Interviews

Bryan Migdol: Black Flag’s Original Drummer on LA Punk History, His Latest Project

Bryan Migdol in the '70s

In the debut installment of his A Hardcore Conversation, new No Echo contributor Anthony Allen Begnal connects the dots between Black Flag, Ratt and Charles Manson. Bryan Migdol was the first drummer in Black Flag and here’s a bit of his story. 

You are Bryan Migdol, the original drummer in Black Flag, from Hermosa Beach, CA, correct?

That’s correct!

What made you want to start playing drums to begin with?

I used to have an older brother named Jeff who, actually that’s how I met [Black Flag singer] Keith Morris, they were best friends. Keith used to come over to the house all the time and my brother was a really good drummer and I used to play his drum set all the time when he was out of the house because if he knew I was playing ‘em he’d beat the shit outta me when he’d come home. But after a while when I got my own kit we used to play together, it was really fun, duel drummers. And that’s kinda where I learned. He was a great drummer. Unfortunately he was killed in an automobile accident many years ago. 

Oh, sorry about that man!

Yeah. But that’s my inspiration, he’s the one that got me into concerts and got me into music. He was 5 years older than me so like at 13-years-old, I’m going to see Alice Cooper and David Bowie’s first tour. He was 18 so he’d drag me along. So, for me it was really cool.

Since you were playing punk rock music pretty early on, what was your reference for playing that kind of music?

Back then, well, I’ve always kind of grew up on like Black Sabbath and that early rock stuff. Shit like Free and some of those great old classic bands. But the punk rock thing just kind of started when the Ramones and other bands started coming out, and the Sex Pistols, obviously. I was asked to come in and play with [Black Flag guitarist] Greg [Ginn] and Keith and I came there and it just kind of morphed into that sound. At that point in time we directed, well at least I directed my influences definitely to the Ramones, and the MC5, New York Dolls, that whole scene that was happening in New York at the time. And I think that’s really how a lot of the writing happened in those days, because of those bands.

Can you tell me more about your childhood?

It’s noted everywhere and Chuck Dukowski loves to talk about it, my father when I was growing up, he worked for the mafia and he was one of the biggest counterfeiters of all time. My whole childhood life I lived with my mom because my dad was in jail, he was never even around. So, I bailed out of the house at like 13 or 14 because my dad after he got out of prison he was just an asshole, so I moved out at a really early age and all I had was my bicycle and my clothes. I didn’t even have drums. Then I moved over to Sy’s Liquor and I was able to play the drums over there and eventually I got drums of my own. Oh, and this is really gonna blow your mind, my dad was also part of Charles Manson’s group. He wasn’t like a killer or nothing but he used to go up to the Spahn Ranch and hang out with them all the time. He used to own a porn company back then and Charlie would give him girls to be in his pornos. 

Bryan, circa mid-'70s.

Wow! That’s crazy! So you lived at Sy’s too?

Yeah. Ben and Jim "Kansas" Deerman and myself lived there and we were all really heavy surfer dudes so we’d go on surf trips and do all that but yeah. Ben Deerman man, weird dude. He was older than all of us.

And did you jam at Sy’s?

My first jam house, live-in rehearsal space, whatever you want to call it was Sy’s (Liquors in Redondo Beach). It was a really cool place, it used to be the warehouse where they would warehouse all their stuff. A good friend of mine’s mom owned it and there was about 5 or 6000 square feet in the back that they weren’t using. So, about six of us moved in there. We built a stage in there and we would jam in there constantly. This was probably late 1973, early ’74. I was playing with a band called the Street Kids. And Keith Morris would come over all the time and hangout. I think he was playing bass at the time but he wasn’t very good at it. If I remember right he had an Dan Armstrong bass, like one of these clear ones like Greg had. We lived there for probably 4 or 5 five months and we used to have raging parties there and the city of Redondo Beach ran us out.

