A few weeks ago I had a monumental moment in my life. I was able to speak with an icon, someone I have admired since the age of sixteen. I’m 36 now, so twenty years later my dreams had come true. However, this was different than seeing him play a live show. Sadly I never had that opportunity.
Instead of playing with his legendary band Fugazi, Ian Mackaye is now touring the country giving lectures and answering questions from his loyal fans; what The Vera Project called a Q&A. Personally I think it’s genius. A friend of mine described it “like The Actors Studio?” Why yes my friend, it is like the Actors Studio…for musicians. Ian, in my opinion is the professor of punk rock.
Even though I never got the chance to see Fugazi or his first band Minor Threat, who I also love and adore, it was a riveting experience to be able to think up several prospective questions to ask the man himself. I knew that I would only be able to raise one, considering the venue was sure to sell out, so I made a very conscious effort to make it a good one.
He lectured about several subjects that were sure to be brought up. For instance, the “straight edge” era, which was considered to be a movement during the early eighties. He also talked about his view on topics such as politics and the evolution of the music business; a subject matter often discussed amongst musicians and music junkies alike. Therefore, bringing up a question that wasn’t beaten to the ground was proving to be more and more difficult as the discussion progressed.
So I thought, why not ask him a question that would not only (hopefully) spark interest, but benefit me in the long run as a rookie music writer. “What are the best and worst questions you’ve been asked in an interview?” I believed this could possibly help me with future band opps.
Mr. Mackaye couldn’t think of any specific interview questions that were particularly memorable. However, he did lend some advice in regards to music writing. “Never write a top ten list.” Ha! Those of you who have been following my blog posts understand the irony. I repent. I will never write another top ten list again.
Nicole Starr is a music blogger for The World Is Fun.