from Ink Disease #10
Whaddya do ta get an interview with this guy? I had read many a Minor Threat interview in the past, however that was the past and now heís simply Ian MacKaye... well not quite. He still has got more going than meets the mortal eye. Which includes a new band (Embrace) and running a record label thatís undergoing many changes. Our attempts to conduct the interview via the U.S. Postal Service and by phone were denied. This left us the option of yelling the questions at him from L.A. to D.C. or putting our asses on an Amtrak and doing it in person. Who ever said Ink Disease lacks dedication? The interview was conducted at the Dischord halfway house between the hours of 1 and 6 in the morning (when the mind is most clear). Present were Mr. MacKaye, Amy, Mark (a.k.a. Garlic Man and former member of the Slinkees and currently an electrician), various individuals from Rites of Spring, Beefeater, Embrace and other notables from the D.C. populace. On our behalf is Thomas, with little help from Steve and no help from Joe. Let part one begin...
Ian: Tonight all these big drunk punk dudes come up to me. They go, ďI heard about your new band. Youíre playing at Sullivan Theatre.Ē I go, ďNo, weíre not going to play.Ē Then he goes, ďOh, fuck man. I canít wait to see your new band. I thought you did good stuff with Minor Threat. Whatís your new band like?Ē I go, ďWeíre really wimpy and we suck.Ē He goes, ďWhat!Ē ďItís really wimpy and we suck.Ē He goes, ďOkayĒ (and leaves). I told four or five people that tonight. Thatís my new line, if they ask me. They look at me like Iím out of my fucking mind.
Mark: Itís cool.
Ian: So, I told this guy... He goes, ďWho else is in the band?Ē I go, ďFaith.Ē He goes, ďOh wow! Thatís crazy. You just like play Faith records and sing over them.Ē What an idiot, man. This girl came up to me... She walks up and sheís smoking a cigarette. She goes, ďAre you like... Minor Threat?Ē I go. ďYeah.Ē She goes "Are you Ian?Ē I go "Yeah." "Could you sign my jacket?Ē and she gives me a magic marker. She has this brand new green fatigue thing. I write real big, ďCigarettes are not good, signed Ian.Ē She was like, ďWhat does it say?Ē I go, ďCigarettes are not good.Ē She goes, ďHuh.Ē I go, ďCigarettes are not good for you. You look stupid smoking that." She goes, "Yeah, yeah, right." and puts it out. ďThatís the last one.Ē (Everyone laughs) As far as Embrace, weíve only played two shows. Itís Ivar, Mike, and Chris.
ID: Do you want to say anything Ivar?
Ivar: Itís definitely worth leaving school for.
ID: Whoís the most famous person in this room? Whoís the most talented person in this room?
Mark: My penis can sing.
ID: Are you a lot more political now? It seems like you werenít at all? (laughter)
Ian: No. Weíve always been fairly concerned about the world, if you look at Embrace lyrics theyíre not fairly political. But as far as actively being involved or something, yeah.
ID: So, itís not a change?
Ian: No. Maybe weíre a little more socially aware but it seems like the natural progression. As we start out itís a big fight against our own little world and (then) realizing it (the whole world) sort of follows the same rule anyways. We sort of strike out against whatever we think we see (that) is wrong. I think (itís) also the fact that weíre all getting older too. Itís not just high school, and stuff like that. You know youíre supposed to be bummed about kids, school, parents and stuff.
Ivar: Itís like in ďNo More PainĒ (an Embrace song) you address a lot more stuff that you want to stop.
Ian: Itís all political anyway. Thatís the whole emotion/political thing. Itís all concurrent. What you do between two people and two countries is basically the same. It all pertains in that sense. Another way of saying you butt fuck a person is saying another country butt fucks another country. Youíve got to get your own shit together. Itís the same old story Iíve been telling you all along.
ID: How about your parents, what do they think about all this?
Ian: My parents are good people. Thereís no one in this room who will deny that except Tomas, of course.
Mark: Your mom tried to poison you once with a cheese sandwich.