So, when we got ran out of Sy’s Liquors, we moved in with Greg and Keith in one studio, Würm in another studio, which was Chuck Dukowski’s band, and us (the Street Kids) in another studio. Technically I was kinda like still playing with the Street Kids but I started playing with Black Flag more and more. Ben Deerman (Kansas’ brother and Street Kids member) was kinda getting upset with me playing with them and didn’t want me playing with them no more if I was going to be playing with Greg’s thing, so I started rehearsing full-time with Greg. 

So, it was your brother and Keith, that’s how you hooked up with Black Flag?

I knew Keith real well because he used to hang out at our house all the time. After my brother passed away I became really good friends with him too so we went to a lot of concerts together pre Black Flag. 

Did you have any idea what you were getting into when you started playing with them or did you think it was just like a regular band? 

Well, y’know, I thought it was like a regular band. There’s actually 3 bands I met at, they called it the Strand Bathhouse in Hermosa. That’s before the Church (infamous Black Flag rehearsal spot, where a lot of the band members lived, etc). Very few interviews or very few people ever talk about the Strand Bathhouse. People always put a spotlight on the church and they don’t realize, there’s a whole world before that. 

Bryan outside of the Strand Bathhouse, Hermosa Beach, CA, 1973.

The Strand? As in, “I was so heavy man, I lived on the Strand”?

Yeah. So that whole scene was an old place that used to rent surfboards and rafts and all that type of stuff. You could get your sunscreen there and all that. I remember a guy passed away or something and then they closed the building down, it was closed for a while. And then we kind of took it on. Well, not me but I think it was Chuck [Dukowski] and another guy kind of got together and got that place and the next thing ya know, Greg and Keith got a rehearsal place in there. And Würm, Chuck’s band, they had the big studio and then it was Black Flag in the middle and then the Street Kids. 

Oh OK, I’ve never heard of the Street Kids.

The Street Kids was a band I was in, playing drums for prior to Black Flag. They were like an early Stones type of band, just rock 'n’ roll, sort of like the Black Crowes almost. And that had a guy named Jim Deerman on bass, better known as "Kansas." The legendary "Kansas" that everybody talks about. So, he was in the Street Kids, but before Chuck he would come over and play bass with us. But he didn’t get along very well with, um, the others. And if you read Keith’s book [My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor], he’s the one who, him, and his brother stole the pot plant from next-door to Greg Ginn’s mom’s house. And then dragged the plant, a 13 foot plant down the street, dropping leaves all over right in front of Greg’s mom’s door. So he kind of pissed off Greg and then he kind of got rid of him, pushed him out and everything but I was kind of playing for both bands.

Then, when I heard Black Flag was gonna go in the studio and record, I had never been in a studio and it was something I always wanted to do so naturally I kind of went with them and got tight on that and then, y’know, we all went in the studio. We laid down a lot of tracks, I’m not sure exactly how many if I really think about it but along with Nervous Breakdown, I’m on tracks that came out on later albums. A lot of people don’t know that. We laid down, I wanna say nine or ten songs. We did that and then the falling out happened and we all left. When we lost that place (the Strand), because the police and the city kicked us out, they moved right down the street to the Church, the famous Church, which is literally just about a block away. 

Oh, Ok.

You wanna know something weird? I’ve had people ask me forever, Who’s Kansas? and I’d be like, I don’t know because I knew him as Jim. And then I heard Keith Morris on an interview talking about Kansas running down the street with his brother Ben and the pot plant and then it clicked on me who the fuck Kansas was! I was like, "that’s Jim!" Jim/Kansas was actually involved with a lot of the writing of those songs, he sat in on a lot of the rehearsals with us. I’d be getting ready to go over and do a 4 or 5-hour rehearsal with Greg and Keith and I’d say, “c’mon Jim, you’re not doing nothing, c’mon over!” And then finally what wound up happening was, his brother got really mad at him for going over there so he didn’t want problems so he just quit playing with us. 

Why’d they call him Kansas, even though I guess you didn’t even know they called him that?

