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BLACK FLAG MANAGER MIKE VALLELY AND BAND FOUNDER GREG GINN
There's a simple answer for the "Black Flag" fans who are confused about why two different versions of the band are touring this year: It's about money, says Mike Vallely, who manages the lineup featuring founder and guitarist Greg Ginn. That's the version touring as "Black Flag," with singer Ron Reyes and drummer Gregory Moore. Also, former band members Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson are performing "Black Flag" songs in concert this year under the name "Flag."
FLAG VOCALIST AND ORIGINAL BLACK FLAG MEMBER KEITH MORRIS
Keith Morris and all the ex-band members through the years have been wanting to do "Black Flag" again, but they've been wanting to do it on their terms," Vallely tells in interviews, "they all see a shitload of money sitting there and they want it!
Apart from a brief reunion in 2003, the pioneering hardcore band had been largely dormant since splitting in 1986. Then, after years of releasing music on his own and with various side projects, Greg Ginn announced in January that he was re-teaming with Reyes and Moore for a tour and a new album as "Black Flag," a move that Vallely says was nearly a decade in the making. "Greg and I had been talking about doing something together since 2003," says Vallely, who is "Black Flag's" manager and also a professional skateboarder, skateboard company owner and lead singer in "Revolution Mother."
"Good for You" turned into something good thus far, a new punk band with Mike Vallely on vocals and Greg Ginn on guitar. The group released its debut, "Life Is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge," in February on Ginn's legendary label "SST Records". "Good for You" seemed to signal that Ginn was ready to return to punk rock, and at the same time the guitarist was working with Vallely, he was talking to Reyes about reviving "Black Flag," but he did not want to just play nostalgia sets.
LEAD GUITARIST GREG GINN FOUNDER OF SST AND BLACK FLAG
"Greg Ginn doesn't want it to be about a reunion, or just some sort of greatest-hits act," Vallely says. "It's not "Beatlemania," you know; for him it's about the progression of his music. So there has to be new music for him to even consider playing the old music."
On the other side of this is the band "Flag." Band lead singer Keith Morris, who is "Black Flag's" original vocalist and the front man for "Black Flag" from 1976-79, was quoted in interviews saying, "convening as "Flag" wasn't premeditated" and "is not in spite of Greg Ginn or any other members of "Black Flag." The singer, who went on to play with the band "Circle Jerks" and later the band "Off," said, "We're celebrating the fact that we're at the age that we're at and people still love hearing this type of music. And we're still capable of playing it."
BLACK FLAG 2013 ON TOUR NOW WITH NEW ALBUM "WHAT THE..."
"Black Flag" released a new album this summer to coincide with a tour that will keep them on the road in North America and Europe starting in May and continuing through August. Mike Vallely says the new "Black Flag" songs are "definitely spirited." Valleley went on to say, "It's definitely the sort of sound that people who love "Black Flag," who are "Black Flag" fans, will be looking for," he says. "It's not a departure from "Black Flag." It has evolved like they always have.
Greg's guitar playing is Greg's guitar playing: he has a certain tone and style." Valleley says that "Ginn was the mastermind behind "Black Flag" and after the lawsuit dust clears, the message to the members of "Flag" will be heard through certain songs." Greg Ginn's released two tracks from their new album directed to ex "Black Flag" members who are touring currently as "Flag." Sure enough the first two tracks from Ginn and "Black Flag" called "Down In The Dirt" and "The Chase" do just that, they send a sound message.