Ian: My parents, they think itís great. They think Iíve done a lot. My dad and I were just talking about this the other day. All my sisters and brothers have done pretty weird things. My dad said, ďWhat are you going to do?Ē I said, ďWait a minute. What are you talking about, ĎWhat are you going to do?íĒ I said, ďWhat have I already done?Ē I think heís happy. When you think about it some people have children that just get out of college and some parents have a record conglomerate mogul. A pop star. They dig it a lot. Especially just because of the principles. They think itís real healthy. I think itís totally healthy. The healthiest thing I could do.
ID: What kind of background did they come from?
Ian: Theyíre both only children... ďWhat kind of background?Ē My dad was raised all over the East Coast.
ID: What era are they from?
Ian: Well theyíre fifty now. So...
ID: What do they do?
Ian: Now? My dad works at the Post (Washington Post that is). My mom works as a freelance writer. Sheís trying to write a book right now. Both my grandparents on my dadís side are writers. (Tomas: I like writers) My grandmother on my mom's side was a writer and my grandfather on my mom's side was a sports writer.
ID: Did you do anything when you were a kid to lead to this?
Ian: I was in plays. I read lots of poetry when I was little. Iíve played piano my whole life too, so...
ID: Have you thought of doing anything on piano?
Ian: Iím pretty touchy about that because I consider that to be a very personal instrument.
ID: Do you write songs on the piano?
Ian: Yeah, Iíve written a few. I wrote ďStand UpĒ on the piano. What else did I write on that? All that stuff... ďOut of Step,Ē the beginning of ďLook Back and LaughĒ and that ďNo Place Like HomeĒ thing. (he hums the melody) Yeah. I write a lot of stuff but Iím pretty touchy about using it for recording. I donít want to just use it for punk rock or rock ní roll. Iíd rather use it for something that Iím really into and I may, who knows. I may use it in the new band. Iím pretty into the new band as it is. I donít like bands with keyboards that much. I just like piano. Keyboards really stink, at least the way I feel about it. My personal opinion.
Ivar: I always feel sorry for the piano player of the band because usually you canít hear him anyway. Give him a solo. Let him be heard, (and) appreciated.
Amy Pickering (Does the Dischord mail and has a great voice. Just listen to the Beefeater album): How long have you been together?
Ian: Letís see. Minor Threat broke up in November Ď83.
Amy: So, where does your name come from?
Ian: Chris made it up. Itís about a... I donít feel I should be doing an Embrace interview (without all the members here).
Ivar: I think the biggest thing this band wants to do is not be Ian and the Faith or Ianís new back up band. Itís really just a new group and we want to do something different. We want to do something and not have the past so much be the focal point or the centerpiece. Not that weíre not proud of what we did but just in the sense that we want to have that as an asset...
Ian: What Iím talking about is I just feel weird without Mike and Chris. As far as how we got the name. Thatís Chrisí name and Mike is a big part of the band. All four of us are a big part of the band. You donít ask any more questions. You ask lousy fucking questions.
Amy: I just got an idea.
Ian: Ask questions I can answer. Or Ivar can answer. Ivar was in S.O.A.
Ivar: Three months.
ID: What do you guys think about the way Henry (Rollins) has changed?
Ian: Henryís my best friend. Iím sure heís made a lot of enemies but I guess thatís part of his thing. If people donít like it thatís too bad. I think heís a really good person at heart. I think what he does he does good and I dig a lot of it. I dig a lot of his reading too. Iím obviously biased, itís an unfair question. He and I have known each other for about twelve years or something, so itís kind of ridiculous for me to answer and put it in any kind of perspective other than the fact that he uses negative force. I support everything he does pretty much.
Ivar: Heís somebody whoís really gone out and done what he wanted do and not a lot of people do that. He started his own band, S.O.A. Then Black Flag came along, boom he does that. He isnít stuck with that. He wanted to go out and do readings. So he did.
Ian: As much shit as people give him about doing poetry and stuff, the fact of the matter is the guy did it. He wanted to do it and he did it. He fucking does it whether you like it or not and heís put out his own books. Heís fucking worked his butt off on it. Itís exactly the same motivation that made us form bands in the first place. A lot of people thought we were stupid for forming punk bands and being punks. Fucking, we just did it because itís what we wanted to do. Theyíve not got a right to hold us back, really. So, itís the same trip, I expect. I donít live In L.A. so I donít have the same thing. He comes home four times a year and itís always great to see him. We always have a great time, because this is his home. We spend many hours together and I donít even talk to him that much but when he comes home itís like he never even left, usually. Heís a good friend, I always wish him the best of everything.