Yeah, you wanna know why? I didn’t even know this because it was before I met him, but he was from Kansas. 

Well there ya go, they called him Kansas because he was from Kansas, brilliant!

[Laughs] Yeah.

So they were kicked out of the Strand and then they moved into the Church?

Yeah, and then once they moved into the Church, I was playing with them for a little bit but not very long at all and I also worked for, along with Keith, worked for Greg at SST Electronics, before it was SST Records. I was soldering circuit boards and all that stuff. 

So, that was actually a serious business?

Yeah! SST Electronics, Greg made something to do with Ham Radio. It was like some switch that you could go from one channel to another channel real fast. So he had his business in there (the Church) before we moved in there, that’s how we started rehearsing there. The rehearsals are obviously iconic and other bands moved in there. Because it was a church they had a big sized room in there and they started doing shows in there and that just pissed the city off even worse! But after a while of being at the Church I was pretty much gone after that and I left the band. Keith Morris likes to say I was fired but I think it was a mutual thing. But we’re still friends and I still talk to pretty much everybody. But ya know, if you really think about it, there’s no way in hell any of us knew what this was gonna turn out to be 40 years later.

I mean, there’s crazy bands that are so good that do one record and you never hear about them again. I don’t know why and maybe it’s because it became a culture type thing and rebellion and everything that went along with punk rock and how it kind of grew, but if you really think about it, punk rock was always small, it never really was big. Just really now, since the late 90s a lot of alternative bands have come up now like Green Day and Offspring and so on and so forth. And then you’ve got people like Dave Grohl saying, “those are my favorite bands!” So that attracts the younger kids to to go look at the older-school stuff. 

Right.

And I mean, if you go through Black Flag history, you talk to an older guy who’s my age or a little younger, they like the Keith Morris era. Then you got guys who are in their 40s or 35 and they love the Henry Rollins era. And then I know people who are so into later Black Flag, you start talking to them and they don’t even know Nervous Breakdown or any of the original stuff. It’s kind of crazy really.

Were you in Black Flag for the infamous Polliwog Park show?

No, I had left the band then. That was when they had very first started playing out. I don’t know what number because I was gone, I only kinda read stuff that Chuck put up online but that was one of their first shows, that and I think the Elk’s Lodge, those were really early shows for them. 

Black Flag at Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach, CA, 1979. (Photo: SPOT)

Did you play live with them at all?

I played live in front of people at the Church and y’know, other places, and we did a party or two, but not really. We used to have like 50 or 60 people watching us at rehearsals sometimes. I was in the very frontline, writing the stuff, rehearsing the stuff and in the studio. There’s a lot of different versions of Black Flag but the version I’m in, I wanna say that we all were very influential, and when I say we all, I mean especially Keith and myself and Greg, were all very influential on the sound of that, and kind of made it what it became. 

Yeah, you guys were kind of the sonic architects for an entire scene situation, or genre of music. 

I’ve had many people tell me that the drumming on that early stuff is what inspired them and I mean, I love Bill [Stevenson], I love when Chuck was in the band, it’s just different strokes for different folks. 

Now when you say you had 60 some people watching you guys at a rehearsal, were people going off like it was a show or were they standing there with their arms folded around their chests watching you?

I remember a couple stories that stick with me about how raging the parties were. We had a big heavy wooden door, and I’m talking it was probably 6 inches thick. They had this little hole cut out in it, one of those windows with bars you could see out of, like a speakeasy type of thing. We used to always try to keep that door closed because as soon as somebody would come in that door, the police would come down. So as soon as people would be leaving we’d have to make sure to close the doors or the cops would be in there. They were lingering out there the whole time. 

Wow, that must’ve been fun.

So that mural they put down in Hermosa Beach about Black Flag recently, I started thinking to myself, this is just weird. So right there in the town where I grew up, on a wall there’s this mural right in the alley I used to run down and hope that the police wouldn’t get me. It’s kind of ironic. 

Black Flag mural in Hermosa Beach, CA, 2018.

