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Ian MacKaye's Quotes

Ian MacKaye profile photo

Born: 1962-04-16
Profession: Musician
Nation: American
Biography of Ian MacKaye

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I don't dismiss the music that I was involved with, I don't think it was a joke, I don't think it was funny or a phase, I don't think it was just something I was doing back then, to me it was who I am. It connects all the way through. I don't distance myself from any of it.

Tags: Funny, Joke, Music

I think sometimes my humor is extremely dry, and a lot of times I would say things that I thought were very funny but... I have a reputation of - people think of me as a very fundamentalist, humorless fellow.

Tags: Funny, Humor, Thought

I work so I don't need to make rent through my songs, and I think if more people engaged with music without needing it to provide for their welfare, you're not beholden to anyone.

Tags: Anyone, Music, Work

I'm not a religious person, and I'm not too interested in being a part of a religion, but I do like having some sort of communal gathering, and having some sense of peoples.

Tags: Religion, Religious, Sense

I'm really anti-option, so computers have been my nightmare with recording. I don't want endless tracks; I want less tracks. I want decisions to be made.

Tags: Computers, Decisions, Less

I've done thousands of interviews in my life, and it's a format that I quite enjoy, because I think of questions in interviews as an opportunity to sort of gauge my growth in a way. It gives me an idea of how I'm navigating this world that I'm in.

Tags: Done, Enjoy, Life

I've had people call me from bands that are very popular, and they're like, 'What do we do? We want to do what you do.' It's almost impossible to do what I do, because you would have to start in 1980. You can't just do it.

Tags: Almost, Impossible, Start

Minor Threat was an important band, believe me that it was important it in my life, but it belongs to an era that no longer exists. I'm not nostalgic. I think music today is much more important, because something can be done about it.

Tags: Life, Music, Today

My focus is always on the day. What I've done behind me, I try to have respect for it, and keep an eye on it, and make sure it isn't abused, and obviously be thoughtful about it, because it's all real to me. I'm basically in every band I ever was in, and the songs, I still mean them all.

Tags: Focus, Real, Respect

My point of view is, I'm just a person, and there are times when I look at other people and think, 'My God, they spend so much time thinking about things that seem so absurd.' But I'm sure people must think the same thing about me.

Tags: God, Thinking, Time

The first time I ever recorded, which was into my boom-box, I was like, 'Wow, check that out.' It sounded great. The narcotic of it was so intense - it was pleasurable. I was like, 'You sound like a band.' Then I ended up spending the rest of my life trying to chase that initial high again.

Tags: Great, Life, Time

Ultimately, I'm not the most prolific person, but I've been doing this for a long time, and I keep on putting out music. The only thing that drives music is the people who are making it.

Tags: Keep, Music, Time

What I find interesting as a 40-year-old is the idea of trying to be a part of a pronounced, continuing independent culture. The basic tenet of America is that you rebel and then you get real.

Tags: America, Real, Trying

When children start to speak they find their own voice by imitating the sounds around them. It would follow that bands do the same. Bands will find their own voice at some point.

Tags: Children, Speak, Start

With Napster and the sharing of music, of course, there are going to be people who exploit it. Greed has no end. But there's a lot of good that could happen. We shouldn't let the economic concerns of the major labels infringe on our freedom to share music.

Tags: Freedom, Good, Music

Yeah, if someone's selling downloads and collecting money for our songs I would be unhappy about that but if they're trading it I don't mind, obviously if I make a thousand records or CDs or whatever, I like to sell a thousand.

Tags: Mind, Money, Someone

There are many things that people do happily that I can't imagine why they would do it... But I have to say that even though I am critical or judgmental of society at large, I'm not critical of people individually. We are who we are.

Tags: Society, Though, Why

An unlocked door means that, occasionally, you might get a devil come in, but a locked door means you have thousands of angels just walk by.

Tags: Devil, Door, Means

I never, ever had it in my mind that I wanted to be in the record industry, because I still contend that the record industry is an insidious affair. It's this terrible collision between art and commerce, and it will always be that way.

