Ian MacKaye Debuted His New Band At A DC Church Last Night

Ian MacKaye has been leading Washington, DC punk bands for nearly 40 years, and his resume is absurd: the Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, the Evens. And now we can add another band to that list, though the new band doesn’t yet have a name. And its lineup alone is reason to get excited: MacKaye, the Evens drummer Amy Farina, and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally.

As Rolling Stone points out, the as-yet-unnamed band played its first set, a benefit for the Loaves And Fishes nonprofit, at the St. Stephen And The Incarnation Church in Washington, DC. According to people who were there, the new band played nine songs and sounded about midway between Fugazi and the Evens, which sounds pretty amazing. Also, MacKaye said that they’d been playing in a basement together for three years. And when someone in the crowd asked what the new band was called, MacKaye joked about how every band name was taken. MacKaye also reportedly told the crowd that the show was a “practice,” and he seemed to want to discourage internet furor like this post that you are currently reading.

It’s probably worth noting here that Fugazi and the Evens have never technically broken up; they’ve both just stopped doing things. Fugazi’s most recent album is 2001’s The Argument, and they played their last show in November of 2002. Since then, Lally has played in the bands Decahedron and Ataxia, and he released a solo album in 2006. Earlier this year, he teamed up with former Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty to form a new instrumental power trio called the Messthetics, and they released a self-titled album earlier this year on Dischord.

As for the Evens, MacKaye and Farina, the former drummer of the Warmers, formed their duo the Evens in 2001, as Fugazi were winding down. MacKaye and Farina, who are married, released three great Evens albums together, the most recent of which is 2012’s The Odds. They haven’t played any live shows since 2013.

Hopefully, we’ll hear more from this new band soon. There isn’t yet any video of last night’s show online, but you can see some photos and Instagram descriptions below.

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This break in format is brought to you by Ian, Amy, and Joe’s new band. Ian says they’ve been playing together in the basement for three years, so they aren’t really new, but tonight was their first public outing. “What’s their name?” you might ask (as someone in the crowd tonight did). Well, they don’t have one. Ian said something to the effect of “every band name has been taken, and they all have lawyers.” He joked “let’s call it The Band.” “Fugevens” is the obvious choice, but I refrained from yelling that out tonight (maybe next time). You may also ask “what did they sound like?” Unsurprisingly, kind of like a cross between The Evens and Fugazi. Very bass-driven. Ian was back to the old SG, but didn’t bring out the old FVGAZI JCM800. Maybe that was a concession to the fact that they were playing in a church, maybe it was a tone choice. Time will tell. It was good to hear Ian playing guitar and doing some yelling. It’s been way too long. #ianmackaye #amyfarina #joelally #fugazi #theevens #stjosephschurch

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