It’s super Ironic! They used to run you guys out of town when you were doing it and now they’re like, “look, these people are from here, we love them!”

Yeah! You got the Descendents, the Circle Jerks, you got us [Black Flag], you got Pennywise, and Saccharine Trust and many more, and now they’ve embraced it because of tourism. People are actually coming from Europe and stuff wanting to see where Media Arts Studio was where these people made all these great recordings and where we played and stuff. 

Did you see Black Flag live after you left the band? 

I saw them a couple times, yeah. 

And did you like it or were you like, "holy shit, I’m glad I left that band"?

Well, back in those days if you asked me, I’d say yeah I’m glad because I jumped right into a metal band and started playing the Whisky and the Roxy doing metal and that type of stuff and back in those days, the early '80s, that’s when Ratt, Poison, and that whole Hollywood thing was happening. So, I was in this band called Gutz and we played out for quite a while. We got a record deal and we wound up disbanding but we did do an EP but it never really came out. And I also, in the early 2000s, I played country for 10 years. 

Bryan's former band, Wild Heart

Right, I remember you told me that. Now, were you friends with the guys in Ratt?

Oh yeah! I just saw Bobby Blotzer a month ago at a club. I hadn’t seen him in about 10 years. There’s a picture of us somewhere on my Facebook.  

Did you jam with the Ratt guys at all?

Oh yeah, I used to play with them all the time. When I lived in Redondo, which was prior to the Flag thing, Bobby lived two apartment buildings over from me and Bobby’s house was pretty much the place where you could go because he was married at a very young age to a lady named Jenny and I went to school with those guys. Bobby was about a year older than me. So, they got married and got an apartment. It was like a place to hang out. A lot of drinking and y’know, just having a good time. The bass player of Ratt, Juan Croucier, when Ratt hit, and I mean hit, for about two years they were on tour and I lived in his place. He let me stay there for a long time without having to pay rent just to keep an eye on the house while he was on tour. So I go back with all of them. But there were a lot of South Bay bands that came out of there then, like Great White, I could go down a list of a lot of great bands that came out of that area that I also knew and jammed with. 

Well, like who?

Don Dokken. He was at our school and his band played the prom at our school. 

Wait, so Don Dokken went to the same high school as you and Keith and Greg and stuff?

No, he went to Mara Costa, we went to Aviation but it was right there, the closest other school in the town. 

As I’m sure you’re aware, as things developed and punk and metal were kind of enemies, were you guys friends in high school or were you guys kind of being like, "fuck you, we’re punk or we’re metal," etc.?

No, that came later after I left. I mean, that’s one of the reasons I didn’t wanna do it no more. If you look at those early pictures of us, look at how long my hair was. I always had hair that long and back then Greg had long hair, we all had long hair. It wasn’t about that. That came a couple years after I left the band, when people started putting safety pins in their noses and wearing bondage gear and their favorite Doc Marten boots. As Mike Ness said, "pretty colors for their hair," and all that, y’know. And he’s 100% right. Every time I hear that on the Live at the Roxy (Social Distortion) record I crack up because he’s so right. 

Greg Ginn (performing w/ Gone) at Kansas Union Ballroom, Lawrence, KS, 1986. (Photo: Jason Willis)

You started playing in Black Flag in 1976, is that correct?

Yeah, I’d say ’76, I mean that number’s all over the place. Some people say ’77 but I’d say ’76.

Let me ask you another Black Flag question, just to kind of clear up some rumors or legends or whatever. Since you were in the band from the beginning I think you’d probably know, is it true that Raymond Pettibon was the original bass player in Black Flag before Chuck Dukowski?

Well, that might’ve been before Keith and Greg called me in. I’ve wondered that myself. I mean, obviously Raymond was around all the time and I know him really well, but did he ever physically pick up a bass and play with us? I don’t remember that. 

Ok, and what about SPOT, did he play bass with you guys?

