Black Flag Apologize, Promise Better Album And Tour With New Frontman
Last year, Greg Ginn brought back Black Flag. Sort of. Ginn, the guitarist and bandleader of the legendary hardcore band (and one of the most divisive figures in the early history of American underground rock), put together a new band with Ron Reyes, one of the singers who’d been in the band in its early days before they eventually locked in with Henry Rollins. But the new Black Flag did not exactly pan out. They released a terrible album called What The…, fired Reyes mid-show onstage, and lost a lawsuit the the competing Black Flag reunion band FLAG. But this version of Black Flag is still around and promising to right some wrongs.
In a Rolling Stone interview, Black Flag manager and former pro skateboarder Mike Vallely reveals that he’s also the band’s new singer and says that things will be different going forward: “We feel that, generally, the band fell short in 2013 because of a difference in the philosophies of Ron and Greg — it just led to dysfunction… It could have been better. [Black Flag] can be a stronger, more cohesive, tighter band. We want to prove that.”
To that end, Vallely claims that the band is recording new music and planning a new tour, tentatively set to start in May. As to the band’s previous failures, Vallely pretty much puts the blame on Reyes: “Greg just felt like, ‘I don’t want the Black Flag name to fizzle out with this or be tainted with this record that’s proven to be subpar compared to what the expectations for it were.’ He told me he made a mistake by working with Ron and trying to pander to a sort of old-school thing. He just thought that I was the guy for the job… I’m not gonna say no to that.” (Vallely is the one who fired Reyes onstage, though he says that he didn’t threaten him or anything.) And Vallely also claims that What The… is “still a pretty decent record.” So obviously, we’re in good hands here.
UPDATE: BrooklynVegan reports that bassist Dave Klein has left the band, too.