Tags: Art, Between, Mind

Music is a language and different people who come along are each using that language to do something different, but all coming at it in a similar vein inasmuch as it's always community based and for the most part nonprofit. Most bands don't ever come within a mile of profit - clearly these people are not playing music to make money.

Tags: Money, Music, Playing

I feel quite connected to the past, and my memory. Everything that I've ever done I can still relate to, and feel connected to it in a way. There's no part of my life that I look at and go, 'I don't recognize that person at all.'

Tags: Done, Life, Past

There are certainly good examples of incredibly brilliant, beautiful music that has been made commercially available and sold everywhere. But I would say that, for the most part, quantity certainly does not speak well for quality.

Tags: Beautiful, Good, Music

I do feel like I have always, in my life, been inclined to be on the outside, walk a different path or something. Because of that, and increasingly over the years, my sense of distance from mainstream society or from the way culture works, I have a different kind of perception of it.

Tags: Life, Path, Society

I have thousands of tapes, and photos and fliers, letters, posters, artwork - basically everything that ever happened, I kept. I'm not a hoarder, though. I'm sort of a librarian.

Tags: Happened, Kept, Though

Major labels didn't start showing up really until they smelled money, and that's all they're ever going to be attracted to is money-that's the business they're in- making money.

Tags: Business, Money, Start

Part of the way the work world works is not so much creating a separation between your work and your free time, but creating the illusion of a separation between your work and your free time. Every day is the weekend for me, which means I'm always busy.

Tags: Busy, Time, Work
Much more quotes by Ian MacKaye below the page.

The thing is, people can't complain about profit-oriented moves if they're only interested in profit themselves. You can't have it both ways. If they're willing to polish up a gift and sell it to make money, they can't really complain about the fact that somebody above them has sold them down the river. That's the way it goes.

Tags: Fact, Money, Themselves

I feel completely fortunate to have this outlet for something I don't really feel like I have a choice in, to make music. I've got to make it.

Tags: Choice, Fortunate, Music

I just have work to do; I just do it.

Tags: Work

I stand behind all the lyrics I've ever written; I don't have a problem with that.

Tags: Behind, Problem, Stand

I was into Ted Nugent, I was a Nugent guy. I was a skateboarder listening to Ted Nugent.

Tags: Guy, Listening, Ted

I'm always happy when I hear about people selling records or selling books or selling movies. It makes me proud of them.

Tags: Happy, Movies, Proud

I've always been a bit of a documentarian.

Tags: Bit

To me, music is no joke and it's not for sale.

Tags: Joke, Music, Sale

When people who are songwriters say 'That's my property and if you give it away for free then I'll lose my incentive,' then, well, good riddance.

Tags: Free, Give, Good

American business at this point is really about developing an idea, making it profitable, selling it while it's profitable and then getting out or diversifying. It's just about sucking everything up.

Tags: American, Business, Idea

And in fact, one of the central reasons why I never got involved with any drugs or anything is that I remember talking to people in maybe 1975 who saw Hendrix but couldn't remember it. I was like, 'How could that be?'

Tags: Fact, Remember, Why

At every election, my vote goes to the candidate less likely to declare war. You're dropping hugely expensive pieces of exploding metal on a population. America deserves the president it gets, whether the country votes for them or allows their vote to be stolen, and the least we can do is to elect someone who won't do that to other people.

Tags: Country, Someone, War

Basically we just created our own label, but again we just did it to document our own music and create our own thing, so the major labels were just always out of our picture, we're not interested.

Tags: Again, Music, Picture

I consider the guitar a tool for the most part. I do pick up the acoustic now and then, I certainly don't have any routine. Usually the only time I practice is when the band gets together. Hendrix has always been one of my favorite players, but I was a sucker for Nugent in the late 1970's.

Tags: Guitar, Time, Together

I consider the piano my 'main' instrument and have been playing for as long as I can remember. It seems to me that I might have come up with something resembling a song as early as 4 or 5 years old.

Tags: Old, Remember, Song