Published Aug 01, 2004"Everything we do is a result of organic timing," says Fugazi's Ian MacKaye. "We do things when we can do them." Though he could be alluding to the Washington DC band's inactivity since 2001's The Argument, MacKaye is actually addressing the timing of a recently launched website that offers up a selection of 20 live shows that cover the first 12 years of the band's 17-year existence.
Along with MacKaye, Fugazi members Brendan Canty, Joe Lally and Guy Picciotto have eagerly documented the existence of the band in a variety of mediums. While their 1999 documentary Instrument showcased some revelatory film footage, the Fugazi Live Series offers fans access to entire concerts the band has played between 1987 and 1999. These include: Fugazi's first show ever, in D.C.; a '91 stop at Calgary's Mackewen Hall; and a '98 show at Fredericton's New Maryland Centre.
According to MacKaye the live series has been a long time coming; by the mid-90s, the band had amassed hundreds of tapes. "In 1995, we were working on the idea of a live album because everyone kept telling us that we should do one," he says. "We had been documenting these shows for six or seven years, so we started listening to tapes to try and get our mind around how we would do a live album."
After struggling with conceptual obstacles about the most desirable format, and unsure about the artistic purpose such an album would serve, the project was put on hold. "We talked about it and it was decided I think Guy was the one who articulated it and it was really insightful on his part that whatever energy we have to create, we should put it into creating new music," MacKaye recalls. After external obligations became more difficult to manage, a 2002 band discussion resulted in what MacKaye describes as an "indefinite hiatus" for Fugazi. The time off has enabled Lally to revisit the live tapes and launch the series online at . While MacKaye has been touring and recording as one-half of the quiet duo the Evens, he is adamant that Fugazi will carry on. "I see everybody all of the time, I'm in touch with them, I speak with Guy almost every day. It's no joke Fugazi can never die."