Interview with Black Fag
by Jasten King of Nancy Fullforce
There seems to a buzz (and controversy) going around Los Angeles
about a new cover band called BLACK FAG. You see, it's not you
typical "look and sound the part" type of retro-show tat most
tribute bands are. Once this band starts to play some seem to love
it, some don't understand it, others are offended and most have a
good laugh. I decided to drop a few questions to "Liberace Morris",
singer and frontman of the group, so he could explain for those who
might be a little confusedů
What made you initially think up the concept for BLACK FAG?
One night I was in a rather silly mood, and I was listening to
"jealous again" and I starting singing along with a lisp. I was
amazed at how the lisp added a whole new dimension to the song, so I
tried it with several other Black Flag songs and soon I realized
that Black Flag was the bitchiest band that ever walked the earth!
Who else is in the band and how did you all meet?
Like Black Flag, we have a rotating cast of musicians, but the
characters we play include Greg Streisand (our fabulous drag queen
guitarist), Cher Dykeowski (our
lesbian bassist), Robo Simmons (our club-hopping cabana boy
drummer), and myself, Liberace Morris (think Fred Schneider meets
Charles Nelson Reilly).
You've gotten some flack about the band either using the word
"fag" and/or having straight members in the band doing gay parodies,
etc... To me I see it as more of a comedy piece, and if it's poking
fun at anyone, it's Black Flag, not gays...haha. What's your take on
As soon as I thought of the concept of an all-gay Black Flag cover
band, it named itself. What else could we possibly call ourselves? I
knew that people would react negatively to it, but it didn't seem
very "punk" to shy away from an idea just because it might upset
people. Not that I live my life based on being "punk" all the time,
and not that upsetting people is always justified, but words are
just words, it's the intention that counts. Our band name is no
worse than a Sarah Silverman punch line, I stand behind it. As far
as negative reactions, we get far more hate mail from people who are
offended that we're disgracing Black Flag than people who are
offended about our use of gay stereotypes. Part of the black fag
project is about turning over rocks to find the homophobia crawling
around in the punk scene, so in a way we're succeeding, even though
success means coming face to face with the uglier parts of humanity.
What is the crowd reaction usually like from your perspective
when you guys start playing?
Every crowd is a different mix of joy, confusion, and/or disgust!
We've played a few shows where people were with us right out of the
gate, but usually it's fun to watch people slowly figure us out over
the course of the first 2 or 3 songs, and then decide whether they
think we're funny or offensive (or both) and then react accordingly.
Love us or hate us, I feel like we're at least making people think.
Any plans to release another cd or is it more of a
We have a full-length cd out right now with 10 Black Flag classics
that we have "fabulousized!" people can get it at our shows or on
www.interpunk.com (where you can also purchase your very own black
fag t-shirt)! Since we recorded the cd we've added at least 8 other
songs to our repertoire. It'd be great to record them at some point,
but we don't have the time or money right now.
Would you like to tour outside of the West Coast and if so how do
you think it'll go over in smaller cities?
Right now we're actually looking into doing a few dates in Europe !
We'd love to tour the states, but the band is really just a side
project for all of us and we can't really afford to invest a ton of
money into it, so we would probably only tour if we knew we would
break even, or if we were added as an opener for a bigger band.
Festival promoters: get in touch! Personally, I'm dying to tour
places like Texas or Wyoming or the Deep South . I'm sure that in
certain places we'd be loved and in certain places we'd be hated,
but both would be to such an extreme that it would be fascinating.
Scary, too, I'm sure, but fascinating!
Who are some of your favorite bands right now? Any up and coming
bands you suggest people to check out?
Well everyone who's anyone should already know about Nancy FullForce!
I haven't seen any new bands in a while, but I always recommend Bang
Sugar Bang, underwater city people, and Pussy Cow.
of course, the best band ever can be found at
http://www.myspace.com/blackfag. Thanks for the interview, doll