I still think the best metal bands have a blues feel. The first Black Sabbath album is kind of a bludgeoning of blues. Deep Purple also started out as a blues band.
If people are really excited about their music, and that's their primary motivation, then that comes through in demo tapes. That's the most important ingredient.
The public is usually slow to catch on to new things, and it's important that musicians stick to their guns and not look for that instant gratification.
The REM and Nirvana successes don't mean much to me except as a potential distraction for bands who want to cash in on the trend. Don't try to sound like someone else. REM and Nirvana don't sound like anyone else.
The small companies who feel that the majors are a threat, or are predators, will use that as an excuse for their eventual downfall. Don't blame others for your own inadequacies.
We've gotten involved in cat rescue - we take them in and find homes for them. I've always loved cats. I saw how homeless cats were living out there. We take them in, put out flyers.
The biggest disappointment has been seeing the number of people in this business with very shortsighted views.
People from major labels were afraid to go to Black Flag gigs throughout most of the band's existence. They treated our gigs as something threatening. I'm sure that it probably was. They probably had reasons to be scared.
Most good things happen with time; especially music, which needs time to breathe and to find its own way.
Black Flag was formed in 1977. We first recorded in 1978.
The English scene got more media attention with their emphasis on fashion, with the safety pins and all. There were some really good bands over there. The Sex Pistols were great.
I had business experience. I had made my living designing and building electronic equipment. Basic business was not new to me, but the music business was completely new to me. I knew nothing about distribution, or any of those things.
The Minutemen were seen as more of an art thing than Black Flag, although I didn't see them that way. It confused people when we put out Saccharine Trust, too.
There's not much music I'll listen to if it doesn't have pretty heavy swing. Rhythm is so important. Punk rock would have more power and feeling if it had swing.
You have to keep the business side together as well as the creative side. We have constantly surprised people and stayed with bands until they have grown on people.
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