Black Flag was one of the most combative bands in L.A. hardcore, and that antagonism has certainly carried over into their recent reunion.
After founder Greg Ginn sued a bevy of former members and apologized for a rotten 2013, former singer Ron Reyes gave his first interview about his acrimonious departure from the band. In a talk with beatroute.ca (via Pitchfork), the vocalist airs all sorts of grievances with Ginn, the Black Flag/Flag lawsuit, and his exit from the band.
The interview comes as a response to a recent Rolling Stone story in which Black Flag's new singer/manager Mike Vallely tried to tie up some of the loose ends of the band's less-than-stellar 2013 reunion. Reyes was fired from the band midway through an Australian show.
Reyes told the site that at the onset of the band's reunion, "I was probably the only singer willing to work with [Ginn]," and that the shows quickly turned dark: "On a nightly basis there were a lot of people having a great time and there were a lot of people walking out," he said.
On the lawsuit between Ginn and the former Black Flag members touring as Flag: "There was the Good Flag and the Evil Flag . . . it was really hard. When I started I was on good terms with those guys. All of a sudden they stopped responding to my emails. Relationships were severed and I was guilty by association.”
On that divisive album artwork for the band's comeback album "What The...," Reyes said, "The guys wanted something lighter ... I made several submissions before Mike and Greg approved. They were heavily involved in the process."
In the interview, Reyes also made unspecified allegations that Ginn "threatened my family" but didn't elaborate on details of the alleged threat or offer evidence for it. He had previously described the split from the band as a "great relief."