TS: After MINOR THREAT, what band did you play in?
IAN: I messed around in a lot of different bands. I was never in a band, but I played with a lot of different people. I guess it was 1985, with EMBRACE.
TS: How long did EMBRACE last?
IAN: We played our first show in September of 1985. We played our last show in February of 1986. You see, after MINOR THREAT broke up, Jeff and I were going to be in a band. I played bass, Mike Hampton played guitar, and Jeff drummed. And then, I played guitar, Chris Bald played bass, and drummed. And then, Chris Bald played bass, Mike Hampton played guitar, Jeff drummed, and I sang. And then, Jeff left, and Ivor [Hanson], who used to be in FAITH, came. He was going to school at the time, and he practiced with us over Christmas break. We told him that we'd wait for him, so we waited until May or June of 1985. So, we had been playing a lot of these songs for a while. Basically, the band was together from summer of 1985 until the spring of 1986. It was a short lived band. There were a lot of problems with the band. It wasn't a forward moving band. There were a lot of personal problems. It was to be expected, because, I mean, the three of them Ivor, Mike, and Chris had been in FAITH for years, and it was just an unpleasant situation.
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answers, and the search for improvement. That's what it's always been to me: to correct thinks I see that are wrong - including myself. Most importantly, the stuff within myself. Of course, after a while I realized that the "Fuck You!" thing was just that - a "fuck you" thing. It didn't have any answers. Within EMBRACE, I certainly have cooled. For instance, I'm a pacifist. I won't fight. I won't fight anymore. It's a no-win situation. There's always more fighting to be done, and there's always someone who's bigger who will eventually kick your ass. Abd for me, it's much more important to try to communicate with people. With a band like EMBRACE, I'm just trying to put across these ideas. Bands to me have always been expressions of what I learn and of what I think is important. And my ideas are to put out to people, and they take these as they will. MINOR THREAT, to me, was a thoughtful band. It was the moment, the explosion, the anger. Totally legit. A lot of people think EMBRACE is way more angry than MINOR THREAT. "It's so negative, so angry!" they say. But people just read into it differently. Like you listen to it and say, "Well, it's not that angry," but someone said to me "I listened to that album and it made me want to kill myself!" To me, it's not that at all. It's totally about the search for the real life. In all of the bands that I've been involved in, I've always tried to find the core, the answer, the bottom line. It's a tough thing to find. The EMBRACE thing is closer - well, not closer, but it's on the road. From MINOR THREAT to EMBRACE, it's a progression. And hopefully, I'll continue to progress.
TS: Do you concentrate more on lyrics then?
IAN: Music is very important. Lyrics always have a little more importance, only because the actual communication of an idea - the focus of an idea - will be based on that. Music, on the other hand, will always be very important, because it's the vehicle to grab people by the heart and make them listen. Share the message. Sometimes the music can be the message too. It's confusing.
TS: After EMBRACE, did you just experiment for a while?
IAN: I've always been involved in a lot of mess-around bands.
TS: But EGGHUNT was next?
IAN: EGGHUNT really wasn't a band. It was more of a celebration of a friendship, I'd say. Jeff and I play very well together, but we can't be in the same band with each other.
TS: You can't see that in the future?
IAN: No way. [laughter] We just can't deal with each other on a band level. We just disagreed completely.
TS: How did it come about then?
IAN: We were in England, and a friend of ours had a studio and said, "Do you want to record?" We said, "Sure!"
TS: Without any intention of releasing it?
IAN: No. We did it, and we liked it. It helps to own your own record company. I love the record.
[Originally published: Issue #6, circa 1989]
TS: Did you write the lyrics for EMBRACE?
IAN: All except "Dance of Days," which Chris Bald wrote, I think.
TS: It seems a lot more mature lyrically than MINOR THREAT. Was this intentional?
IAN: Maybe not intentional, but unavoidable.
TS: I mean, the lyrics seem less angry.
IAN: Well, maybe it's a different type of anger, perhaps.
TS: More contained?
IAN: Contained's not a fair word.
TS: Less "Fuck You! Fuck You!"
IAN: Well, yeah. A big part of me has decided that there's not a whole lot of future in "Fuck you!" I'm not talking about a future in the career sense. Future in an answer sense. Punk rock, to me, has always been a search for
TS: Has it sold well?
IAN: Yes. About five or six thousand. Even if it didn't sell well, just to have it… I mean, it's got a nice sleeve…
TS: Is the song "Me and You" about you and Jeff?
IAN: None of my songs are that particular. Sometimes a line might be about an individual, but it's about a lot of different things. "Me and You" is just about the whole world. You. Me. Everyone.
TS: You played guitar on it. How did you learn?
IAN: No one taught me. Maybe I asked Lyle to show me a bar chord when I was in MINOR THREAT, or something. It was bound to happen. Keep in mind that I've been not only involved in my own bands, but I've produced just about every record here [referring to the many Dischord records covering the walls], and I've been surrounded by musicians. I played piano my whole life. I have a thing about music. I'm a musical person. The guitar is just another instrument to learn.
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