The man claiming to be the new frontman of hardcore pioneers Black Flag, Mike Vallely, has spoken about the band’s future following the departure of former frontman Ron Reyes last year.
Black Flag’s guitarist and founding member Greg Ginn reunited with Reyes last year and released ‘What The…’, the group’s first new material since 1985’s ‘In My Head’. Reyes was reportedly fired during a November performance in Australia when skateboarder Mike Vallely – who sang with Black Flag at a 2003 reunion show – took the microphone away from Heyes and asked him to leave.
In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Reyes wrote: “With two songs left in the set Mike V comes onstage, stares me down, takes my mic and says, ‘You’re done, party’s over, get off, it’s over…'”
Vallely has now offered his take on the incident. Speaking to Rolling Stone on behalf of Ginn and Black Flag, he said that Reyes was becoming “disgruntled” and “combative” over the course of the reunion and he intervened to prevent Reyes from quitting onstage. I did not threaten him or physically remove him from the stage,” he said. “I just told him very plainly, very simply, that it was over. And he looked at me and he almost seemed relieved. Then he walked off the stage.”
On the band’s future, Vallely said: “We feel that, generally, the band fell short in 2013 because of a difference in the philosophies of Ron and Greg – it just led to dysfunction… [Black Flag] can be a stronger, more cohesive, tighter band. We want to prove that.” Vallely also confirmed that he was now officially Black Flag’s frontman, making him the fifth person to occupy the role. He said that the band are planning a “pretty extensive” tour which is likely to begin in May.
In November, Reyes added that he wanted to make amends with Flag, the other current incarnation of the hardcore band. Flag consists of other original co-founders, singer Keith Morris and bassist Chuck Dukowski, as well drummer Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton of Descendents. Black Flag is Ginn plus drummer Gregory Moore and Mike Vallely.