Ian MacKaye, 2008.
Born Ian Thomas Garner MacKaye on April 16, 1962. He
is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer. He has been
part of the bands
(1985-1986) and is currently part of
(since 1987) and
The Evens (since
As a teenager, he founded the independent record label
together with Jeff Nelson. They initially intended to simply release a
single for their band
but the label has gone on to release music from more than 60 bands.
He wrote the
which coined the term "straight edge" and became the inspiration of the
straight edge movement. People who consider themselves "straight edge"
don't use alcohol, tobacco or other recreational drugs. Some also
include not using caffeine or prescription drugs, not engaging in
promiscuous sex or following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Ian has said
that he never anticipated "straight edge" to turn into a movement. For
him it is simply about living cleanly and deliberately, nothing more,
nothing less. He is part of the movie
perspectives on drug free culture.
Quotes by Ian MacKaye:
|"I wrote a song, called
and it was about an individualís right to live his or her life
the way they wanted to."
|"I believe that if you are a true
revolutionary, somebody who really wants to rebelóyou donít
sully yourself. Clearly human bodies become addicted to poison.
I donít know anybody who could debate that. So why would it be
revolutionary to put poison into your body?"
|"I didnít form a movement. I believe in
evolution: you change and you grow. And then every time you get
somewhere, you stop, take inventory, and either fix it or grow
on top of it."
|A very small minority of
people who identify themselves as "straight edge" engage in
violent behavior. About this he said:
|"I don't want people to ever
use my words, ever, to injure anybody. Ever! That is the
antithesis of my desire in life. I think it's unfortunate that
this minority of people who have engaged in fundamental and
violent behaviors have gotten so much attention. And have put
such a stigma on it."
|"Generally, I donít engage in discussions
about my diet in interviews because then it starts becoming
lifestyle. Itís a real conundrum: the idea of doing an interview
about why Iím a vegan supports the notion that itís a lifestyle
thing that I would promote. In some ways I do, but by example."
|"It is a reflection of the perversity of
this culture that it would be conventional to think that not
putting toxins into your body would somehow be a lifestyle, when
in fact, thatís life."
|"Using my diet or something like that to
identify myself, or even straight edge as a form of identity,
suggests that Iím not just a normal human beingóbut I am."
"When people ask me about my diet, ĎWhy donít you eat meat?í the
response is always, ĎWhy not? Why should I?í I can think of a
hundred reasons why I donít."
|"The reason people equate fanaticism with
veganism or vegetarianism is because there have been a handful
of fanatics whoíve practiced it. But those peopleís issues
usually are not connected to diet but to their own violence or
|"In my life, in general I am anti-option.
Options can be enormous time wasters for those of us who are
easily distracted. I donít generally talk about my diet, but I
have been a vegan for like 25 years. One of the reasons is
because when I go to a restaurant there is usually only one
thing on the menu that I can eat and that is what I order. When
I go to a vegan restaurant, some times I become frozen because
there are so many options."
|"I donít think my work is to spread
veganism. My work, I hope, is to spread thoughtfulness. Thatís
what I think of music and art and all these sorts of creations,
what they require, hopefully, is thinking."
Quotes are from his
2006 interview with Satya, his
2010 clip Edge the movie and his
2009 interview with Rock Proper.