Much like they did for Minor Threat a little over a decade ago, Dischord Records have announced plans to properly release the earliest recordings of Fugazi. Due out sometime this winter, First Demo is exactly that: 11 songs the DIY-or-die demigods cut way back in January 1988. At the time, they’d only played 10 shows together, so they asked fans to freely distribute a cassette tape full of every final Inner Ear Studio take but “Turn Off Your Guns.” That previously unreleased track was remastered by TJ Lipple along with the rest of the session for its long overdue CD/LP+MP3 release.
According to Dischord, this also marks the end of Fugazi’s Live Series, an understandable assertion considering there’s nearly 900 concerts available through its archive now. “All we wanted to do was to make it all available,” Ian MacKaye explained in a Pitchfork interview a few years ago. “For us, the idea is to make it all available and let people decide which ones they like better. It’s not for us to decide. We don’t care about that. What we’re interested in is the idea that we made these recordings, and they’re not doing anybody a damn bit of good sitting in a closet.”
As for whether we can ever expect a Fugazi reunion — one can only hope — MacKaye said, “We may do something again, we may not. And we’re comfortable with that. I’m alive now. I don’t know what the fuck is going to happen in the future. If you know, let me know.”
Check out the only First Demo song that ever received a widespread release (“In Defense of Humans,” from the 1989 compilation State of the Union) below…