Greg Ginn Approved Cinema Cinema Pick Their Favorite Black Flag Songs


Brooklyn post-punk goons Cinema Cinema have cojones as big as the deafening wall of eardrum busting noise that cutthroat guitarist Ev Gold and his drums-bashing cousin Paul Claro cook up. The duo unapologetically have covered the sacred Nirvana (“School,” without a hint of irony, mind you) while their brand new slab takes on PJ Harvey’s once-untouchable “50 Ft. Queenie.”

Cinema Cinema play with Black Flag and Good for You this Saturday and Sunday at Warsaw

Since 2008, Gold and Claro have slayed DIY style with their murderously loud, pedal-stomping anthemry. The fearless pair have cleared out rooms with bludgeoning volume, as they did just last week at a gig at The Grand Victory. Even the legendary, yet polarizing, Black Flag/SST Records figurehead Greg Ginn has joined in the fandom.

Ginn not only took heed of the sprawling din that was CC’S 2012 epic Manic Children & The Slow Aggression (recorded by D.C. legend Don Zientara) but he’s even taken the Dischord/SST addicts under his wing. Cinema Cinema have already toured with Ginn a bunch and jammed with him at his Texas home base. Now, their rapport will culminate with Cinema Cinema’s dream slot: opening for their heroes, the reunited Black Flag, in their Brooklyn hometown.

We caught up with Cinema Cinema to talk the influential, punk-defining BF songs that helped shape their sound. They are even praising Ginn’s new tunes, quieting the haters who are dissing the all-new Black Flag record due this summer.

“The Process Of Weeding Out”
Ev Gold: Black Flag’s all-instrumental album from 1985 was a giant influence in shaping the Cinema Cinema sound. It helped me realize that there should be no rules or limitations to the places you choose to go with your instrument. Ginn’s otherworldly guitar stabs and the choices made/jams explored helped steer me into the super fucking loud, pedal-hopping madness that I use in CC sets and on record. Just an all-out onslaught! CC also did a recording session with Ginn (as a three piece, with Ginn on bass) at SST in 2012. The entire session was heavy free-jam improv, a nod in the direction of Process. The experience of playing and recording with Ginn stands as one of the largest growth spurts we’ve had in the band yet.

“Rise Above”
Gold: A transcendent anthem for lack of a better, less gaudy, term. Lyrics like “We are born with a chance/ I am going to have my chance!” are just intrinsic statements about personal freedom that perfectly represent the band and what their DIY ethics meant to me. Almost on every one of my birthday’s, I dig out my copy of Damaged first thing in the morning and start my day with it in celebration.

“No Values”
Paul Claro: Love the vocals by Ron Reyes on this track; his stuttering delivery at the end is just nasty. It’s a perfect punk song, raw and real.

“Can’t Decide”
Claro: Gotta love My War. The topic of indecisiveness alone is punk as fuck. Between the tempo shifts and Ginn’s furious guitars just going off, this one sounds new every time I listen to it.

“Down in the Dirt”
Gold: For all the skeptics and naysayers who questioned new Black Flag material, this song proves that Ginn is still as much an innovator today as he was 30-plus years ago. I listened to this song over and over the day they released it, totally knocked out by Ron Reyes’s vocals and the ever-present, yet undefinable, Black Flag sound captured within. And there’s theremin!

What band’s like OFF! and the other FLAG are trying to embody/copy is a sound from the past, something nostalgia-based. What Ginn brings to the table with the new material and lineup is the real deal, and per the usual, aiming to reflect the present rather than harvest ground already dead and gone.

“The Chase”
Claro: For a brand new BF song, this one feels like it could have easily fit into their “early years” era. Watching them perform this one from the side of the stage in Chicago recently, it felt fresh and classic, with the crowd singing the song’s awesome chorus as joyously as they did to “TV Party” or one of the other older tunes later in the set.

“Slip It In”
Claro: Just an awesome and unpredictable riff. And that bass line!!

Gold: The unstoppable force of Black Flag and the relentless nature of some of their songs really inform the musical choices we make, “Slip It In” has been an influential number on us since the start.


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 14, 2013


Archive Highlights