Interviews

Black Flag's Mike Vallely on Former Singer: "He Doomed the Reformation From Day One"

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If you haven't been keeping score at home, there have been lawsuits, questionable record covers, alleged public firings of band members, undeniably the weakest record of their career, misuse (and possible abuse) of a Theremin, and massive amounts mudslinging in the media that marred one of the more exciting comebacks in punk rock.

Over the past month or so, Up On The Sun has had the opportunity to catch up with the new members of Black Flag, primarily new singer, skateboard legend and longtime musician, Mike Vallely. Joining Ginn and Vallely for this incarnation of Black Flag are Texas based rhythm section, bassist Tyler Smith and drummer Brandon Pertzborn. Greg Ginn doesn't do interviews, so it was up to these three to field all of the questions, tough and otherwise. Black Flag, Hor, and Cinema Cinema will exercise some demons on this Saturday, May 17, at Pub Rock Live. If the show is half as good as their answers, it's going be killer.

Up on the Sun: Thanks for taking the time to chat, Mike. For full disclosure, I am a fan. I'm older, so I actually did get to see the band "in the day." I'm also an old skater and completely appreciate the way you ride and have put yourself out there over the years.

Mike Vallely: Very cool. Thank you.

I'm an old fan too, and I also got to see the band "back in the day" as they say. I was 14 years old and it had a very profound effect upon me and how I viewed myself and my life and it was all very much so for the better. To become the vocalist for the band almost exactly 30 years later would seem to be some crazy twist of fate, but for me it really is at this point just a natural evolution of my friendship and working relationship with Greg Ginn. The reformation of Black Flag did not go quite as planned and instead of letting it fizzle out or end on a bad note, Greg and I have decided to forge forward with strength and cohesion.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon