Minor Threat/Fugazi/The Evens frontman Ian MacKaye has shocked the rock world today by announcing in a fanzine interview that he plans to “undoubtedly sell out before 2023.” Formerly obsessed with integrity and ethics, MacKaye has been infamous for his stringent, some might say fundamentalist, principles which include militant vegetarianism, teetotalism, releasing all records through his own Dischord label rather than through any major label or distributor, endeavoring to charge as little as possible for records and concert tickets, refusing to manufacture official merchandise, and encouraging illegal downloading.
All this looks set to end, however, as MacKaye aims to eventually whore himself to the man after all. The first stage of this will see MacKaye sign a deal with Universal, towards the end of the year 2022. Universal will embark on an extensive reissuing campaign, re-releasing the entire Dischord back-catalogue as a set of deluxe packages featuring b-sides, previously unheard live tracks, unpublished Glen E. Friedman black-and-white photographs, and brand new remixes from A-list producers such as Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, and Dappy out of the N-Dubz. At the same time, the song ‘Merchandise’ will be licensed for use in a worldwide advertising campaign by multinational clothing retailer The GAP.
The move looks set to please MacKaye’s fans, many of whom have been angrily calling for the post-hardcore singer to abandon his frivolous principles for nigh on twenty years. Fugazi fans, for example, were notorious within the ’80s and ’90s rock and punk communities for loudly campaigning for the singer/guitarist to reach out to the untapped mainstream audience, and to spread his net as wide as possible.
“This is a most encouraging move,” Evens fan Chester Budd told us from a Washington D.C. Starbucks outlet, “MacKaye deserves recognition, he deserves to be on MTV, he deserves to appear in Rolling Stone, he deserves the monetary rewards, he deserves the top billing at European festivals along with his balding reformed contemporaries, and his followers, like me, can’t wait to be freed from this horrible little elitist cult. We just want to be like normal human beings.”
This is not the first time MacKaye has attempted to sell out, or at least dip his emotional-hardcore toes into murky big business sewage. In 1992, for example, he guested on the Sonic Youth track ‘Youth Against Fascism’, which was released on the David Geffen label. Yet this stab at trying to appease his frustrated fans appeared to backfire, with many criticizing that MacKaye had not gone far enough. “I mean one track on a Sonic Youth album? What the hell is that? How many people even heard that record? He should have been rocking out with Slash or Kravitz, not jerking around with those arty douche bags. He’s better than that,” said Mr. Budd.
A source said the move has been postponed until 2023 in order for MacKaye to “get a few things in order, to milk his last few years of credibility and enjoy his last moments of anonymity as much as possible, as well as to psychologically prepare himself for his imminent supping of the sweat that drips from the scabbed and hairy balls of capitalism.”