Ian MacKaye imbues 2024 with all goodness through his inspiring take on life and music. His knack for expressing the way he lives and what punk rock means to him dominates and radiates through this conversation with Rain. They discuss everything from spirituality to Fugazi, living life joyfully, and the importance of doing the work. We then launch The Bobby Lees and Sam shares about their decision to take a break in 2024 by highlighting the financial struggles bands face on the road. We close this special episode with THE BOBBY LEES infectious song “Radiator”. 


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LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery.



[1:36] Rain and Ian talk about how they met each other.

[10:52] All about Fugazi’s extensive archive 

[17:56] Ian shares how he avoids producing trash. 

[23:48] What is Ian’s belief and how does he focus on living?

[37:57] What was it like growing up in Washington DC?

[40:36] What led Ian to live in a way that doesn't compare and despair or make judgments about others?

[48:35] How can you find and create joy in the despair that is also happening in life? 

[55:15] How does Ian go about “selling” his music?

[1:00:04] How did Ian learn to roll with the ups and downs of life?

[1:19:17] Rain welcomes Sam from The Bobby Lees.

[1:19:58] Did The Bobby Lees really play their last show?

[1:24:00] What is Sam’s plan for 2024 since they won’t be touring?

[1:26:32] How did music find Sam originally? 

[1:27:56] What was the point that Sam realized she wanted to make music? 

[1:30:57] Does Sam have any advice for young or up and coming artists?

[1:33:02] Listen to “Radiator” by The Bobby Lees.


Watch the interview on YouTube.

Listen to “Radiator by The Bobby Lees on YouTube.

Connect with The Bobby Lees on Instagram 



[20:09] There are warehouses filled with records that were never sold, and they are just sitting there as trash/product waste.

[46:19] Let’s not forget that life is rich, there’s so many good people are doing so many incredible things all over the world every day. 

[48:34] There will always be pain and beauty happening simultaneously. You can choose to focus on the pain and suffering which pushes into the negative, but you also need to create joy because that's how to balance the energy. 

[1:23:33] It’s hard to be a US band on the road and break even financially. 



LaunchLeft Podcast Smart Link 

Ian MacKaye

Ian MacKaye Wikipedia 

Ian MacKay Dischord Site 

Dischord Website 

Fugazi Live Series: A to Z

The Bobby Lees

The Bobby Lees Website 

The Bobby Lees Instagram 

The Bobby Lees Facebook



Ian Mackaye founded Dischord Records as a teenager in 1980 with partner Jeff Nelson. Their original intent was simply to release a single to document their recently defunct band, Teen Idles. However, the label has gone on to release music from more than 60 bands, with more than 160 albums over the last 25 years and counting.

As musicians Ian and Jeff went on to form Minor Threat, who along with Bad Brains are credited in the early 80s with introducing the D.C. hardcore ethic to an audience well beyond Washington, D.C.

In 1986, Ian formed Fugazi with Joe Lally, Brendan Canty and Guy Picciotto. Over 20+ years the band has released seven albums and toured the world extensively covering all fifty United States, Europe, Australia, South America, Japan and many points in between. Fugazi is self managed and maintains a policy of affordable access to their work through low record and ticket prices and all concerts are all-ages. In 2003 Fugazi decided to take an indefinite hiatus from recording and touring as young families and other priorities began to take center stage.

Since 2001, Ian has played in The Evens, a duo with Amy Farina. The Evens revel in short-circuiting the conventions of rock music and perform mostly in non-traditional music spaces — libraries, art spaces, schools, theaters, etc. They have released two albums and have toured extensively in North America, Europe, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Ian has also been taking on speaking engagements, delivering talks that take the form of informal Question and Answer sessions.

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