ID: Where does youíre motivation come from, for writing songs and stuff like that? Is it anger or...?
Ian: Itís hard to explain. I feel sick to my stomach usually. Thatís what makes me want to write songs. Itís just the interaction between people. It just makes me so... The core of my heart just so nauseated that it makes me want to fucking throw up. I canít explain what it is. It just makes me so depressed. I see these people just totally mistreating other people or animals or themselves for that matter. I get so angry, I think it must be anger. I donít know. Itís anger but at the same time itís a desire to change. A desire to speak out against it, you know. I donít know where the inspiration comes from really. Itís just either Iím angry or see things I donít like and I want to change them and I sing about them. Somehow when I sing about them it seems to communicate the thing fairly well. Iím lucky, knock on wood (he knocks on wood) Iíll continue to do that.
ID: Is there any misconceptions about what some of your songs are about? Are there certain songs that were about certain things?
Ian: All our songs, when they started, were initially about one thing. Then after the first sentence they were about three things. Then by the third sentence they were about a thousand things. Actually, now I donít remember what, (on) a lot of them, the initial thought was. As far as being misinterpreted I donít think anyone can really read it and get the same feeling I had when I wrote the songs. But I think they interpret them and what they get out of them is genuine enough and close enough to the concept that itís not really being misinterpreted. The only thing I can think of that got really misinterpreted was the ďOut of StepĒ thing. They thought I was saying ďDonít do that, donít do that, donít do that,Ē when in fact I was saying ďI donít do it.Ē That and also ďGuilty of Being White.Ē A lot of people thought that was a racist song when in fact it was an anti-racist song. Anything else?
Tomas: ďYellow brick road,Ē or whatever it was called.
Ian: Oh, ďCashing in.Ē Iíve actually gotten letters from people saying they ďCanít believe itÖĒ The guy goes, ďI just want to let you know I finally figured out what youíre saying in that song. I think youíre fucked, man. You guys knew it all along and you were just singing about it and taunting people.Ē Telling me, ďYou planned to cash in.Ē When in fact thatís almost written to people here in Washington. When we reformed there was a totally weird feeling about it. ďWe were just cashing in,Ē It really hurt my feelings a lot. D.C.óI love it here, (and) I did all I could. It was a totally understandable situation but at the same time I felt like, ďFuck man, Iíve done so much with the label and the bands. Youíve done everything you can to keep shows going and support bands here, and just because my band reforms, just because Minor Threat... We got so much fucking shit for that. So the first song we played when we got back together was that song ďCashing In,Ē where we threw quarters out in the audience. We threw like about twenty bucks. It was a funny show. Do you remember that gig?
Guy: Yeah. I was out in front of the show and you came out and tossed money at me and boy was I mad.
Brendan: I was really mad at Lyle and Brian for throwing coins at us.
Ian: We were getting utter shit from people. I read my journal back then and it is like the most ugly entry of my life. I was so fucking pissed off. I remember this one fucking person saying to me, ďYouíre just going to get all the fucking shows now, itís bullshit.Ē Iím going like, ďThe whole point is if we get more shows, at least weíll have more shows. Weíll have more bands play.Ē It makes total sense to me. Then that fucking article, man. That was really nasty. She fucking laid into me saying. ďIanís going back on his word.Ē
Guy: Itís such a weird thing. I mean, how big did they think you could sell out at the time?
Ian: I donít know. When you think about it when we got back together we were nothing compared to what we became.
Guy: It wasnít like you were going to be selling millions of dollars worth of records at that point anyway.
Ivar: You only had two singles out.
