Rollins Interview

Henry Rollins does not seem to sleep . He can’t . Maybe he won’t , but while most of us talk about our great ideas and things we’re going to do , he has already torn the ass out of ten projects, and is lining up the next batch for the pummeling .
He’s written eleven books of journal entries , poetry and sleep deprived reverie about life on tour , crushing loneliness and waking dreams that slip easily from hot to horrifying . He recently released three volumes of liner notes to roughly a bazillion songs from his radio show on L.A.s indie 103.1….songs we all need to hear before we die , or we will die lame . He has released seven performance DVDs and one of his talk show ,” The Henry Rollins Show” , the second season of which is airing currently on the Independent Film Channel .
Though his tour schedule is brutal , he finds time to blog , vlog , write articles , and if that weren’t enough , he answers just about every fan email he gets , personally .
At 47 , he’s not gripping a pool ball or getting mauled and gobbed on at his performances anymore, but he’s still fighting the man with all the piss and rage of a twenty year old . His latest show is “Recountdown 2008” to celebrate the Bush administration’s impending limp out of office. Once again his scarred fist pumps a middle finger right at Karl , Dick and W (to name just a few) .. He screams “FUCK YOU!” with his entire , aching life of non stop work , pain , rock and murder . Why ? Because Henry Rollins cares about America . So much so , he loses sleep over it .

S: Who do you think won the vice presidential debate ?
HR: I don’t think people can really win those things , but I think Sarah Palin was very well versed in the talking points she had very recently memorized and Joe Biden was very good at showing what he’s known for many years .
S: Around here I haven’t personally met any undecided voters , but you’ve been on the road awhile , have you encountered any ?
HR: A few , and they’ve mostly been women , and I don’t know why that is . Sarah Palin’s snarkiness comes off as confidence , comes off as knowledge , it’s a good veneer and may get some votes . Where Joe Biden…. Joe is Joe in a way where he comes off as kind of flat footed . He’s the guy in the Hawaiian Punch ad . He doesn’t lower himself , but I like that . He’s a real guy . When he got choked up , that was real .
S: It WAS real and that’s where Sarah Palin fucked herself , cause she had just finished saying what a mom she was , sitting at her kitchen table and blah blah blah , Biden chokes up about losing his wife and daughter , and she doesn’t spend a nano second to offer condolences or even pretend to be a human .
HR : Yes , but …you read books . Please realize you are on kind of the edge of the bell curve . You aren’t the Big Mac inhaling , middle of the road person . When you see that you say “Wow . What an asshole .” A lot of Americans don’t see that . Facts don’t resonate with most Americans the way ” I’m a hockey mom ” does . She’s got big balls and digs herself and that works for some people . What I took from the presidential debate was that Barack Obama and John McCain are both decent men who both love America . I don’t hate John McCain , I just don’t like where he wants to take my country . He wants to drag me kicking and screaming back into the 80s and I don’t even wanna watch it in a rerun . He’s bragging about not knowing how to use a computer and I’m like , Pal , lose the gills and the tail , come out of the muck and join us up here .
S: You have been really political ever since you put your mouth to a microphone,
when did you consciously turn your art into activism ?
HR: After seeing more stuff in the world , after seeing Africa , India , South America , places that have been really hard hit , where you see people really struggling, then you come back to your wonderful America and you see a guy on a treadmill trying to run the fat off his body because he eats too much . No one in Calcutta gets to have that problem . When you see what globalization looks like , it puts you in a geo political frame of mind .
S: I catch a lot of shit for being politically vocal . Recently a guy essentially wrote me telling me to shut up and sing . Why is it entertainers are supposed to keep neutral ?
HR: Some of it’s jealousy , some of it is you get paid to shut up and sing . Basically , the short version of it is , they’re trying to marginalize you ….but that guy telling you to shut up , I don’t want him to shut up either .
S: Oh , absolutely . I wrote him back and said ‘ isn’t it so great we both get to express our opinions here?’
HR: I support Rush Limbaugh , I can only take about thirty seconds of him , then I gotta go , but , long may he wave .
S: Speaking of thirty seconds of Rush … I may be bias , but it seems to me the funniest people in the world are left leaning and conservatives kind of suck at comedy …. why is that ?
HR : I will paraphrase Janine Garafolo when she said ” You know what all your republican friends have in common? They’re all kinda dicks .” They can’t be funny ,
they’re mean , and they should be largely ignored .
S: This election has got people so twisted with rage (a good thing that it motivates otherwise apathetic people)But I hear and see the same animals using threats and condescension to assert their position . There is so much vitriol on both sides , we wanna be right so badly we’re ready to kill each other to make it so .
HR: I think the motives on both sides are different . The outrage coming from the left is more coming from” You guys don’t play fair ! What’s up with that ?” and when it comes from the right it’s like ” Shut up , faggot . ” The right have such contempt for government , that’s why they cheat , because they don’t like government . Read the
“Wrecking Crew” it’s about Lobbyists and the senators who love them . The Norquists and the Tom Delays , these semi overweight rich white guys with a lot of hate . There’s no talking to these people . They know better , but they don’t care . That’s why they cheat .
S: So how do we fight the bullshit punditry , the spin and intimidation without looking like the same thing only flying different colors ?
HR: You keep fighting the good fight , you keep helping your fellow countrymen . You basically keep doing what you’re doing . Look at all the young people voting now , who know a damn thing or two about politics . Look at all the young people showing up at rallies for both Obama and McCain . That’s the upshot , so I think the future is very bright . McCains America is going away , like a relic , like stoning or putting leeches on your face for a cold .
S: But the proverbial “they” can spin and spin until propaganda looks like fact , and going to the beginning of this conversation talking about Palin , most people will buy what is easy .
HR : They’ll buy it til’ they’re broke . That’s the awful bottom line that these people are gonna have to hit . It’s the two million dollars worth of coke they’re gonna have to go through to realize that coke is a dead end .
S: I guess so . As frightening and unfortunate as it is , you sometimes have to burn a field in order for it to be able to grow and produce again , destruction being integral to re-creation .
HR: Yeah , America is perhaps at the slow push down of the reset switch , and there’s gonna be some turbulence , and there’s gonna be some arms torn off in the machine , but hopefully the next generation says , ” Not on my watch ” . And that’s why you have to keep telling the truth and keep standing up . Don’t submit to intimidation or those who say ” Shut up bitch.”
S: Yeah , it’s funny when I get in a guys face , where a minute ago he wanted to bend me over , but in an argument I get fatter , uglier and older and suddenly , I’m a bitch .
HR : Well , the male ego is very fragile .
S: So is the woman’s . We’re just better liars .
HR: I …. um …. have no comment .

Henry Rollins will be at the Newmark Theater in Portland Oregon Monday , October 13th at 8PM . Tickets are $28.00.
Sadly , I will be hosting Willamette Week’s CANDIDATES GONE WILD at the exact same time at the Roseland Theater,$5.00
benefiting the Bus Project .

Peace out and love thy neighbor no matter how they vote .

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