Multitalented Henry Rollins is singer, actor, TV host
Don't judge a book publisher by his cover. The muscular, India-inked Henry Rollins hardly looks bookish while screaming through a Rollins...
Special to The Seattle Times
Don't judge a book publisher by his cover. The muscular, India-inked Henry Rollins hardly looks bookish while screaming through a Rollins Band set. But the former Black Flag frontman, who releases tomes through 2.13.61 — a publishing house named after his birth date — is a jack of all trades in entertainment. He records with his aforementioned band, hosts IFC's "The Henry Rollins Show," acts and performs spoken word. See for yourself when he appears Wednesday at the Moore Theatre.
Q: Does it matter where you live, since you're constantly traveling?
A: I am on the road a lot. Even when I'm not on tour, I'm away. I want to travel all over the world.
I went to Afghanistan and Iraq. That was eye-opening. Afghanistan is the most fascinating place I've ever been to and I've been to so many places. The people there are extraordinarily tough. You go up in a chopper and you just see miles and miles of dirt in Afghanistan. The conditions there would absolutely crush a soft Westerner. It was an amazing experience. I was on a USO tour for the troops.
Q: How do you manage such a schedule? You're always working on something.
A: Everyday I get up at 6 a.m. and bust my butt. It's the only way I know how to do things. I try to do as much as I can. I worked hard for things my whole life.
Q: How did you like performing in Showtime's "Californication"?
A: That was funny. ["Californication" lead David] Duchovny is a really good guy. I Iike that kind of work. I went in during the morning and I was out by rush hour. It was cool. The outfit I was in when I walked in [into the studio] was the outfit I wore on camera. It's a fun show.
Q: You're not just acting, you're an activist. You spoke out for gay rights. Usually anyone who speaks out for gay rights, is well, gay ... not that there is anything wrong with that.
A: I think it's really lame what's going on with those that are gay, and I'm not gay. I was raised around gay folks. I was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. My mom had gay friends. I had gay bosses. I worked at a movie theater and got propositioned four times a weekend. It was like, "You like boys, nah, it's not going to be me." I never wanted to kick some guy's ass. Some guys are creeps. But when you see the kind of hatred exacted at these people who can't help how they feel about men, it's sad. What if it was weird to be straight? What if someone said, "what's wrong with you" to me, for staring at a woman?
I think if Bill and Tom want to get married, they should be able to in America. If someone has a problem with that, go on your way.
Q: Some of the best parts of your spoken-word shows are your travel stories. Where have you gone recently?
A: Iran, Syria and Jordan are some of the places I went to. The vibe I got in Iran was really good.
Everyone was very friendly to me. They told me how much they love America. They wanted me to move in, meet a nice Iranian girl and settle down.
Q: Whom will you vote for in 2008?
A: I will be behind the Democratic candidate. But I hope it's not Hillary (Clinton). I'm not a fan. I think she is more politician than human. Her husband was the same way. When he spoke I felt like I was coated in some kind of aerosol lubricant.
Q: Any chance of a Black Flag reunion?
A: No. I was the fourth singer. It's Greg Ginn's band. It wouldn't be technically good. Why put down your money to see a mediocre-to-wretched show? I'm like the French government, who live in fear of their citizens. I live in fear of my audience. They trust me with their night. I can't let them down. I don't think I could deliver, and I know my old band mates couldn't deliver. We were young men. It was a different time and place. It's best to leave that alone and bravely go on. Not a day goes by that I don't miss Black Flag's music. It was an amazing band, but I moved on to many other things. I think it's important to challenge yourself.
Q: You're performing Halloween night. Should we expect tricks or treats?
A: I've done Halloween in Seattle before. I don't have a costume and I'll probably go out as myself, which will be disappointing to some. I'll just go out and do my show.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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