Friday, December 10, 2004



Anyone who knows me, knows I go batshit for Henry Rollins. Issue one of No Pictures was practically all Rollins so its an obvious thrill to be able to include words from someone, in my opinion, so great.

Briefly: he started out in Washington DC coming from the same scene as Bad Brains, the Teen Idles and Minor Threat. His first band was State Of Alert (aka SOA). They put out one 10 song seven inch on Dischord. Next port of call was the legendary Black Flag from LA. His first release with them was on the devastating album Damaged. He was a Flag member from 81 to 86. The band changed regularly over that period and it is all covered in the award winning book Get In The Van. The Rollins Band formed shortly after Black Flag's demise. The new band consisted of guitarist Chris Haskett and the rhythm section Greg Ginn's other band Gone, bassist Andrew Weiss and drummer Sim Cain. Around 1993 Andrew Weiss left the band and later ended up joining Ween. His replacement was Melvin Gibbs formerly of New York No Wave bands The Decoding Society and Defunkt. In early 1999 Rollins disbanded the Rollins Band and is now recording musically with the band Mother Superior, who he has previously worked with in the producer capacity.

The Rollins Band has released Hot Animal Machine, Lifetime, Do It, Hard Volume, Turned On, The End Of Silence, Weight and Come In And Burn. Spoken word wise Rollins has released the live CDs: Big Ugly Mouth, Sweat Box, Live At McCabe's, Human Butt, The Boxed Life, Think Tank and a video Talking From The Box. Other spoken CDs are the Black Flag tour diary Get In The Van and the Howl-esque Everything as well as a CD of Black Coffee Blues readings. The recommended Black Flag records are Damaged and The First Four Years compilation, which Henry isn't on but he still says is probably the best Black Flag album. Also essential is the Henrietta Collins And The Wifebeating Childhaters EP, Drive By Shooting which comes on the Hot Animal Machine CD. Additionally there was a music project featuring himself and Andrew Weiss called Wartime and Rollins has contributed vocals with various acts ranging from Tool, the Bad Brains and Goldie. To date he has appeared in the movies: The Chase, Heat, Johnny Mnemonic and Lost Highway.

Heres an "activity interview" conducted by e-mail:

How are you and where are you?
Doing alright. Busy. In LA for a couple of months and then will be out for the rest of the year starting September.

What have been up to with the band this year?
Working on a solo record at the moment.

Have any of the other guys in the band been involved in any other projects?
I don't know. I am sure they are busy.

What's planned for 2.13.61?
Iggy Pop book. Jeffrey Lee Pierce lyric and prose book. Me: Black Coffee Blues II paperback and Solipsist out in July, BCB II is out in the fall.

Also what's coming up on 2.13CD?
Nothing I can confirm at this time.

What happened to Infinite Zero?
It's mine now. Rick (Rubin) got out.

When will you be returning to England again?
The fall.

Have your feelings towards this jolly ol' isle changed?
I like England very much. Could be the best audience for talking shows anywhere. I like to rip on the place but I always make sure to rip on America and myself as well.

Are further live spoken releases planned?
2 CD set called "Think Tank" will come out in September on Dreamworks. Video called "You Saw Me Up There" will come out as well.

I've heard you praise Lenny Bruce in the past. Have you ever caught any Bill Hicks albums? And if so, what did you think?
Bill Hicks is a god to me. He was brave and he was right.

Have you done any production work since the Mark Of Cain record?
Produced a band called Mother Superior, mixed a record by a band called The Sick. Sat in on the mixes for the new live Black Sabbath record, learning things and being a sounding board for the producer since I was at the show. Other than that, nothing. Offers that have come my way haven't held much interest to me. It's nothing I want to do very much of. Too much sitting.

Similarly have you worked with Modi recently?
Modi directed the new talking video.

There is word of future motion work, have you anything planned?
Just finished work in a Warners film called "Frost" and a small part in a couple of weeks for an indie thing here in LA and am reading some new scripts now.

What bands are you currently into?
Mother Superior. I like Jerry Cantrell's new record a lot. Been listening to a lot of Beatles boots. Listening to the new Slayer as I write this. I always check them out because while it might not be my favorite thing, you know they mean it. Other than that, I listen to a lot of old stuff. Contemporary music strikes me a little too tame for my liking. Looking forward to the new PJ Harvey record.

Who's your favourite Simpsons character?
I have seen the Simpsons like three times and don't know any of the characters really.

Do/did you like the music of Slint?
Don't know it.

What good books have you read lately?
Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe. Tender is the Night and This Side of Paradise by F Scott Fitzgerald.

Do you like John Peel?
Every day.

Have you seen James Parker's biography on yourself?
Why the hell would I read a book about myself? I don't want to know anything about it.

Anything else?
I did your interview now you send me a couple of jars of Coleman's mustard!

Jason Graham (taken from No Pictures 9)



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