It’s not often you will hear Ian Mackaye (Fugazi/Dischord/The Evens) in conversation head to head with Steve Albini (Big Black/Shellac) but it’s happened on Kreative Kontrol.
In part 1, listen to Albini slag off Rites of Spring, and the influence of Minor Threat on hardcore, punk violence, the Butthole Surfers, one-upmanship, record distribution, explaining Pailhead and how Ian came to work with Al Jourgensen from Ministry (softy dance stuff, ha!) and most importantly, they discuss in detail that ‘In On The Kill Taker’ recording session that never worked for Fugazi that Albini engineered.
In part 2, the pair discuss politics, Sylvester Stallone, the Urban Outfitters/Minor Threat thing, Henry Rollins, communication, anonymity and much, much more.
This is a great chat if you are obsessed by hardcore, make sure you find time to sit down and listen to it properly.
Some clever sod has photoshop skills and has transformed the infamous Glen.E.Friedman front porch shot of Minor Threat at the Dischord House with the heads of Ozzy and co from Black Sabbath. Cheeky, surreal and a must have. Ours arrived within just over a week shipped from the US.
We’ve waited a long time for this one. Crowd-funding for the making of ‘Salad Days’, a look at the incredibly fertile hardcore punk movement that exploded out of Washington DC in the early 80s, first started over four years ago when brief snippets and enticing trailers started to work their way across the internets. And now it’s finally here…
We live in an age now where so many bands, movements and artists are getting to tell their stories in film. Every week there’s a new music documentary to see, a story to tell, but Salad Days is something special. From the very start, the Washington DC punk scene documented itself. More than any other punk scene in the world at that time, the participants took care to photograph, film and record everything that was happening. They knew what they were doing was important and special and wanted it preserved. “I didn’t want to own the scene, I just wanted there to be one,” explains Ian Mackaye, who through his work with Minor Threat, Fugazi, Dischord Records and many more is understandably the lynch pin and constant through the whole movie. So the upshot of this is that there is a wealth of incredible footage in this film. It rushes past, much like the music, in a high-speed, high-energy blur. This is not any easy film to sit still and watch in a cinema, as each band and song crashes by, every moment made me want to leap out of my seat and explode.
Ph: Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat, Wilson Center, DC, 1983 by Jim Saah
Film maker Scott Crawford has done an incredible job of capturing the spirit and energy of the time. Having been involved in the scene in DC from a very young age (he was just 12 when he started going to gigs and making fanzines), he was trusted to tell the story and help the various participants open up.
Running chronologically from when Bad Brains exploded onto the scene and everything went FAST with bands like SOA, Void. Teen idles, Minor Threat, Untouchables, Youth Bridge, to the mid-80s ‘Revolution Summer’ years with Rites Of Spring, Embrace, Gray Matter, Dave Grohl’s first band Mission Impossible. They then move onto the end of the 80s as the alternative rock explosion beckoned, and Grohl, fresh out of Dischord legends Scream propelled Nirvana into the mainstream, bringing Fugazi attention they never expected, Jawbox a major label deal and the rest is history.
There are so many magical moments in ‘Salad Days’ that it’s difficult to know where to start but here’s a few. The footage of Void is utterly off-the-hook insane and demonic, the bit where MacKaye talks about Straight Edge and how he still gets people, to this day, phoning him at the Dischord office and screaming “hey Ian, I’m drunk, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT!!” before slamming the phone down, the self-belief, politics and conviction that run through every band, the thought that they really believed they were making a difference and could change. Subject to change. The realisation of just how young everyone one was when this started…
“Salad days” is a Shakespearean idiomatic expression to refer to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person.”
That says it all.
You can pre-order the film on Vimeo as it will be Video On Demand from August 4th.
Renowned equally for cataloguing and preserving every single piece of memorabilia to do with Dischord, as well as his legendary punk rock status, Ian Mackaye has today unearthed a letter he received from a 14 year-old Dave Grohl.
Pictured above, the note sees a young David reaching out to Mackaye on the whim of ‘Good Thrash’ to ask for a couple of phone numbers and a leg up. Dave tweeted it out to his 2m+ followers last night too.
Look what my hero Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi) just found: a letter I wrote to him when I was 14! Haha! pic.twitter.com/Ak8gxZz5m6
A brand new book covering Washington DC’s infamous hardcore punk scene will be released this June. “Hard Art, D.C. 1979” has been put together by Lucian Perkins who spent 27 years of his life taking photographs for The Washington Post.
His iconic snaps of Minor Threat, Bad Brains and beyond whilst he was an intern there proceeded a career that earned him not one but two Pulitzer Prize’s for his sterling work shooting various wars and conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and much more.
You can pre-order this on through Dischord so you know it is legit for a decent price of $23. It will be a far better choice than the rip off project that the Vinyl Factory are selling to hipsters this month. Make sure you do your homework.
Funny things are a happening in Washington DC right now. Following the news this week that Dag Nasty have reformed (the original ‘Can I Say’ line up), Dischord Records have announced that they have re-issued the original Rites of Spring demos.
All of this has come, no doubt from the forthcoming ‘Salad Days’ documentary that is currently being put together by Scott Crawford in the US, a film neding funding for completion right now but is much anticpated in the hardcore scene.
Dag Nasty will play on 28th December at the Black Cat venue in Washington and the Rites of Spring demos that were released on casette only in 1984 will get its first official release on October 23rd from the Dischord website.
The Groezrock festival in Belguim entertained us this weekend with a bunch of great performances and a multitude of beers and good times. Gallows were there amongst a plethora of other great bands and covered Minor Threat’s Seeing Red song. Watch some video of that here and look out for a full report from this weekend’s fun once the hangovers clear in here.
If you missed our preview covering the 15 bands to look out for then catch up with those here.
Ian Mackaye has ben very active of late with Fugazi. No gigs have been announced though, or even talk of a brand new record, but we hear on the vine of grapes that a Mojo journalist has visited Dischord House in the last 5 weeks for a future feature in the mag, a new book on hardcore is in the works from the same journo and today, music website Kicking Against The Pricks have unleashed a small interview feature with recent words from the Minor Threat singer.
In Sean Caldwell’s own words: “Our discussion centered on independent music and its progress as the scene, technology and means with which information can be distributed have changed.” Click here to read the feature.
Brooklyn hardcore band Cerebral Ballzy have announced a live show at the Barfly in Camden, London for May 7th with Thrush Metal in support. If you like your old school hardcore a la Bad Brains, Adolescents, Black Flag then watch this video and get hyped.
Doors at 8pm -2am with a whole host of guest support acts and DJs planned. Tickets £6 adv from here.