About Fugazi - worldoffugazi.org

[taken from http://www3.mb.sympatico.ca/~johnsont/fugazi/biography.html] Group History- The band Fugazi formed in Washington D.C. in 1987. The band started out as a three piece group, made up of Ian MacKaye on vox and guitar, Joe Lally on the bass, and Brendan Canty on the drums. At first, Fugazi only played Live. They played shows on the coasts of the U.S., as well as in Europe. This was when a roadie/songwriter by the name of Guy Picciotto joined the band. He had been writing songs as he toured with the band. Soon, he was a full-fledged member. Fugazi began attempting some of their live energy in the recording studio. They recorded two E.P.’s in 1988 called ‘Fugazi’ and ‘Margin Walker’. In the following year, Fugazi recorded the ‘3-Song’ Seven-Inch single, and the Repeater album (which is called ‘Repeater + 3 Songs on C.D.). The band’s popularity began to grow in regions outside of D.C.. In 1991, the band released ‘Steady Diet of Nothing’ which covered new ground for the band. They were awarded a WAMMIE (Washington Area Music Association Award) for Best Album and Best Band in their musical genre. This trend has continued almost every year since. In 1993, Fugazi released ‘In on the Kill Taker’ which was named after a mysterious letter that the band found on the ground while they were recording. That letter can be found on the back of the album jacket. Fugazi’s attitude and values had clearly won the hearts of thousands of loyal fans, as well as many other ‘Rock Stars’ (Such as Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, Michael Stipe from R.E.M., Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Keanu Reeves, and countless others). Fugazi were voted as best live band by Rolling Stone Magazine. The band then took some time off, and recorded the album ‘Red Medicine’. This album was applauded by fans and critics alike. Guy claims that this album wasn’t as experimental as people seem to think. He says: “It’s not really an experimental album - we just wanted to feel free to do whatever the fuck we wanted”. This album was definitely more subtle and toned down. Fugazi toured the world in support of their new album. This tour included many first-time stops such as Singapore, Alabama, and New Hampshire. With these two stops in the U.S., that meant that the band had played in every one of the 50 states at least once. There were also some difficulties during this tour. Ian MacKaye came down with pneumonia while touring Australia and the band was forced to postpone shows for the first time in their careers. Brendan Canty and Joe Lally both got married, and Brendan became the first father in the band. Guy Picciotto continued his interest in film making by making a few indie films. But despite all of these apparent distractions, the band celebrated their tenth anniversary by playing in the basement of the same church that they had played in 10 years earlier to the day. In April of 1998, Fugazi released ‘End Hits’. This album continues along the same route as their previous release ‘Red Medicine’, delving into more experimental sounds and rhythms. The title of this album led to a lot of speculation about the band breaking up. This rumor has been extinguished by the band’s comments, and their recent tour. Ian MacKaye commented: “I don’t believe we’d do anything quite as tacky as playing our last tour”. The band continue to tour, although not as extensively, and they still plan on releasing future albums. The band released the ‘Instrument’ documentary video in March of 1999, and a soundtrack to go along with the film in April of 1999. The documentary was a collaboration with Jem Cohen, an indie film-maker who has been a long time friend of the band. The film contains live footage, interviews, and rare behind the scenes footage. The soundtrack contains a lot of demos and unreleased versions of songs, but none of the live material that is on the video. In October of 2001, the band released another full-length album, The Argument, and a C.D./7 inch single Furniture + 2 songs. The band’s integrity and loyalty towards their fans has never wavered. Perhaps this is the reason that the band has managed to keep such an interest from their many fans. Without a doubt, Guy, Ian and the rest of the band have been incredibly helpful, kind, and cooperative in helping us put this page together. Hopefully, they will continue making great music into the next century. Fugazi, The Band- Fugazi’s popularity has stemmed mainly from their live performances. They have gained a loyal and dedicated following by staying true to their original vision, unlike countless other bands of the 80’s and 90’s. Fugazi have remained true to their original vision of making every show an all-ages show. They keep their ticket prices as low as possible, for the most part only charging $5 dollars for a ticket. Ian says that this creates a more honest feel to the performance. He told Spin Magazine: “For five bucks we could suck. Because we are human and we do suck sometimes”. Fugazi also attempt to keep the prices of their C.D.’s low. Over the years, the band has taken many stands against different sectors of the music industry. For example, Fugazi have tried to eliminate moshing from their shows. Ian says: “We play loud, electric guitar music, and you’d hope that that doesn’t mean you have to act like an asshole”. Their loyalty has never waivered, and no, they will NEVER sign to a major label. Ian says: “There are some major labels who are suddenly enamored of us because our name is on a list in some trade publication. Those people I don’t really have much time for because they really don’t have time for me. We’re just