Teen Idles. However, the label has gone on to release music from more than 60 bands, with more than 160 albums over the last 25 years and counting. As musicians Ian and Jeff went on to form Minor Threat, who along with Bad Brains are credited in the early 80s with introducing the D.C. hardcore ethic to an audience well beyond Washington, D.C. In 1986, Ian formed Fugazi with Joe Lally, Brendan Canty and Guy Picciotto. For over 20 years the band released seven albums and toured the world extensively covering all fifty United States, Europe, Australia, South America, Japan and many points in between.
Where’d you grow up and what was it like?
How have you seen the societal perceptions of punk change since you started until now?
The biggest difference between the music world and the art world is that music is based on selling thousands of records per dollar and an artist will only make 5 things per year.
How do you feel about this group of artists coming from a punk ethic and applying it to this other world, like has happened in music.
What message are you hoping this film will impart?