It was the start of a new sound called Grunge and Bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden were on the rise than ever and suddenly record labels were showing a keen interest in signing deals with the Underground and midst of everything Fugazi turned down a $10 million deal with Atlantic Records.
It was the time when it became rock solid that Fugazi was never about the money. Ian MacKaye was the leader of the Washington DC-based hardcore punk/Post Hardcore band Fugazi, a band that took the socio-political ideas of their hardcore forebears in a straightforward, straight edge manner.
For a hardcore rocker of the 90’s Fugazi represented DIY, a social and political message with their $5 CD and $10 shows in small packed clubs and basements and musical influences ranging from reggae, dub, funk, art rock and post-punk , they set a new standard for hardcore music along with bands like Bad Brains and Californian hardcore band Black Flag.
In every way Fugazi was not like any other band, coming somewhat in the ranks of The Clash. One of the few bands that you can say “The only band that matters “.
Notably Fugazi along with SS Decontrol started the straight edge movement and Ian’s independent record label Discord Record never licensed any merch although band shirts were huge in the 90’s, therefore, fans had to resort to seeking out this famous bootleg:
Independent punk icons Fugazi played over 1000 shows during their lifespan, making a habit of playing to all-ages crowds in smaller towns and suburbs.
Most importantly When Operation Desert Storm was announced in 1991, punk groups took their protest within shouting distance of the Oval Office and Fugazi called the Punk Percussion Protest and War On Poverty Not In the Middle East, the now-infamous demonstration was staged directly in front of the White House on 12 January 1991.
Fugazi is a band with an alluring discography, a band that knows it’s responsibility, proves the term ‘Art is a weapon’ and truly stands out of the 90s.