Interview: Henry Rollins

Rollins001Image Courtesy of Henry Rollins Facebook

Most of the time when an artist is interviewed its because they have a product to promote. You get asked if you want to interview said artist and you talk about what they want to promote. This is great and all, and I have been lucky to talk to some awesome people over the years. When it came to Henry Rollins, he had nothing to promote, in fact, I wanted to interview him, purely because I find his in your face yet positive attitude very intriguing. I like the fact he is angry, yet compassionate, intelligent yet has thirst to learn. He is self sufficient, manages himself and his business, what you see is what you get. So, I thought, to hell with it, ill email him and ask, whats the worst he could say, no? And that was fine. So I emailed, and he got back to me in a few hours, and the reply simply read “Andrew. Hello. Thank you for the interest. I am able to answer some questions via email. I can’t get on the phone. Thanks again. Henry Rollins”. So why not I say. Email sent, and here is 10 quick questions with Henry Rollins

H2Z: Do you have any plans to partner with Netflix for any upcoming spoken word specials?
HR: I don’t. I just did one for Showtime.

H2Z: Do you think any of the modern music artists have a valid message and if so, who?
HR: I don’t know what defines a valid or invalid message when it comes to music. There are a lot of bands that I like to listen to, I’ve never been sure about what their message is. Last night I listened to a Led Zeppelin live album. I don’t know about the message they’re putting across or if there ever was one but the songs sure sounded good to me. I’m not trying to be obtuse. I just don’t listen to music for some kind of message.

H2Z: Australia has become a second home to you. What’s a favourite spot of yours that both Australians and visitors may not know exists, and what makes it your favourite?
HR: There’s a lot to like about Australia. Like any country, it has its challenges, of course. My favourite spots are the record stores. Australia has some great ones. Past that, I just like it there. I like the many Australians I’ve met over the decades, the weather, good food and good coffee. It’s an interesting place historically as well.

H2Z: Do you think we are politically behind the times by taking so long to approve gay marriage and by not legalising marijuana?
HR: I don’t think Australia is behind the times at all. I think an older demographic is giving way to a younger one. The amount of time and money spent so two people could be married is old ideas being eclipsed by newer ones. I think you will be seeing this kind of thing happening in countries all over the world in the next several years. You’re seeing it in America right now. Some people are in for a real shove.

H2Z: You are an avid vinyl collector, tell us about your most recent pickups and is there still a holy grail vinyl for you?
HR: I was happy to find a copy of the Tactics Long Weekend EP at a price that didn’t peel the pain off my car. There are a few records that I know exist but am fairly sure won’t ever find. They are at this point, mostly test pressings and acetates. There some pressings from India and South Africa of some bands that are exceedingly rare when they make an appearance, I always lose the bid.

H2Z: I have read people thinking you sold out to Mercedes while you were down here. What is your response to that?
HR: We made an honest piece of work that got to the heart of the matter. The idea that was pitched to me was exactly what we did. There is nothing I can do about someone’s opinion of me or what I do. If I did something you find to be a sell out, then just write me off and be done.

H2Z: You have very much a “Get S@#t Done Attitude”, are you a big goal setter, and if so how far ahead do you set your goals and how do you make yourself accountable with them?
HR: I am for the most part, on my own schedule, so I have to develop the schedule. Tour dates are booked several months in advance, they’re slated years in advance. If I’m still alive in 2020, I have a fairly good idea as to where I’ll be. I’m editing a book right now that I’ve been working on since 2013. I hope to get it out next year. This is usually how the schedule/workflow goes. I try do complete all the things I put on the list.

H2Z: Acting seems to be natural for you but you also seem to thrive on the challenges, what’s next for your acting career?
HR: Being an animal from the minimum wage working world of the America, where guns outnumber citizens and capitalism is the apex predator, I’m always looking for a job. My next acting job is whatever one I can pry off these bastards. All acting work is challenging for me. I’m not an actor.

H2Z: Success means many things to many people, what does it mean to you?
HR: It’s nothing I pay attention to. Success seems to be an end point. It’s a house with a comfortable couch or some other place to die quietly. To be succinct, to me, success is death. I’d rather be doing something and planning on the next thing to do. Also, if all you work for is success, then what is it, a car? Some visible display of wealth to impress others? I guess if success has any part in my life, it would be the opportunity to do something again. Like having an audience that wants you back, allowing you to go on tour one more time. I guess that would be success but at the same time, that smacks of manipulation. I would rather just go do stuff and have what happens be what it is.

H2Z: The world is always changing and becoming somewhat a scary place due to unpredictability is world leaders. What’s your message for those of us wondering what’s next for the world?
HR: If you think leaders have that much sway over your future, you need to up your game. Look at America. We have a reality show failed business man who got rolled by his current wife, Paul Manafort, Vladimir Putin, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and soon, Kim Jong-un. This dipshit can’t get past his hubris to see how he’s mobilized young voters and galvanized people to stand up for women, the LGBT community and others who are put upon century after century. The point I’m making is when people realize their power, they can neutralize bad governments. America got Trump because America sold out to bigotry, ignorance, anger and hypocrisy. If you think the world is scary, stop blaming your government and realize you are the only thing that can make change. I vote but have little or no expectation of American governance to do anything truly great for America. It’s going to have to come from me. Trump is my fault, not the fault of the people who voted for him.

Thanks to Henry for his time, we really appreciate it. Make sure you check out some of his specials, and podcasts. You can visit Henry here:

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