Ian MacKaye: “We want our own sys­tem and you can’t stop us from build­ing it”

From a recent interview with Ian MacKaye linked below:

I was say­ing to you ear­lier that I think of artists and mu­si­cians and film­mak­ers and writ­ers as trans­la­tors. This is some­thing that I got to think­ing about: “What the fuck are these peo­ple do­ing?” And I think of them as trans­la­tors. In other words, that some­body hears some­thing and they are try­ing to ex­plain to other peo­ple, us­ing that medium, what is it that they are hear­ing. Vi­sual artists see some­thing, they see the world in a way and then they are try­ing to show peo­ple what it is that they’re see­ing. It’s lit­er­ally a trans­la­tion. That was re­ally help­ful for me in terms of meet­ing peo­ple who I felt like, “well this per­son is in­ter­est­ing to me be­cause the rea­son they are do­ing this is that they don’t have a choice in the mat­ter.” And maybe that’s what you’re talk­ing about. Like, I think that some­times, whether or not they ad­dress it in sa­tanic wor­ship, or even peo­ple who are just like, “I wanna make money,” some­times there is noth­ing else for them to do. They have to do that. Peo­ple say to me, “What is your fa­vorite kind of mu­sic, what do you like to lis­ten to?” And I al­ways say, “my fa­vorite kind of mu­sic is the mu­sic made by peo­ple who don’t have a choice in the mat­ter.” So I can lis­ten to any­thing… it could be punk or blues or what­ever. I just want it to feel like the per­son who’s mak­ing that mu­sic heard some­thing and is say­ing, “this is what I’m hear­ing.” It’s the same way with any kind of vi­sual stuff. I’m not par­tic­u­larly well ed­u­cated about vi­sual art, I don’t have a de­gree in art his­tory so just don’t know a lot of that stuff, but oc­ca­sion­ally I’ll see some­thing and in my mind, I’ll be like, “Wow, some­thing is go­ing on here that it re­ally com­pels me.” And then if I read about it and find out that per­son saw some­thing, they are like, “Here’s what I saw! Here’s what I fuckin saw!” That’s what I want to feel when I look at things, that’s what I want to feel when I hear things. That is a form of in­de­pen­dence, right?

Source: Ian MacKaye and Brandon Stosuy on independence, creativity, and The Creative Independent – The Creative Independent

Neko Case: “Employing people in a shitty economy is a good motivator, too, because you want them to have health insurance and homes, you know?”

Some really great insights here from Neko Case:

“Early on I would have loved to be signed by a major label, but the greatest thing that ever happened to me is that I wasn’t,” Case says. “I really had to do it myself at that point. Now I have accomplishments that, to me, seem pretty far ahead of their time. When it comes to being in control of my own business, I was way ahead of the curve. I’m really proud of that. And the most important thing was that I didn’t have to fuck people over to do it. They want to make music sports, and music is not fucking sports. There’s this idea that you have to have some sort of hard-ass management that treats people like shit. Those people are a representation of you. If you think that sort of corporate stuff is gross, it’s because it is gross. It’s not a competition, and there’s room for everyone. You should be proud of what the people in your scene accomplish. It sounds cheesy, but generosity opens doors.”

Source: Neko Case on punk rock and the importance of staying independent