Ian: We broke up because Lyle went to college. Then one day I was thinking about it and I saw Lyle in Georgetown. I said. ďI was thinking about Minor Threat and how much I miss it.Ē He said. ďYeah, Iíd like to drop out of school and reform,Ē I said, ďYeah, but Brianís in the G.I.s.Ē Then Brian called me up the next day or that night and goes. ďHey, you know Iíve been thinking Iíll quit the G.I.ís. I wish Minor Threat would get back together.Ē It was a conspiracy. Maybe them other three guys figured it out or something. It sounded like, to me, everyone all at the same time. So, it seemed like it was totally correct. It was so weird because all of a sudden it was actually happening. We were back together. (There were) really bad vibes practicing downstairs with Eddie up here. Then we came back from the first tour and bent edge just started, yuck! The band went on and we just got bigger and bigger. It got totally bizarre and it really hurt me bad. I donít really understand the whole thing anyway, itís bizarre to think Iím some big fucking celebrity because I donít believe I am at all.
Tomas: You donít mind if we think that?
Ian: Well, you obviously donít.
ID: Do you have any goal with the band? Like to unify the scene?
Ian: Thereís just too many people.
Ivar: This is just like a segment of it. If you went to the show tonight (the D.O.A. show), there were like three hundred people and you donít know any of them.
Ian: They are all sieg-heiling and just doing idiotic bullshit. The entire punk scene is just mostly shit, I think.
Guy: But this scene is hot.
Ian: The scene within the scene. Not only here but Iím sure all over the country. There is good and healthy stuff going on and to me itís the same thing Iíve been involved with since day one. The same thing Iíll be involved with to day last. As far as actually doing something right now, the people involved, the decision I made in my own life and stuff like that I feel so much more optimistic about it. I feel there is so much more that needs to be done and there is so much more that could be done. Even more than just with Minor Threat. The farther I get from Minor Threat the more I see other bands who are sort of in the same position we were. I started to see... Not flaws but just inconsistencies and stuff like that with attitude and principals versus the reality of rock ní roll. I think that Iíve learned a lot and hopefully it wonít happen again. Iím happy. Starting over again in a new band is really great. Besides Iím in a band with a lot of people I really love and care about. So, itís okay there too. I still have great vision. Yeah, I have total vision, total hope and faith in trying to change people, just open their minds. I donít think it's that hard. I think itís really a mood swing. The only problem is never is it a permanent type thing. Everything goes left, right, left. Back and forth. Itís just like this fucking country right now. (It seems like) weíre living in the 1950ís or some shit. Conservatism, pro-American bullshit thatís absolutely ludicrous. Itís 1985 and weíre like living in 1955. Itís hard to believe that some fucking fifteen years ago people were burning American flags and the Olympics were laughed at. Now the Olympics come on and itís Olympics and beer advertisements... Itís hard to explain. If something like Rambo came out in 1969 or anytime in the early Ď70ís it would have been laughed right out of the theatre.
Tomas: You have to understand, though, disillusioning as it may sound, in the Ď60ís it was the in thing to be anti-war, anti-establishment and right now itís the in thing to be right wing again.
Ian: Thatís what Iím talking about, mood swing, as opposed to some great spiritual change. Itís exactly like what I was talking about before with the straight edge thing. Okay, itís a trend, but at least itís a fucking good trend.
Guy: Itís a good point. If the feelings that were going on during the sixties had been perhaps a little more firmly rooted in these people they wouldnít have all yuppied out into (the) ďcashing inĒ bullshit. If it had really been deep within them maybe nothing would have changed and we could have really got something happening. Changed some systems but instead it was just a...
Ian: Pot would have never turned into beer and thatís just the thing that happened.
Brendan: Hopefully one day weíll reach that constant.
Ian: This has been going on for five or six years here and I know thereís been a lot of people who have dropped off but a lot of people have come on. Thereís still a big bunch of people that have stayed real consistent to the same values. Weíve all become more intelligent, I think. More lucid, more understanding because weíre getting older and that makes total sense. For me, right now, I feel like the life I live is getting close to, not perfect obviously, but to truly happy with whatís going on, what Iím doing, the people I live with, and the people Iím around. Itís great. Iím an optimist, thatís my problem. Iím a total optimist. I always look on big bright things. I always think we can work things out and stuff like that. Which some people get down on but thatís all right. Thatís what pessimists donít like about me. So, yeah I still think we have plenty to do with whatís going on here now. Weíre going to do some summer thing. Thatís a give/take thing too because sometimes I do get depressed and say, ďFuck this. Iím going to move to Austin and hang out with the Big Boys.Ē or something like that. Then something will happen. A Rites of Spring concert. Iím always here. I donít believe Iíd actually leave. Thereís always disappointments. Ask a question because Iíll ramble on.