No, SPOT was already engineering in the studio. Where the SPOT thing comes in as a bass player and I’m not 100% sure about what happened, but we recorded those songs and it was literally Greg and I live in a room just playing, with no bass player and Keith overdubbed the vocals later. And the bass came in after I had pretty much left the band. So if I remember right, SPOT laid down the first bass tracks, the basic tracks because he played bass. 

Wait, so SPOT played bass on the record or they overdubbed Dukowski later?

No, SPOT’s not on the record, it’s Dukowski (overdubbed). I don’t know if he did, to be honest but I’ve heard that SPOT laid down a basic track just to kinda fill it in. That’s where that rumor comes from. 

You played with just Greg in the studio, so the two of you were kind of the rhythm section in Black Flag then?

Oh yeah! I mean, the driving guitar sound was me pushing him on drums. I’ll never forget that we’d both be playing and his hands would just be bleeding all over that Dan Armstrong! 

Nice, that must’ve looked awesome on that see through guitar!

We used to really go in there, and the rumors you hear of the 8 to 10 hour rehearsals are true! That was one of the reasons I quit doing it. I don’t wanna sound like a pompous ass but we kept doing the songs over and over and over and we never were playing out, we never were doing anything. If doing the record didn’t come up, I probably wouldn’t have stayed as long as I did. But I really wanted to record and I hung out because of that.

That’s awesome, I hear ya!

And look what it turned into!

Yeah, who knew! 40 years ago or whatever the hell that was!

It’s the 40th anniversary coming up. You know, I’ve been in interviews before and people have asked me like, 'why would you leave Black Flag?" I left Black Flag because first, I just left and we parted ways. But secondly, had I known what Black Flag would be 40 years later, do you think I’d fuckin’ leave it? I mean, how many bands, bands like Aerosmith, tons of bands that have been together for 30-40 years and some of them hate each other but guess what, it’s a business and that’s what they do.

Right, I don’t think Mick Jagger and Keith Richards hang out together other than when they’re playing music together.

Yeah! You hear all of the stories of bands that take separate tour busses and won’t even talk to each other! 

Definitely.

I wanted to bring something up though, there’s a piece of history, I don’t know if you know this about me but for like 12 or 13 years there was a show on called Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and what it was, was live bands would come over from Europe and all over the world and come play an American gig and we would would film them and it was before MTV. And on Friday nights they would air bands on TV and they would simulcast it on radio too after a while. So everybody used to be around on Friday nights, it had huge ratings. Bands like UFO, Michael Schenker, Rush’s first American tour and all this great footage is out there. I started working for them because I knew the producer and he asked me, because I lived at the beach if I’d start doing promotion for them. And really what that meant was they’d give me tickets for the shows and I’d go down to Hermosa and I’d give them to people I knew because they wanted a real audience for the shows.

As the years went by I sort of went up the ladder a little bit and became talent coordinator, which was basically babysitting the bands and getting them what they needed from when they landed at the airport til when they left, along with other duties. I could bring whoever I wanted backstage too because I had a really good relationship with the show. So, like, Keith would go to to some of the shows. And along with some of the bands I just named we had Black Sabbath on one of their very early North American tours and they just blew everyone away. There’s a video of it on YouTube and you can see me on the side jamming out.

So, I did that for many years and what that did for me was I got introduced to every manager, every agent and all these different positions. And, I’ve never heard him say this publicly but Keith would come to shows and one time we were taping at the Santa Monica Civic and there’s a band in there and there were these two girls hanging around the backstage on rollerskates. Back in those days everybody rollerskated y’know, and they were like, really hot and they wanted to get backstage, so I got ‘em in and the band that was playing that night was the Commodores. So they were in the studio and we got to know them all and I introduced them to these girls so they invited Keith, myself and the girls to the LA Motown studio. 

So, did you go?

