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.
5 Ideas for a Great Vegan Spring Wedding
Spring is the season of rebirth, making it the perfect time to get married and enter a new phase of life with the person you love.
Read More »
40 Things I Desperately Want to Eat at Los Angeles' Hottest Vegan Festival
My tupperware's set, I've only eaten kale the past four days, and I'm ready for Eat Drink Vegan.
Read More »
How to Throw the Ultimate Graduation Vegan Barbecue
Schools out for summer—or maybe even forever—so fire up the grill and treat yourself and your loved ones to the ultimate celebration.
Read More »
5 Ways to Celebrate a Vegan Mother's Day with Your Mom
Show your mom you love her with vegan food, gifts, and fun.
Read More »
7 Pampering Vegan Products That Say I Love You, Mom
This Mothers Day, say thanks to your mom by creating a relaxing environment that is ethical, cruelty-free, and aesthetically pleasing.
Read More »
- Wicked Kitchen Chef Dishes on the Future of Vegan Food
- Why Going Vegan Can Help You Relax
- 3 Vegan Prom Makeup Looks
- The Ex-Airline Pilot Behind New York's Favorite Vegan Burger
- 10 Vegan Oatmeal Cups for the Person on the Go
- 8 Vegan Etsy Stickers That Your Car, Laptop, and Water Bottle Need, Like, Yesterday
- This 10-Minute Documentary Is Showing How Children Are Embracing Veganism
- It's Time for Men to Get Over Their Fears of Being Vegan
- We're Giving 5 Classic Films a Vegan Makeover
- VegFest Puerto Rico Built Community and Mainstreamed Veganism
- 8 Vegan Foods Making the 2018 Food-Trend List
- Fall in Love With Niagara's Vegan Scene
- If Trader Joe's Made These 11 Frozen Foods Vegan, We'd Never Have To Cook Again
- 8 Quirky Vegan Burritos To Make You Rethink Your Favorite Meal
- If You're a Broke Vegan Student, Read This
- It's Time Your Dog Went Vegan
- 6 Tips for Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet
- You're 8 Steps Away from Setting a Vegan Easter Table
- Did You Know César Chávez Was Also an Animal-Rights Activist?
- 10 Medical Reasons to Skip the Eggs on Easter