not interested. There’s nothing the labels can offer us that would be worth the loss of control over our own music.” They have been offered lucrative contracts many times, but this is something that will never happen. Fugazi, The Name- The name ‘Fugazi’ comes from a book that Ian read called “Nam” by Mark Baker. Ian says: “It’s a book of reflections of Vietnam veterans and at one point, this guy said everything was Fugazi. I looked it up in the glossary and it said, ‘fucked up situation’”. The actual acronym seems to mean “Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In”. Ian Says: “It was right at the point when we were getting ready to do our first show and I was desperately trying to come up with a name, anything other than Ian’s New Band. It was really important for me and the band to not be ‘Ian’s New Band’. We all have an equal sharing part.” Brendan Canty (Drums)- Brendan was born on March 9, 1966, in Teaneck, NJ. He has worked with Guy Picciotto in such bands as Insurrection, Brief Weeds, Rites of Spring, One Last Wish and Happy Go Licky. He joined Fugazi in 1987. Brendan sites Jazz as one of his influences. Brendan is a father. Joe Lally (Bass)- Joe was born on December 3, 1963, in Rockville, MD. Before Fugazi, Joe was in the bands Lunch Box and Pitbull. He also roadies for Beefeater on a tour or two. Joe states his influences as: “the people in my band, Arthur Lee, Scott (Wino) Weinrich of the Obsessed and now Shine, Louis Armstrong, the list is endless I suppose”. When asked why he started playing the bass, Joe said: “A friend from high school (Peter Cortner) and I were at a Minor Threat show and we decided that we’d start a band when he returned from school in New York. He wanted to sing so I said I’d play bass. I always thought I could play bass from listening to Joy Division who had very simple but very effective bass lines. I just went out and bought a bass and amp and cabinet and waited for Peter to come back from school. So we formed a band called Lunch Box. I think our first show was in a friend’s mother’s hair salon. She had an artist’s pictures on the wall and wanted a band for the opening”. Joe runs a small record label of his own that is separate from Dischord. He has also contributed some vocals on the last couple of Fugazi records. Joe was recently married. Ian MacKaye (Vocals + Guitar)- Ian was born on April 16, 1962, in Washington, DC. Ian has three sisters and a brother. He has been in many other groups such as Teen Idles, Slinkees, Embrace, Egghunt, Pailhead and Minor Threat in the mid-1980s. Ian joined Jeff Nelson to form a group called Minor Threat which ended up being one of the most influential punk groups of the 80’s. This group led to the formation of the ‘Straight Edge’ movement due to a song that Ian wrote. Ian said this about the movement: “It was just the title of a song that i wrote. I guess I coined the phrase but certainly never intended to start a movement”. The message in the song has been misinterpreted by a lot of people. Ian recalls: “Minor Threat was a good band and I have no regrets about that band. I also have no regrets about breaking up. I knew right then and there that we could stay together and it would totally undermine the impact of the band. Some people tell me, ‘you should do another show.’ I’m 33. If the four of us got on stage again, it would be a fucking joke. You don’t want to fuck things up; don’t let nostalgia fuck with the memories. Memories are awesome. Things that happened are important, but they’re just there to be fucking thought about. They’re not there to be recreated. They can’t be recreated because the context is so completely different”. Ian is the co-founder of ‘Dischord Records’ which has been a huge influence on the independent record scene for years now. He also has produced albums for many groups such as Lois, Nation of Ulysses, Rites of Spring, Scream, Warmers and Bikini Kill. Ian is a big Jimi Hendrix fan. He has said that his influences are Jimi, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, Ted nugent, Queen, and Cheap Trick. He says that outside of his busy schedule, he enjoys playing cards with his mom, and eating with Joe Lally and his girlfriend Cynthia. Guy Picciotto (Vocals + Guitar)- Guy was born on September 17, 1965, in Washington, DC. If you are wondering about Guy’s background, Guy says that he is “a mixed bag - my first name is french, the last name is sicilian. just a typical american background - usual european mixture. and my dad’s an italian citizen”. Guy played with Brendan Canty in Insurrection, Brief Weeds, Rites of Spring, One Last Wish, and Happy Go Licky before he joined Fugazi in 1987. A 12 song CD by One Last Wish called “1986” is available on Dischord/Peterbilt. ‘One Last Wish’ were a band from 1986 featuring Brendan Canty, Guy Picciotto, Edward Janney and Michael Hampton. Guy says this about his time with the band ‘Insurrection’: “[In the early ’80s] Insurrection played eight or 10 shows around Washington, D.C. We made one demo tape with Ian [MacKaye of Fugazi] – but it got buried by the wishes of the band because it was so terrible. We definitely weren’t ready. We tried to do it and it was a complete disaster. We asked not to receive copies.” Guy is a multi-talented individual. He has been involved in producing such bands as Slant 6 and the Make-Up. He has also had a part in making a couple of indie films called “Please Cry” and “Silly Game”. And to top it all off, he can play the clarinet. Guy says that in his spare time, he likes to go to the Zoo about 4 times a week. He says: “It’s right across the street from my house, and i really like walking around. I just really like it”.