I interviewed Kira in her home in Studio City, CA, while on tour in 2009. Kira invited my crew and me over on the third day of our stay with friend, Philip Alcala, and we quickly readied ourselves for the trek and the interview. Originally, this event was videotaped by a film student from San Francisco, who conveniently never delivered the original to me, so is lost to the ages (sadly). After picking up coffee and donuts at a nearby coffee shop, the four of us contacted Kira and slipped off to meet her. Introductions were made, lighting was set up, levels were checked, and the tape started to roll.
What surprised me the most about this particular interview was that Kira, while not an original member of the band, was part of Black Flag during some of their most brutal touring. Having established themselves in the first four or five years (and three singers), the Kira years saw most of the massive touring that has become the stuff of myth, or legend if you like, and so her insight was pivotal for me. Aside Chuck Dukowski, whom Kira replaced around 1984, I found Kira's testimony as some of the most emotional. It is clear in the interview that her time in Black Flag was life-changing, it was also weighed heavy on her in some ways. Imagine trying to balance a full time college schedule with being in a full-time band like Black Flag, and commuting every day after school for an hour on a city bus, practicing for 4 hours with the band, returning to home on the same bus, and trying to manage the rest of your life, and you have four of her years wrapped up in a nutshell.
After about four or five hours of interview, photo shooting, and chit-chat, the four of us left her home amazed. Having been a fan of Black Flag for years, being asked to join her favorite band as the first (and only) female member made for some great hindsight information. While the interview itself (never mind the stolen video) was amazing, my photos of Kira were far from being of book quality. So, a year later, and with an equally large group, we revisited her to take more photographs. Having taken some fantastic images the second time around, by the time I arrived back to my Philadelphia home Kira's iconic blue bass had been stolen from her apartment. She ended up getting the bass back a few days later, but for a moment I was afraid that I was the last person to capture her and her beloved instrument on film. That said, I hope that you enjoy the words and the photographs from the two sessions.
I want to thank Phillip Alcala, Stefan Bauschmid, and Phillip Torriero for all of the help. Most of all I want to thank Kira for both her kind hospitality on both occasions, and for telling us all of these amazing stories about being part of Black Flag at the time when Black Flag had become synonymous with "epic touring" and "selling out." Her story proves that no matter what the musical direction of the band, at that time in their history they were still doing things the hard way. And, nobody complained...!
Stewart Dean Ebersole
Project Creator and Photographer