All is not well in the world of Black Flag reunions, with vocalist Ron Reyes alleging he was fired from the reformed hardcore outfit while onstage in Perth for the last show of their Australian tour, being replaced with skateboarder Mike Vallely mid set.
Reyes took to Facebook to make the allegations, saying that his axing is the result of bad blood with guitarist Greg Ginn and describing his exit as a “relief”:
“On November 24th 2013 the last night of the Australian Hits and Pits tour with two songs left in the set Mike V comes on stage stares me down, takes my mic and says “You’re done, party’s over get off it’s over…”
The problems should come as no surprise to anyone who’s followed the saga of the two competing reformations of the smeinal outfit, Black Flag and FLAG, both of which feature original members. But Reyes claims there were issues with the Ginn version from the start:
“Yes it is my opinion that we fell very short indeed and the diminishing ticket sales and crowds are a testament to that. However It was made clear to me that raising these issues was tantamount to a blasphemous stab in the back to Greg. How could I question him, his efforts and hard work? How could I dare be a fan of OFF! And or be friends and a fan of Flag? I was told that I had to choose sides.”
Reyes says Vallely is likely to become his replacement, with the skateboarder once having provided vocals for the band at a 2003 reunion show:
“I would not be surprised if Mike V becomes the new singer for Black Flag. It is my opinion that they have been planning this for some time. I wish them well. Mike is a true disciple of Greg and so they have a good working relationship.”
Interestingly, Reyes added that he’s always supported FLAG and wishes them nothing but the best, saying he knew nothing of the competing entity when he agreed to front the new Black Flag. Ginn, however, has been accused of having conflict with anyone and everyone since the ’80s, with the band’s mastermind said to demand a grueling practice regiment and famously clashing with the band’s best known singer, Henry Rollins. Surely there’s a lesson here to be learnt about letting sleeping hardcore bands lie.