CATching up with Greg Ginn of Black Flag

        Lost Files of an Insane Writer:
        The Lost Black Flag Interview……..

First off let me start this article by telling a little about myself. I did this interview Sept. 22, 2003 from what I can gather from my records.  Before that I went to a Secret—or low publicized after-party that Black Flag did without Henry Rollins. This after-party took place at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach.  The after-party was thrown to raise money for expenses that had been made during the whole cat charity bash that Greg helped raise money for.  Just so you know the money rose from the actual shows, all and entirely went solely to the cat charities.  No one got a cut, no one made any money and Greg himself paid the participants out of his own pocket.  The people that knew about this show were mostly regulars of Alex’s Bar. I had never been to Alex’s so I found out by coincidence. I have a hardcore, old-school punk rock friend that used to roam the streets out there, and still had connections. The information dripped on over to me, and I decided to go.  I called to see if I could get tickets. The fuckin’ dude that answered the phone just laughed at me and told me that they had sold out weeks ago.  Apparently they had been advertising the after-party for some time and everyone had already bought all the tickets. Man, was I bummed out! How could I miss this opportunity to see Black Flag??? I had already missed them at the Palladium. This was fate I had to go.  So I said, “Fuck it!” “I’m gonna go anyways, maybe I can sneak in…..”  I also thought to my self that I would try and get an interview from Black Flag. 

I had just started to try writing for Rebel Noise, again.  I actually interviewed a band before this one, and had totally fucked up.  I never put the interview up, I totally avoided the band I interviewed, and I did them dirty.  To this day I feel real bad about that, but somewhere along the way I’ll try to see if I can make amends. 

Needless to say, I asked for an interview and to my surprise, they said yes!!!  Me, a total fucking inexperienced writer!! I couldn’t believe it. You have no idea what kind of an accomplishment this was to me. And it was so easy; all I had to do was ask.  No pretentious bullshit to cut through. No fucking “No we’re too busy.” Just an easy “Sure come on by.” “When do you have time?” 

So without further delay: “THE INTERVIEW”

***** F.Y. I. ***** I was warned by the publicist to avoid talking about Black Flag.  Like, he said talk about anything except the past stuff Black Flag did. Do you think I took the publicists advice?? Read on to find out.  Oh and a big thing—all of Greg’s answers are paraphrased, they are not direct quotes, please do not misconstrue this information. My tape recorder had shut off after about 10 min. of air, and I didn’t notice until later…..So I had to make do with my notes. Oh and this interview is just with Greg and I, not the whole band.

Stupid Question #1:
What’s your favorite cat?

I love all kinds of cats. Cats have many different personalities, more so than people.

Stupid Question #2:
Are you a vegetarian for health reasons or for political reasons?

I would say I’m actually close to being vegan, but most of my life I have been a vegetarian, and it has been for health reasons. But I strongly support animal rights. I’m not all political about it [being vegetarian] because I do it for myself. I don’t want to be overbearing. I might be wrong.

Stupid Question #3:
What’s your favorite beer??

I love microbreweries. If I had to pick, it’d have to be Sierra Nevada on tap.

Stupid Question #4:
What do you think about all these new bands that claim to be punk rock, that totally rip off original punk rock riffs?

I haven’t really heard their music. I don’t watch M.T.V. or listen to KROQ. I miss New Wave (punk), but I don’t want to catch it on the rebound. It’s not a new thing-people ripping off punk rock riffs. There has always been a market for PUNK ROCK. Take an image and mass produce it.

Stupid Question #5:
[Till this day I still don’t know the official name of this coffee, but it does exist] Cat Shit Coffee-Are they exploiting cats or is it really a tough call? After all the coffee bean just travels through the digestive tract of a cat, they’re not killing them.

I would never try that coffee. If there are hurting the cats then they’re exploiting the cats. Either way: not a good thing for cats.

Stupid Question #6:
So what do you think about Rolling Stone naming you #99 of the 100 top best guitar players?

I haven’t seen it yet. I’m kind of embarrassed about it, because some of the guitar players that are on the best of list can make you cringe. I also find it kind of insulting because they [the media] have never given me any acknowledgement. I feel demeaned.

Stupid Question #7:
Do you think Hot Topic exploits bands and labels?

Hot Topic has always carried my stuff [Black Flag merchandise]. I think they keep people involved who are into music. I hate malls, though-it makes me [the mall] have a panic attack. I don’t mind people too much, but I hate shopping.

Stupid Question #8:
Do you like dogs, since you’re all Pro-cat?

I like dogs. I have four dogs. I can do more for cats in a given space. Our dogs get along with cats. I get them to be familiar with cats through chicken wire, eventually they accept them.

Stupid Question #9:
What smells worse, dog farts, cat farts, or your farts??

Greg: Dog’s farts

Stupid Question #10:
Do you think that Black Flag helped your career or made you pass up opportunities?

I never thought of myself as having a career in music. I do it because I love it. I loved the ten years that Black Flag lasted. It was a great time to end and that’s all it was [a great time]. I only brought it back to help the cats.

Greg Ginn at the time was working on projects with his current bands HOR and Fast Gato. They were playing parties and were looking to play venues soon.
Greg Ginn owns SST Records. SST is the home for bands like Bad Brains,Husker Du, and the Minute Men.  SST is still going strong.  Check it  Support the scene, and labels like these.

  Later and out, The Fuckin’Lame Cat    
Keep an eye out for my antics—the cat is back!
Oh and make sure to check out the photo album, there are some pictures from the show at Alex’s Bar and the last two pictures are from the day of the interview at SST Records.

Interview date: Oct 22, 2003

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