Minor Threat -The Hardcore Punk Washington DC Band

This is one of the bands which had a shot stint, but one that was really powerful and exceptionally influential especially on the punk scene. They are credited with the establishment of a do it yourself concert promotion and music distribution ethic. Through their song, Straight Edge, the band became a huge contributor to the straight edge movement and ideals.

According to AllMusic, Minor Threat was an iconic band that produced groundbreaking music that has stood the test of time and change more than their contemporaries. Together with other Washington DC bands such as Bad Brains and California-based Black Flag band, Minor Threat literally set the standard for a lot of other hardcore punk bands.

The Early Years of Minor Threat

While attending Wilson High School, Jeff Nelson and Ian MacKaye started playing drums and bass respectively. They were strong believers in independent underground music scene and DIY mentality. They used the money they raised early in their career to create an independent record label known as Dischord Records. Through this label, they hosted the releases of bands such as Minor Threat, Teen Idles, and other punk bands in Washington DC.

Later on, they recruited bassist Brian Baker and guitarist Lyle Preslar. In 1981, they released the first seven-inch extended plays, In My Eyes and Minor Threat. The group grew in popularity and toured Midwest and East Coast.

The Reunion and Break Up

Somewhere during the release of the second seven-inch extended play known as Out of Step, there was a brief split which saw Lyle Preslar move to Illinois to pursue college education at North Western University. Left behind, Nelson and MacKaye worked on a studio only project, but could not agree on the title because disagreements were increasingly finding their way into the group.

In March 1982, Preslar left college under the urging of Hunting Rod, the lead singer in the band Bad Brains and re-formed Minor Threat. The reunited band included Steve Hansgen who joined as a bassist.

In 1983, the band broke up again and the main bone of contention was a disagreement over music direction. The days leading to the breakup saw MacKaye skipping practice sessions only writing lyrics to the Salad Days extended play which was something quite an unusual. The band did its final show at Washington DC’s Lansburgh Cultural Center on September 23, 1983.

MacKaye went ahead to form the band Embrace with other members from other bands. Baker on the other hand went into other hardcore punk bands including the Meatmen, Government Issue, Junkyard, Dag Nasty, and currently plays in Bad Religion. The other band members Preslar, Nelson, and Hansgen went their separate ways also.

Despite their being calls from fans for the band to reunite, they are still reconsidering whether they will have a second reunion after what seems like an indefinite hiatus. Hopes are still on for a second reunion.