Yeah! So we all show up at Motown and they had two studios, Sunrise and Sunset and we were there watching the Commodores record their record with "Brick House" on it, y’know their biggest record they ever had. And at the time one of my best friends, Ron Abrams was in a band called Movin’ On and they got signed and I was kind of helping them out doing stage work and stuff. So, we were in there and I’m promoting Movin’ On to the Commodores, talking about this band Movin’ On, "ya gotta check them out, their guitar player is like Jimi Hendrix," kind of like a Stevie Ray Vaughn guy but it was before Stevie Ray Vaughn. So anyway, we go there for 2 or 3 nights, Keith and I are hanging out and they offered Keith a job going on tour with them, they were short a guy. I don’t understand why Keith never talks about this unless he’s embarrassed or something, he might be mad at me for saying it but he wound up on tour with the Commodores in 1974. And the Commodores wound up calling their album Movin’ On

Wow! So what what was he doing with them?

He was roadcrew.

Wait, Keith Morris was on the Commodores’ roadcrew and he doesn’t talk about it?!

He’s never said a word about it. There’s probably very few people on this earth that know, and I’m one of them ‘cause I was there the night he got it. They offered it to me too but at the time I didn’t have a drivers license and they wanted somebody to drive the van that had their wardrobe in it. Apparently he was the only white guy in the whole entourage. There’s like 10 people in the band as it is and like 30 people on the road with them and Keith was the only white guy [laughs]. I remember one time he called me from Atlanta and I hadn’t talked to him in a few weeks and I was like, "what’re you doing?" And he was like, “dude, I’m in Atlanta...we’re here for a few days.” I was like, "are you having fun?" and he was like, "it’s crazy dude, I’m the only white dude here!" 

So yeah, Keith did that and I continued to stay here and work for Don Kirshner’s. Later on, Don Kirshner and one of the producers, Tommy Lynch, and a couple other people, they were the founders of MTV. All the sudden, they’re millionaires because MTV was launched and MTV was what MTV was. So there’s a little history outside of Black Flag. A lot of people have this perception that I was just in Black Flag or whatever but I’ve been in the music industry for many, many years. 

Don Kirshner in 1976. (Photo: Everett Collection)

Oh yeah, I’m sure.

I’ll tell you another story too. For about 4 years, when the Ramones came out, I kept trying to get them on Don Kirshner’s. But the producers were like, “nope, too hardcore can’t be on prime time and no punk rock!” So one time I found out in a meeting that, guess who’s on there? The Ramones! I’m not gonna directly say that it was me who got them on but anyone who worked there will tell you that I picked them at any meeting we ever had. 

Nice! So, let me ask you about what you’re doing now, the My High School Rebellion thing (Bryan’s all-star punk rock covers/tribute project)?

Well, I’ll give ya a little history on it. It started out with Michael Vallejo from Circle One and myself kicking around ideas together for a couple years. And then he called in Rik Collins, a really good friend of his from the Woolly Bandits on bass. And my nephew Jeremy at the time was working at a studio in Hollywood and he told me we should come in and record so the three of us went in there and we went in originally to do an original project called American Waste. And any time I play with a band, the first thing that happens is they start playing Black Flag songs. 

Ha, well that’s what I would do if I ever got in a room with you playing guitar and you on drums, I’d start playing "Nervous Breakdown"!

Yup, it happens every time and it’s usually fun. So, we were rolling tape the whole time we were playing that day, well it wasn’t analog but we had the computer on, taping the whole time because if we came up with a good idea we wanted to remember it. We were working stuff out and we did “Fix Me," we did some other Black Flag songs but then we started to play other songs by like the Damned and the Buzzcocks and stuff. Someone would say, “oh, do you remember this one?” and play some other song. So, about a 2-hour session 75% of it became us dicking around with covers. We were listening back and thought it sounded pretty good. I came home and kind of had an epiphany and thought, y’know, what I ought to do is a compilation record with old songs that I grew up with early on in punk, like those other bands I mentioned and like the Saints, the Avengers all those bands that were out.

