it was announced last week that former Black Flag members were reconvening into separate groups, to once again play the band classic tunes. One outfit including guitarist Greg Ginn and singer Ron Reyes will be going by the trusty old name Black Flag, while another (including singer Keith Morris, bassist Chuck Dukowski, and drummer Bill Stevenson) will simply go by Flag.
Both bands will be hitting the tour trail this spring, with more dates to follow (Black Flag has also recorded a new album, while Flag is focusing solely on road work at this point). Both Morris and Dukowski spoke to Rolling Stone recently, about Flag and their thoughts on the Ginn/Reyes Black Flag.
How did the idea come up to reconvene as Flag?
Keith Morris: It wasn't premeditated. The situation was that a gentleman named Gary Tovar, who started one of the biggest concert promotion companies here in L.A., Golden Voice, was doing a series of shows at the Santa Monica Civic to celebrate 30 years of Golden Voice [in December 2011]. One night I think was Social Distortion, the next night was Bad Religion and TSOL, and the last night was the Descendents. Gary thought, "I've got room for another band. I need to come up with a big band." So he called Chuck Dukowski, and asked Chuck if he could put together Black Flag.
I know that [Dukowski] doesn’t get along very well with Greg Ginn. They worked together for years and they had their falling out, for whatever reasons. But Chuck saw that Billy Stevenson was already going to be there playing with the Descendents, because they were headlining, and he knew Stephen Egerton, who is also a member of Descendents. So he asked Billy to ask Stephen if Stephen would stand up there and play some Black Flag songs. Chuck called up and asked me if I wanted to do it, and we ended up playing the Nervous Breakdown EP. The response was insane. The place just went bananas. It was pretty wild. It was very exciting. That put all this machinery into motion. We decided that we wanted to continue doing it. So we talked about just doing this for fun, and offers started to appear.
I also understand that another former Black Flag member has just signed on with Flag.
Chuck Dukowski: We'd been talking about bringing Dez [Cadena] in too, so we brought Dez in. I'm so looking forward to it – it's going to be great. Especially when I think of stuff like, there's a video of the five-piece band at Mabuhay Gardens, and it's just so powerful. And I'm looking forward to doing "My War" with the two guitars, which it was always intended to have. Some of these later tunes were designed to have an interplay between the two parts. And then we'll bring some of Dez's later stuff, too, that never really came out. Maybe we can do "Ain't No Time Here Now" - I know he recorded that with DC3.