VegNews Music Week: Eating Vegan On the Road with Black Flags Greg Ginn
We check in with Ginn on the Black Flag reunion tour to see what fuels this plant-powered punk legend.
You know Greg Ginn as the guitarist, songwriter and founding member of seminal hardcore band Black Flag. What you probably don’t know is the 58-year-old has been vegan for approximately 15 years and vegetarian since he was 17. Recently, Ginn has toured in an array of acts—including Good For You, JAMBANG, the Taylor Texas Corrugators, and Greg Ginn and The Royal We—but this summer, he is reuniting Black Flag with vocalist Ron Reyes to record a new album. The band will also be kicking off national and international tours (both featuring Ginn’s other project, Good For You). We caught up with the iconic songwriter-guitarist to find out what he’s most looking forward to (and chowing down on).
VegNews: What’s the difference between touring as an herbivore in the ‘80s and now?
Greg Ginn: The perception [of veganism] has changed. When I was younger, I hid the fact that I was vegetarian. If somebody didn’t know it, I would [covertly] avoid meat because people would say, “You’re going to get sick. You have to eat some meat. You’re so skinny. You’ll get anemic,” and blah, blah, blah. Now, it’s changed 180 degrees. Now if someone finds out you’re a vegetarian or vegan, they say, “Oh, you’re so healthy.” It’s completely opposite, and that’s good because it makes it easier to travel. It’s a lot easier to find good food—or at least decent—on the road. Denny’s would have a salad with iceberg lettuce, a little chuck of tomato that got kind of ripened on the way there, a little thing of onion and some sort of ranch dressing. Now, even places that are junk food will have some selections that are edible.
VN: Any tips for snacking on the road when between cities?
GG: I like to have nuts around. We have a cooler in the van where I can put coconut water or fruit and vegetables.
VN: It sounds like you eat primarily raw. How do you feel about more processed vegan products, such as faux meat?
GG: I’m not big on it, but we have it around occasionally. A lot of the fake meat is very processed food. A lot of times those things are good for someone looking for a meat replacement—I just don’t have any craving for it. Sometimes I’ll eat tofu in a restaurant, so I’m not against it, but I don’t eat it much. For people who are switching from a meat diet, I would totally recommend it. It’s good to have for flavoring, but I eat more hummus and nuts for protein. If you look at some of the labels on some of those fake meats, the ingredients are as scary as anything.
VN: Have you noticed a difference in your playing since you went vegan?
GG: I don’t mind eating relatively soon before I play because it’s not going to weigh on me, whereas I know people who eat meat who say, “I can’t eat. It’s two hours before we play.” And I’m going, “Two hours? Come on.”
VN: Are there any cities or restaurants you look forward to on tour?
GG: There are very few vegan restaurants around the country and unfortunately I can’t always go across town to eat. There are a few that stand out. Spiral Diner in Fort Worth and Dallas is about the best vegan restaurant I can think of.
VN: What kind of feedback did you get last time the band reunited [in 2003]?
GG: For the most part, it was really good. Prior to those shows, I did a lot of interviews, so I took the opportunity to talk about cats and adoptions and all the various issues around that.
VN: Is there a connection between veganism and being an artist?
GG: I can only speculate that it’s people who are thinking about issues and taking a certain perspective on it. I could see it might be more introspective people. There are plenty of meat-chomping rockers—veganism is still very much a minority thing. We make a lot of noise, but they’re still building new McDonald’s, and Spiral Diners are slow to get built.
9 Vegan Foods For Healthy, Beautiful Skin
These plant-based staples will clear your complexion, fight wrinkles, and protect your skin from burns and dryness.
Read More »
Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
Learn about St. Pattys Day parades, vegan food and drinks, and the man who started it all.
Read More »
The #1 Way to Make Sure You Eat Your Greens First
Find yourself in need of some healthy habits? Its a lot easier to train your brain than you might think!
Read More »
6 Delicious Ways to Get Vitamin C
Vitamin C comes in more forms than just OJ. Here are six mouthwatering ways to get your cold-fighting fill.
Read More »
The Unlikely Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has long been perceived as an unhealthy indulgence, but recent research shows that it may contribute to longevity.
Read More »
- 31 Changes in 31 Days
- The Top 15 Vegan Instagram Photos of 2014
- The Top 15 Stories of 2014
- Millennium Named "Restaurant of the Year"
- The Top 15 News Stories of 2014
- The Top 15 Vegan Recipes of 2014
- Earth Balance Named "Company of the Year"
- The 2014 Veggie Awards
- How to Date a Meat-Eater
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Laura Robeson & Danielle Davis
- Budget Vegan: Four Ways to Save Big When Going Veg
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Ashley Moore & Jordan Coates
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Aliya & Michael Weber
- The Glycemic Index for Beginners
- VegNews Exclusive: An Interview with John Joseph
- 3 Cheap Ways to Stock Your Vegan Bar
- 3 Rules for Stellar Homemade Vegan Cheese
- How to Host a Summery Vegan Cocktail Party on the Cheap
- 10 Essentials for the Ultimate Fourth of July
- 7 Must-Have Vegan Summer Beauty Essentials