ID: Did Skip help you out a lot?
Ian: Skipís a mentor of sorts from the beginning. Henry, first off, bought so many fucking records from this guy that he paid the guys' rent, basically. Henry bought hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of records, Skip really liked us and we liked him a lot and so while we were the Teen Idles he just said, ďHey, Iíll go into the studio with you guys.Ē Actually, there was some talk about him putting out one of our songs on a sampler of his he did for Limp records. That was his label, Limp. I donít know if youíre familiar with it or not but itís a good label I hear. That never happened. He did produce a tape for us and that was great. We were happy with it and we saved the money. He totally helped us with numbers and stuff. In fact the first record came out through his store, basically. 5027 J Rockville Pike, which was the old Dischord address. We did that single with him, he produced S.O.A., he produced the first Minor Threat. I did the G.I.ís, I think. Heís a total mentor, (and) I still call him for advice. Heís still one great guy.
Ivar: He still comes to shows.
Ian: He was down at the show the other night. The Embrace show. He rarely goes to shows, I was totally glad he came to that. Heís a great guy. Heís my boss too. Iíve been working there for a couple years. In fact when we first broke up, Minor Threat, my car died, the house was falling apart here, we had to kick Sab out, not kick him out but... just all ugliness was going on and I was so depressed I seriously was suicidal. I thought I was going to fucking kill myself or something. He said, ďWhy donít you work up here?Ē He always asked me to. So, I started to work there, just to give myself something to do because I was really not happy. One day I was sitting there getting all bummed out and he goes, Whatís your problem?Ē I said, ďMan, fucking ass life is bullshit.Ē I was so fucking... I was really down. He goes, ďGive me a fucking break.Ē He goes, ďHow old are you?Ē I said, ďIím 21Ē He goes, ďYouíre 21 years old and youíve fucking touched so many people in your life. Iím thirty and you know Iíll never even meet that many people. Iíll never know that many names.Ē Or something like that. Those were really big saving words for me. It really made me feel a lot better. Itís like, ďMan, Iím being stupid. Just get off this bullshit and get back on it.Ē It took me a long time though to get back on it. I think weíre back on it. Ivar?
ID: What about your last trip to England?
Ian: That was cool. I hung out with the guy that does our records out there. I had dinner with Crass. That was really cool too. Some of the finest humans I ever met in my life, Totally inspiring. I became a vegetarian out in England. I called from England the night of the first Rites of Spring show to wish them luck and stuff. The whole time I was out there I was thinking, ďI couldnít wait to get back.Ē
Ivar: You sent me a postcard.
Ian: What did I say to you in the postcard?
Ivar: It says. ďHey, Ivar letís get cracking with the books. Youíre on academic probation, remember? England town is fine. Iím doing plenty of nothing. See you in June. Music is the essence. Ian.Ē Iím like, ďFine, heís right.Ē
Mark: Fucking word for word.
Ian: (A bunch of yelling goes on) He just word for word quoted a postcard that I sent in March.
Guy: You mailed me a postcard. I donít know what you said. Something like, ďThe Scientists were bad. Iíll see you when I get back.Ē
Ivar: Anyway, when I looked at that I said, ďHey, Iím moving. This is great. End of the semester Iím down there (D.C.).Ē
Ian: That is weird. How could you know that? How could you remember those words you dodo?
Ivar: Because it was important. I remember important things.
Ian: I wrote something nice to you, Iím sure.
Guy: You did.
Ian: What? ďThe Scientists are bad. See you when I get back.Ē (laughter)
Guy: No. Iím not saying that. I just canít remember the words. It was a nice postcard.
Brendan: I didnít get one.
Ian: I couldnít remember your new address, I actually felt bad about that.
Brendan: No, you signed one with my name on it to Skip. It said that ďJesus & the Mary Chain were it.Ē
Ian: They were it up there. They sucked. I had a good trip and then I came back. (I) went through weird things. We go through weird things here anyway. Itís a weird bunch of people.
