Fugazi PhotoFORMED: 1988, Washington, DC

Fugazi is as famous for its strident anti-corporate stance as they are for their music. Fugazi's leader, singer/guitarist Ian MacKaye, refuses to charge over five dollars for a concert and keeps the prices of their recordings low by releasing the band's recordings through his own record label, Dischord.

As such, their vehement political stance can overshadow their musical accomplishments; they are one of the few bands that prove it's possible for hardcore punk to expand beyond its rigid structures. With the seminal D.C. hardcore band Minor Threat, MacKaye defined straight-edge hardcore; with Fugazi, he breaks and rewrites the very rules he established.

Since their 1988 debut EP, Fugazi has gained a substantial fan base without the help of mainstream press or MTV airplay; the band would rather talk to fanzines than to the mainstream press, so they never talk to Rolling Stone. By the time of their 1993 album, they charted on Billboard's Top 200 without any commercial push; efforts including Red Medicine and End Hits followed, and in 1999 the group was the subject of the documentary Instrument, which also spawned a soundtrack album.

Through their anti-rock star stance, Fugazi have become rock stars. 2001 saw release of the band's sixth proper LP, The Argument, which was simultaneously issued with the three-song Furniture EP. Outside of Fugazi, both MacKaye and Picciotto helped other bands with production. MacKaye continued to operate Dischord, and Lally began his own label, Tolotta. Picciotto also ventured into filmmaking. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide