Personally, the only hardcore band that ever mattered. They spawned the notion of straight edge, before it ran away from them like a spoiled child. This helped me see the overall pattern of subcultures, whether it's punk, subpunk, techno, hardcore-whatever, riot grrl, etc. When a successful meme captures hosts, it's a runaway train, and there's nothing you can do about it. Several things come to mind when I think of Minor Threat. How YOUNG they seemed to be. Brian Baker (moving on to Dag Nasty, Junkyard (a bad metal l.a. band) and now of Bad Religion) was a nerdy 15. They looked frail. This wasn't muscle-beach Black Flag. This was Instant identification with thousands of geeky youth living in the burbs. The song _Straight Edge_ had a life of its own. Ian McKaye went onto bigger and better and even more politically preachy kind of endeavors like Fugazi. The DIY ethic of the eighties in full force. Dischord records moves millions by now, I'm sure. The initial feeling I think, is universal: These guys can put out records and tour, and so can I. Which, of course, triggered an on-slaught of "whatever" bands that did put out records and tour because, well...they could. More record buying, more collecting, more crash pads, more networks, more travel, more fights, more breakups, more scene implosion. This whole system of course is not solely because of the band, but they captured the feeling the best, at least in their 2 minute songs. Musically? polka-core, with gusto. :) - @Om* 1/22/00
Members: 1980 - fall of 1983
I always tell people, music is a form of communication that predates language, straight up. It's been around forever. And it wasn't until about the turn of the century that they figured out a way to bottle the water, you know? Before that, music was a river. It was a river and everyone could sip from that river. But then someone came along with the idea that, "Hey, we can bottle this, and we can sell this water." And people were like, "Well, that's kind of cool, that's convenient, because I can take it home with me, or I can put it in my pocket and take it on a walk and have something to drink," which is fine. That's a reasonable industry, to go ahead and put some water in a bottle and sell it. That's fine. But the problem is when they start trying to discourage people from going to the river, or trying to close the river, or even worse, poison the river -- then it's not all right. Then it stinks.
And, for me, music is not an industry. Music is not even entertainment. Music is not just a soundtrack. Music is part of life. It is a straight-up form of communication, and it resides in every person in the world. And that's where I'm coming from in terms of music. That's exactly the world that I want to be… that's what I want to lean toward. It's sort of like clothes -- you live in a cold climate in a country that has these kinds of laws that you have to wear pants all the time, but basically, they're fairly artificial, they're a bizarre thing when you think about it. If you think about it, the whole deal is weird -- why does everyone have to wear clothes all the time? But that's the context in which I exist. I can appreciate [it] and I can go on with that. At the same time, when it comes to music, there are certain elements of what we do with music that are just distasteful. If people see music as just a living, they're just screwed. They're just gonna make something that's not music, in my opinion. But there are plenty of other people out there who are making incredible music who are not even thinking about money, and that's really where you're gonna find all the new ideas. It's always in the free space.
- Ian MacKaye - interview with Mike Watt of Minutemen/fIREHOSE
Chuck Dukowski from Black Flag said that he'd rather work a day job for the rest of his life than be dependent on his music for his living. That was in a _Damaged_ magazine article called "Apocalypse Now". That quote fucking blew me away. It hit me exactly where I lived.
- Ian MacKaye - interview (2001)
hacker - MINOR THREAT (1972-Present)- Former member of Public Enemy (the hacker group, not the band). Co-programmer of ToneLoc (with Mucho Maas), which he began in 1990. Available at email@example.com. [Handle comes from the name of an early 1980s DC hardcore punk band.]