Tomas: Whatís so weird?
ID: We were talking about integrity and stuff, how important is that to you? (Beer commercials and love songs are being sung in the background)
Ian: It depends on what kind of integrity youíre talking about. Like I donít care what people think of me. If Iím walking down the street with my butt hanging out of my pants I couldnít give a fuck about that kind of shit.
ID: I mean like with the records you put out.
Ian: Yeah, we have quality control and stuff like that.
ID: Do you have rules involved?
Ian: Well, we donít put out bands from outside of Washington because we feel weíre trying to stimulate or get other people to get off their fucking butts and release their own record. Thereís not so many independent record companies left if you havenít noticed.
Ivar: I forget who it was but I remember they were calling, ďCímon, you got to help us because if you donít like us weíre not going to go anywhere. You just got to help us put out this record and produce it. Youíre our last hope because we canít do it ourselves.Ē Itís like. ďForget that man.Ē
Ian: I got mad at that guy. I was yelling at him.
Brendan: Whatís his name?
Ivar: He remains nameless.
Ian: Canít say.
Tomas: Midwestern city, call me recordless.
Ian: People could look at the label and say itís downright snobbish. I guess it could be considered that, but the fact of the matter is Dischord, at this point particularly, because itís not just a punk label... I mean, it is but itís not what its entire thing is (about). At this point itís almost strictly a form for the people involved with it all along to put out their music. Thereís not going to be any new band we pick up. Any band that we release at this point is pretty much people who have been involved for a while with the Dischord scene. It could be considered a little cliquey or whatever but thatís how we keep it worthwhile to us. Weíre not just into releasing music because weíre not a real record label. We donít have contracts. We donít pay people like... We donít pay them five cents of every half ton gross of quasi left wing whatever. Itís nonsense. (Everyone laughs)
Tomas: Yeah, make it sound liberal. The kids are going for it these days.
Ian: Itís not a record label. In the beginning it was really haphazard. We were always behind on our mail and always totally messed up, just breaking even. Basically real poor. Weíre still exactly the same now as five years ago, it will be five years on January 1st, which is a fuck of a long time. (Everyone claps) You can ask Amy, she does all our mail.
ID: What about all the half and quarter labels?
Ian: We just lend the name. Weíll sometimes help sell a few but they have to do the record. They have to put it together. They have to pay for it. They have to get it together. They have to get it out to distributors. They have to sell it. Itís really a label. Itís to stimulate, and get their little label off the ground. The labels didnít all stick around but some of them... X-Claim and Touch & Go, those both went a ways. We released that Touch & Go/Dischord Necros thing. Booted SSD ďAway.Ē
Amy: Iron Cross.
Ian: Iron Cross we did. That was with Skinflint but that label didnít go anywhere.
Amy: Double 0 on R&B. What about Scream on Rough Trade? Why is that a half label?
Ian: That was a tricky one.
Amy: Thatís what I want to know.
Guy: Thereís not many Rites of Spring records left. What are we going to do?
Ian: Weíve sold about three thousand of that now, I think.
Tomas: Are Rites of Spring going on tour anytime soon?
Guy: Listen ass wipe!
ID: The big thing in California now seems to be being positive, and the unity, what do you think about that?
Ian: Theyíre buzz words. Catch words. Itís like saying, ďWhat do you think of health and happiness?Ē Well yeah, Iím all for them. (laughter) Of course, Iím into being positive and into unity, but I think the problem, if anything, with that stuff is that... And I donít know those people. First of all I say itís better than the get drunk and fight shit. Itís a little more pleasant. The only thing I would hope for would be more spirituality in it. Really solid, solid emotions, and solid attitude changes. If people really make a difference, if people really do give a fuck, (not) if they really just care about themselves. Positive like getting a job in a computer law firm thing, into their own trip, thatís good. Iím glad they are happy and positive about life and all but letís try to make life work for other people as well as themselves. Tell me if itís good? I donít really know the people. I think youíd be able to answer that better than me. I think itís great if they are really positive and truly unified.
Guy: What does unity mean though? Unified with who?
ID: Yeah, thatís the question.
Guy: Unified with skinheads sieg-heiling at your show. No thanks.
