HENRY ROLLINS Talks Launching New Project - "It Will Make People Smile Until Their Faces Hurt"
March 24, 2023, 3 months ago
Black Flag legend Henry Rollins is featured in a fan-fuelled Q&A compiled by the The Guardian. He reveals why he no longer makes music, the difference between performing music versus a spoken word show, working with Al Pacino in the movie Heat, a new project, and more. Following is an excerpt.
Q: As a music obsessive, why have you stepped back from making it?
Rollins: "I stopped processing ideas in terms of lyrics. One day, I woke up and thought: 'I’m done.' My manager flipped out, but I’ve never looked back. I didn’t want to become a human jukebox playing old songs, so I filled the space the band took with films and TV and now my shows, my radio show and writing. At this point, I wouldn’t go back on stage with a band for anything."
Q: Is touring a spoken-word show less stressful than a full-band tour?
Rollins: "Doing the music was like gladiator sport. I’d lose three pounds of water every show. I’ve ripped up my back and my neck, and my jaw clicks from being smashed around. The talking shows are more demanding, because it’s only me on stage. It’s like comparing surgery with construction – one requires super concentration and the other is just physical. And on the bus it’s not a tribe of stenchy men! It’s four non-smoking, low-key individuals. Backstage, it’s just me."
Q: In your recent book, Sic, you mentioned that you have moved to Nashville to realise a major project. What is it?
Rollins: "It’s something I’ve been working on for a couple of years with my manager, Heidi May, and I’ve put my life savings into it. All I can say is that we’re looking at launching 14 months from now in Nashville and it will make people smile until their faces hurt."
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Henry Rollins is a vocalist, writer, spoken word artist, actor, and presenter. After performing in the short-lived hardcore punk band, State of Alert, in 1980, he fronted the California hardcore band Black Flag from 1981 to 1986. Following the band's breakup, he established the record label and publishing company 2.13.61 to release his spoken word albums, and formed the Rollins Band, which toured with a number of lineups from 1987 to 2003 and in 2006.