Greg Ginn, former leader and guitarist of the iconic Los Angeles hardcore outfit Black Flag, feels he is in the right creative place through playing electronic music in his current project, The Royal We.
"As far as tones and everything else, electronic and jazz has had an impact on my guitar playing,'' Ginn said. ''Listeners can hear that in my Royal We material. Over the years, I listened to a lot of jazz, saxophone and other instruments besides guitar. I don't learn guitar licks from or copy other guitar players.''
The Royal We, which performs tonight at the Lemon Grove Cafe, is Ginn's one-man-band project. At live shows, he plays guitar, synthesizer and theremin.
"A lot of the music I do is not like the stereotypical electronica dance music. It involves guitar, theremin and synthesizer. Those are the instruments I play live. Most of my music is a hybrid of organic and electronic music," Ginn said.
Greg Ginn and The Royal We's discography includes the full length LP, "We Are Amused" (2011) and the 12" release, "We Are One" (2011). Greg Ginn and The Royal We played at this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival in Indio, Calif.
With The Royal We, Ginn said he is influenced by the experimental musicianship of '70s greats Hawkwind and the '90s electronic sounds of The Crystal Method.
WHO: The Royal We and DJ Mr. Pur-Ple
WHEN: 10 p.m. today
WHERE: Lemon Grove Cafe, 122 W. Federal St., Youngstown
HOW MUCH: $5
"I liked the Los Angeles rave scene in the '90s,'' he said. ''I got bored with all the grunge and the '90s rock. I spent my '90s listening to electronic music and jazz. I liked later electronic music when it included more percussion. I also liked a lot of trance music that came up in the '90s," Ginn said.
Electronic music has a very interesting impact on Ginn, especially the atmosphere of the west coast rave shows.
"I loved the rave shows in Los Angeles because they kind of reminded me of the early DIY punk rock shows, because they were promoted by younger people," Ginn said.
Ginn said The Royal We's live shows include an intriguing visual element.Visuals and music are the perfect marriage.
"I have a video screen, and each song has an individual video that syncs up with each song. So live video accompanies music," Ginn said.
Ginn has also played in numerous recording projects and bands after Black Flag, including October Faction, Tom Troccoli's Dog, Gone, HOR, Jambang, Fastgato, Killer Tweeker Bees, El Bad, The Texas Corrugators and Mojack.
Ginn started the electronics company Solid State Transmitters (SST) at the age of 12 and transformed it into the indie / punk / hardcore iconic record label SST/Cruz Records in 1978. The label has released albums by many successful acts, including Black Flag, Husker Du, The Minutemen, Bad Brains and Leaving Trains.
"It was a way for me to put out my music. There weren't enough options in the 1970s. I was still selling electronics and records. Selling electronics was my job during the day, while I was in Black Flag," Ginn said.
With The Royal We, Ginn is constantly recording new music. He plans on releasing a new full-length release at the end of 2012.
''I am playing faster music, but that is subject to change. As far as my music now, it is more aggressive and faster tempo than the previous Royal We material. Listening to newer music inspires me to make newer music.''