Formed in 1980 and discontinued in 1983, Minor Threat is considered one of the most influential American hardcore punk bands of the early 80s. They released one full-length and three EPs. After breaking up, frontman Ian MacKaye resurfaced in Fugazi. When Geordie quit The Teen Idles, Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson decided to form a new band with Ian MacKaye on vocals instead of bass. They started playing with Lyle Preslar, who sang for the Extorts and wanted to switch to guitar. Lyle introduced them to Brian Baker, another Georgetown Day School punk who was not only a guitar player, but one who had a Marshall guitar amplifier! Brian Baker started playing bass in November of 1980 and the band played its first show a month later.
Minor Threat and SOA were part of a small wave of new kids and bands in DC, many of whom were not into drugs and alcohol. Some of the bands made mention of this in their lyrics, and Minor Threat’s song "Straight Edge" coined the phrase that is now used to describe a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.
The band played regularly and definitely had a following, but broke up at the end of the summer when Lyle left DC to go to college. Six months later, dissatisfaction with school and a sense of unfinished business prompted Lyle to drop out and, to the surprise of some of the punks in DC, Minor Threat reformed in April 1982. That fall, Steve Hansgen joined to play bass while Brian moved to second guitar and the band recorded and toured as a five piece until June of 1983.
Minor Threat played a few more shows as a four piece that summer, but they were not getting along. They were unable to agree on the direction of the music, and ended up spending more time arguing than playing in the practice space. They were also divided about how the band should be run, and whether or not offers from other labels should be considered. Faced with this dilemma, the members decided that it would be better for all involved to shut it down.
Brian Baker, Steve Hansgen, Jeff Nelson, Ian MacKaye, Lyle Preslar