US presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke discusses his love of punk rock

One of the Democrats' standout contenders for 2020 loves Fugazi and Minor Threat

Beto O’Rourke, one of the Democratic Party’s most prominent contenders to stand against Donald Trump in the 2020 US election, has discussed his love of punk rock in a new interview.

Speaking to Vanity Fair for a cover feature, O’Rourke recalled his days playing in a punk band called Foss. Among their members was Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who went on to become lead singer of The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In.

O’Rourke specifically highlighted the influence of Minor Threat and Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye.


“I have so much reverence for him and he means so much to me in my life,” O’Rourke said. “He really did represent this super-ethical way, not just of being in a band, or running a label, or putting on shows, but of just living.”

Elsewhere in the interview, O’Rourke revealed that he once impersonated the founder of key grunge label Sub Pop Records in order to book a show.

“Frustrated by a series of shows that didn’t materialise, he called up a popular rock venue in San Francisco and altered his voice, pretending to be a founder of Sub Pop, a famous indie rock label,” Vanity Fair writes. “He urged them to book Foss as the opening act, claiming the band was about to be signed to a record deal. They got on the bill but were kicked off the stage after two songs.”

O’Rourke officially announced his run for president this morning (March 14) after months of speculation.

He rose to prominence after narrowly losing out to established Republican Ted Cruz in Texas’ mid-term elections for Senator last year. Along the way in an unexpectedly successful campaign he garnered support from the likes of Willie Nelson, Spoon and The National.