Fugazi to release original demo tape

The ten songs featured on First Demo were recorded 26 years ago, when the band had played only 10 gigs together

• Label of love: Dischord Records

Fugazi are releasing their original demo tape. As the DIY punk pioneers approach the 13th anniversary of their last studio album, they are going back to an artefact made 26 years ago, when the band had played only 10 gigs together.

The aptly titled First Demo will be released “later this year”, Dischord Records announced on Monday. Its 10 songs were recorded at Arlington, Virginia’s Inner Ear Studio in January 1988 and although the collection was never commercially released, the cassette became a calling-card at Fugazi’s early shows: the quartet were said to have given it away to fans, encouraging them to share the music.

In the decades since, those songs have been heavily bootlegged. One track, In Defense Of Humans, was included on Fugazi’s 1989 compilation State of the Union. But this reissue consists of First Demo’s first appearance on CD, vinyl and mastered MP3, and it’s being bolstered by an 11th track: Turn Off Your Guns, recorded during the same sessions, was omitted from the original demo tape.

According to the label, the release of First Demo is intended to bookend its “initial round of uploads” to the Fugazi Live Series. As announced in 2010 and launched in 2011, Fugazi have shared more than 900 concert recordings spanning 16 years of shows. The bootlegs range from a high-school in DC to the Forum in London, plus gigs in New Zealand, Hong Kong and then-Czechoslovakia. Each is available for a suggested donation of just $5 (£3).

Fugazi have not revealed any of their plans for what follows the Live Series’ “initial” uploads.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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