Tomas: At the same time, although I guess itís good and everything... I donít want to mention any names, but if I read lyrics from positive people, positive peace punk bullshit, I think itís completely unappealing because it sounds like suchÖ It sounds like Mister Rogers for teenagers or something.
Ian: Yeah, youíre right.
Tomas: Itís just complete... ďWhy canít we be friends? Why canít we hold hands and fight together, and walk down the street hand and hand? From now on weíre going to unify.Ē I see no sense in that whatsoever.
Ian: That was Tomas speaking, because for me, even though it may not be the most radically inspiring lyrics, they may be a little simple and stuff, I think itís great just to start somewhere.
Tomas: I think itís great. I just think it sucks at the same time.
Guy: It depends what weíre talking about. The arm and arm thing, I know the feeling. For me this whole thing would be a positive thing. But itís like that Lunchmeat song ďI want my individuality.Ē I thought that was a great thing. ďI donít want to be the same as everyone. I donít want to agree with everybody,Ē because I donít. Punk rockís not about that. Iím not going to unify with a bunch of people that donít understand where Iím coming from.
Ian: I think thatís one thing a lot of people hear, at least Iím trying to hammer home. Not that we should all be the same but even more importantly we should learn, not only to be individuals but to be considerate of other people as human beings. You donít have to fuck with them and they donít have to fuck with you. Just because theyíre a little different, or they do things a little different, or you think their lyrics are too simple or something like that... You try to... (He starts to laugh)
Tomas: Who you getting down on?
Guy: Itís a good social statement which I think is cool. Itís about working with more than one or two. The thing is anything Tomas says is so silly.
Tomas: Who you getting down on?
Ivar: You know, he sleeps on the floor.
Amy: With a rock for a pillow.
Brendan: Heís a weirdo.
Ian: Itís consideration, you know. You have to be flexible to deal with the people. Just because some people may be abrasive here or might be too nice... You sort of have to make up for that.
Ivar: Youíve also got to draw the line somewhere.
Ian: You draw the line where people fuck you over. Freedom would be flexibility of wanting to deal with people. Thatís what true freedom really is, as opposed to doing what you want to do, or going out and doing what you will. The best thing to be is be able to fucking deal with other people. I was talking to Al tonight and he was saying he was impressed by the show. He thought we were so serious and sincere. He was saying it was almost like pretty crazy because it was so sincere with all this pouring out of emotions and stuff. Sincere as we are about that, as people we all have really sincere thoughts, (but) we really try to laugh the fuck out of our lives, man. Because we think everything is funny. We think a lot of things are truly meant to be laughed at. Mostly...
Ivar: Like for instance tonight we threw Tomas into the Lady across the streetís yard because... I donít even remember what he did.
Ian: He fed the dog frozen dog food. That was just fun. Not fun like drink a lot of beer, run around, fuck girls and laugh about it or some stupid bullshit like that. Not fun like go smash a window or go throw bottles at a cop or something. Just even more stupid stuff. (laughs) Just what everyone cares to laugh at. I think itís pretty much inoffensive too.
Brendan: No, itís real offensive.
Amy: Iíd have to say some of the sexuality jokes are a bit on the offensive side.
Ian: It only offends you because itís your own thing.
Amy: Not always. Itís only if Iím in a touchy mood.
Brendan: Theyíre not sexist.
Ian: The sexuality jokes... To me itís total humor. To me thereís nothing offensive about it unless there is something in you that would be offended by it.
Amy: Well thatís true.
Tomas: I think most of the humor that goes down here is self-directed. Like you said, ďItís not offensive,Ē because most of the time youíre laughing at yourself or your own condition.
Tomas: And I think sexuality jokes are not making fun of our own machismo but the opposite.
Amy: I know, obviously.
Tomas: But I mean it should come off that way.
Ian: Actually, most of this humor is making ourselves ugly. We try to make ourselves look as stupid as possible. We live in a whole world of people trying to look cool or tough. Particularly in this little music scene weíre involved with. These people are trying so hard to put across some big image as being so fucking hard or so tough. Certainly Iím all for humor. Thatís for sure. I like to laugh more than anything probably. Itís good stuff.
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