By Charlie Swanson
Andy Pohl was probably 13 years old when he first heard Fugazi. The prolific underground band helped define the Washington, D.C. punk scene in the mid-1980s with a mixture of noise and social consciousness that many dubbed ‘art rock.’
“Their whole idea of embracing DIY and having a strong sense of morality and responsibility to uplift everyone in the community was really inspiring to me,” Pohl says. “It stuck with me. And on top of that, their music is really good.”
Pohl credits Fugazi with getting him into heavy music, and the longtime North Bay bassist and guitarist of bands like Kalifornia Redemption and SNIPERS!! always had it in the back of his mind to do a tribute album to the band.
Last month, that longtime endeavor saw the light of day when Everybody Wants Somewhere: A Tribute To Fugazi was released on Pohl’s Sell the Heart Records label. Featuring 21 bands playing classic Fugazi songs, this massive collection includes 11 tracks on limited edition vinyl, and the rest offered as digital downloads.
“I was really encouraged by the fact that this many people were eager to be a part of this project,” Pohl says.
Tracks by several North Bay artists, including post-rock band The Down House, ambient electronica outfit Identical Homes and songwriter Ryan Michael Keller, dot this genre-bending tribute album that was mastered by Daniel McKenzie at The Black Lodge in San Anselmo.
In the spirit of Fugazi’s ethics, all proceeds from the album will be donated to San Francisco nonprofit Taking It To The Streets San Francisco, which provides homeless youth with mentoring, safe housing and other services to support self-sufficiency.
“I really love the concept and was compelled by what they’re doing,” Pohl says. “This is going to be an awesome partnership.”
‘Everybody Wants Somewhere: A Tribute to Fugazi’; Selltheheartrecords.com.