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Q&A: Ian MacKaye

Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), by his own admission, doesn't do many written interviews, but here he was nice enough to answer some of my dumb questions, and for that I am truly thankful. I mean, seriously ... it's Ian fuckin' MacKaye. Ian, if you see this... if you ever need help moving a couch, or pulling up some weeds or something, let me know. I owe you. Thanks again!


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ian mackaye: a self portrait (photo courtesy of ian mackaye)

Was there a record you listened to as a kid, or maybe even a band you watched live, where afterward you said: “I want to do that!”? when i was around 10 or 11, i was pretty obsessed with woodstock, the triple album (as well as the film). i was blown away by the idea that music could be the point of gathering for so many people.


Growing up, were there any food items you absolutely hated? If so, why? tongue. because it was clearly a tongue that was once in the head of a cow. i ate meat as a kid, but that was a bridge too far.

Did you have a favorite Häagen-Dazs flavor? when i worked at häagen-dazs (and was still eating dairy), i would eat the ‘swiss chocolate almond’ because it seemed more ‘food-like’ than, say, vanilla. this was at a time that i was pretty broke and didn’t have always have money for food.

Do you cook? If so, what’s your go-to meal and/or recipe? for my regular lunch, i make a big fresh salad out of greens and whatever raw vegetables are in season/on sale and sauce it up with nutritional yeast/amino acids/olive oil. bangin’! 

My wife will be going to DC in a month or so. Any food joint, and/or record shop recommendations?  record shops in dc proper: check out red onion, joint custody, som records, and smash. across the river in alexandria, va: crooked beat


Is there a certain photo you’d like me to use, or should I just grab a random one from the web? One last question, if you don’t mind? Is there a band, or artist, you’d recommend to help get us through these uneasy times? 

in terms of bands/artists…. it depends on the listener. i would say whatever band/artist that creates a semblance of balance in the life of the listener is the band/artist they should turn to if they’re feeling uneasy. if cherries bring me joy and oranges bring you joy, my recommendation is that you eat oranges in uneasy times!


here’s a photo… a self-portrait no less!

yours, ian

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