Black Flag’s bassist quits as Mike V clears the air

Ph: Rob Wallace/Courtesy SST Records

The saga of Black Flag took another few twists today starting with a Facebook post from bass player Dave Klein today, who has quit the band. Klein, who also plays in Screeching Weasel, has decided enough is enough and returns to play for melodic punk act They Stay Dead.

The new Black Flag singer Mike Vallely chose ESPN as the place of his second interview following the unveiling of the new singer’s role in legendary hardcore band this Monday on Rolling Stone. In this blog piece, Mike V explains how his relationship with Greg Ginn that started back in 2003 that has blossomed from becoming the manager of Ginn’s project to the new role of front man.

He said that: “…to be the vocalist for Black Flag today is not some overnight fairy tale come true. It’s the result of a friendship and working relationship developed over many, many years. Even over the past year, as the band’s manager, I was not pining for the job. I was truly glad to support the band in a management role every step of the way. But watching singer Ron Reyes throw away the opportunity was hard to swallow, and I felt the band deserved better than that. Ginn didn’t have to ask me twice.”

That much documented moment where Vallely took the mic from Reyes’ hands on stage in Australia was promted by Reyes (who was the band’s 2nd singer originally back in the 80s) threatening to quit many times. “He had informed Ginn and I several times that the Australian shows would be his last as vocalist for Black Flag,” explained Vallely. “The day of the last show in Perth, he reiterated this to us in no uncertain terms. He texted me several times while we were in Australia, threatening to not play the shows at all and to just fly home.”

Vallely basically had to endure damage limitation on Ginn’s behalf otherwise the show would have ended possibly worse than it did. “This being his last show, he looked determined to use the stage as a platform to air his grievances. I decided from a management perspective that we could not allow him to do that. I walked on stage, unplugged his microphone and asked him to leave. His out-of-shape, ill-rehearsed and noncommittal time in Black Flag was over.”

So there we have it. Mike V has cleared the air and the punk rock circus goes on. I have a feeling he will be a killer front man for the band and would certainly love to see it. It’s a poisoned challice though this band as mentioned in our most-read blog piece this week but just like when we saw the Dead Kennedy’s without Jello Biafra, the sing-a-long was worth going out for in the end.

In skate related news here’s a video on how Black Flag skateboards were originally made. Any bets on Elephant Skateboards releasing one any time soon should yield dividends.