Interview with Fugazi's Guy Piciotto


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F u g a z i. Tidak banyak lagi yang perlu atau mendekati relevansi untuk diucapkan. Esensi punk rock sesungguhnya. Kecepatan dan kualitas jawaban Guy Piciotto kepada pertanyaan-pertanyaan kami adalah bukti akan hal ini. Dengarkan “the argument”. Dan check out untuk mengerti Fugazi. Dan untuk mengetahui bahwa mereka pernah hampir main di Jakarta… We Bring You A Special Interview With FUGAZI by Marcel Thee.

What have you been listening to/reading/watching? Is there any particular type of art that has interest you lately?
I hit the movies alot and I thought last year was a great one for documentaries.
Three that I thought were just amazing were “Etre et Avoir” from France, “Bus 174” from Brazil, + “Capturing the Friedmans” from the USA. In a year dominated by political lying, it was cool to see movies that were engaged with reality on some level. I also was happy to see the film “Battle of Algiers” by Pontecorvo restored and re-screened. I think it is one of the most powerful pieces of political art ever made.

Book-wise, I really liked David Berman’s book ACTUAL AIR – I’ve always been into the Silver Jews music but this book of his poetry just kills. Music-wise, last year I listened to the re-issues of the first two Television albums alot because it was nice to hear the extra unreleased songs on there – Television having such a limited discography. I also really love this band from the UK called the Shadow Ring – particularly the album “Lighthouse”. I’ve been trying to check into some guitar improvisational music by Derek Bailey also- I like stuff where you put it on and it makes you think “what the fuck is going on?” or “is my brain ok?”. That’s whats cool about a record like Sleep’s “Jerusalem”.

Is there any particular Fugazi show that stands out for you to this day?
We played in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia once and that show certainly sticks out. It was in the basement club of this insanely deluxe luxury hotel and we weren’t sure if anyone would know us or come out to the show. The place ended up being packed and the crowd shocked us by singing along like crazy. The energy was really overwhelming. The shows we’ve played in Brazil also stand out for that same kind of hysterical energy from the audiences. Its like being hit with a warm buoyant wave. Its funny now that we’ve played so many shows (probably well over a 1000) – the early shows seem memorable for confrontations or injuries and the later ones for a more positive co-mingled energy with the crowds.

How does it affect you and Fugazi musically? Being acknowledged as an influence by so many bands.
I just think of it as part of the reciprocal process inherent in the way music works. Ideas and inspiration are just handed down the line from band to band from generation to generation. For us, we came up completely in awe of bands like the Bad Brains – they lit a fire in us and we just did our best to pass that feeling on to other people in our own way.

Lyrically, looking back at your older songs; do you still relate to all of them in the same as when they were written? Have your perspectives on certain issues change?
Once a lyric is written and processed into a song it almost becomes like a piece of furniture that is so heavy and in place that it is impossible to move. I don’t really revisit them in my head – they are just what they are. I am sure my opinions and perspectives have probably changed over the last 16 years but there isn’t any song that I wrote where I’m completely unattached to the sensibility that put it down on paper.

If a person were trying to get into Fugazi’s music today, which of your record would you recommend them?
I couldn’t really say because I think I am probably not the best judge of our music. I never really listen to our records that much and I am always suprised by what they sound like when we end up remastering them or something. Its always kind of a shock. I am partial to the last one we made – “The Argument” – just because the songs seem the freshest to me at this point in time. Also I might recommend our DVD “Instrument” because it really tells the whole history of the band and has alot of footage of us playing live – its like a quick pill lesson on the group.

How does a typical Fugazi rehearsal run?
If we are about to go on tour then the rehearsals are really militaristic because we have to relearn every song we ever wrote. We never use a set list live so we all have to be able to play any song from any album in any order. So those practices are very intense as we work our way through our entire catalog as fast as we can. When we are writing music its alot different. Generally, we set up some kind of recording gear like our 8 track reel to reel and we just start shooting ideas at each other, taping them, arranging them – there is alot of discussion because its rare that any one of us brings in a song completely finished. More regularly someone will come in with a part and then we will all attack it and pull on it and try to wrestle a song out of it. Everyone in the band writes stuff, including our drummer Brendan so there is usually alot of ideas floating around to mess with. We’ve always practiced in basements – first in Ian’s house, then my mom’s house and most recently in a friend’s group house. We are quite typical in that way – a basement band.

Are there particular songs that you always look forward to playing live?
I don’t have any favorites really – I guess I enjoy “Arpeggiator” because its kind of a weird chording and I have to really concentrate. “Life and Limb” is a new one that’s nice to play. I also enjoy some of our older songs when I can put down the guitar and dance a bit. Its nice to be unconstrained. “Glue Man” is a kind of a special occasion song that we don’t play much but its usually memorable for me.

Which other band and record has been most influential to Fugazi’s music?
Trying to factor in everyone in the band is tough because we all have such wide tastes but a common denominator would have to be the Bad Brains who inspired all of us so much at the beginning. Also other DC groups like the Faith and Void. Also the Minutemen, Black Flag, Sonic Youth, the Ex. We all share a major love of the Beatles. We love dub. Its impossible to narrow it down to one band or record because we didn’t just crib from one blueprint, we were grabbing ideas from all over the place and then filtering them through our own limited and personally shaped skills.

Is there any chance at all of Fugazi doing a show in Indonesia?
We tried to set up a show in Jakarta a few years back but the political situation at that time was pretty unstable and I believe the promoter had to back out. Sadly right now Fugazi isn’t working at all or touring anywhere in the world because our drummer has 3 kids now and can’t really tour with the kind of parenting responsibilities that entails. I am not sure when or if we will get back to doing concerts again but certainly if we do and we make it back out in that direction we would certainly consider Indonesia. We do appreciate the interest and support and one day it would be great to be able to be there in person. People can stay posted on what’s up with us and with other bands from DC by going to and signing the mailing list on there.

Thanks again – all the best – Guy/Fugazi

0 Replies to “Interview with Fugazi's Guy Piciotto”

  1. Doni says:

    damn.. you guys can have an interview with FUGAZI?

    cool… media lain aja jarang jarang bisa interview mereka

  2. matt busby says:

    sakit! ini wawancara dari deathrockstar apa dari majalah lain tapi dikutip? overall fugazi emang keren banget,secara gw baru denger fugazi sekitar 6 taun yang lalu,itu juga itu juga satu dua lagu, dan baru sadar mereka ternyata sekeren ini, apa karena gw suka minor threat dan jadi mikir subjektif ya? bodo lah.,fugazi emang keren banget! (gw selalu ngayal ada di konser mereka dan sing along sambil nyanyiin waiting room dan ngiri mereka pernah main di KL) ian mckaye for life lah., glory glory man. united (loh!!?)

  3. matt busby says:

    sip, deathrockstar memang berkredibilitas tinggi, two thumbs up,ada yang tau cd fugazi asli dijual dimana nggak?

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