I started researching and my brother had bought me a three disc Rhino Records comp Punk of the '70s & '80s and around that time I was on a 3-hour road trip and I started playing it and was like, "oh, this song is killer, oh, this song is great!" So I figured I’d bring some of these songs back to the guys and see if we wanted to do some of these songs. I brought the idea back to them and they were like, "yeah, let’s do it!" As we started recording those songs it just kind of progressed in my head and I thought, We’ll call it My High School Rebellion because it is what I was listening to in high school and a lot of the young punk guys today don’t know where these songs and sound came from. If you really listen to a lot of the early stuff it’s not really punk, like true punk. It’s kind of like English, I don’t know what ya call it but it’s not like true punk… 

My High School Rebellion recording session, 2019.

It’s like rock 'n’ roll, power pop, kind of stuff.

Yeah, like the Sweet and a bunch of those bands that were doing it back in those days. I’m pretty good at marketing and one of my marketing ideas was, so where are we gonna get the artwork? So, I talked to Raymond Pettibon and Raymond’s people and we were originally gonna do a Pettibon cover but we couldn’t seem to get that together, so I came up with the idea to post it on Facebook for any of the artists that are on there that do other bands if they wanna come up with a cover concept for us. Well, this guy named Anthony [Begnal, your humble author] sent one in and I brought it to rehearsal and most of us loved it but somebody, I’m not gonna say who, was like, 'well I want a Pettibon!” And I was like, 'well, I don’t know if we can afford that!" So we wound up using the cover we have, which I love, which you did that and I wanna thank you personally for doing that for us and the way history works, that’s gonna down as an iconic piece, I guarantee you that!

Art by Anthony Allen Begnal

Oh, thank you so much man, I loved doing it too! 

I haven’t told you but I’ve had people tell me they took the cover and had it tattooed on ‘em.

Oh shit, you gotta get pictures of that, man!

I’ve already asked for them that and we’re gonna be doing some shows when this is done so we’ll get some.

Tell me about the shows.

Well, as of right now, we are waiting for one last person to do a track and that person is Mr. Dave Vanian from the Damned. Dave is doing “Pushin’ Too Hard” by the Seeds. We’re doing that song hopefully when the Damned comes back to LA. If that happens, we’ll be releasing it this summer. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m not waiting. We’re talking about doing a Volume 2 because we have a lot of other people that have contacted us that want to do it. If it doesn’t make this album, then it’ll go on the second one. But we wanna get it out because we do have a timeframe of getting it out before Labor Day Weekend. But everyone who has participated on this, I wanna really thank them. People from Casey Royer (DI), to people from Bad Cop Bad Cop, and Primadonna, bands who are really blowing up right now. So, we are gonna probably do a couple shows. Are we gonna tour? Probably not and it’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that it’s almost impossible to do this live with that many people in that many projects available at the same time and that’s why this is taking so long. 

My High School Rebellion recording session, 2019.

Is it going to be out on vinyl? 

Yeah, the idea is to get it pressed and out for that first show, so that’s also gonna be called our release party. So, we’ll probably do all the songs with the different people who sing on it, then we’ll have a big jam session with maybe a bunch of Black Flag songs with a bunch of people on stage with us. That’s the game plan. 

You gotta bring it to the East Coast, at least New York City at some point!

Well, I would love to do that and we need to figure out a way to do it. Maybe with only 2 or 3 singers to cover all the songs. That could happen. We start mastering with Marc Desisto in a couple weeks probably. And I’m so honored to have Matt Pakucko from Romper Room Recording who’s been doing all the mixing and engineering. We also did a video which was done by PNX News and Diana Bird. It should be out soon. It’s one of those records, I just think it’s gonna speak for itself. You’re gonna have hardcore fans of the original bands going, Oh this sucks! and then you’re gonna have other people who are all, Hey that’s a pretty good job, and then you’re gonna have people that never heard the songs that are gonna think we did ‘em [laughs]. 

Can’t wait man! Well, that’s all I got, anything you wanna add?

Well, to me it’s like, get the story right! It’s been bullshitted for so many years, y’know. 

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Tagged: a hardcore conversation, black flag

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