Cleveland Show

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HENRY ROLLINS, LANDING IN PITTSBURGH 9/22 AT THE WARHOL MUSEUM

3112819423_49c1b1121bHenry Rollins has been a major influence since he first became a known name as Black Flag’s lead singer.  Since then he has continued wowing people as the singer in The Rollins Band, a writer, a publisher, a dynamic speaker, an actor, and now a photographer.  Locally, we are lucky enough to hear him speak and talk about his world travels with his poignant images to enhance the performance on the Slide Show Tour that will locally hit Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Rollins became an influence in my life in the early eighties when I was in high school.  The first time I heard Black Flag, I dug them, but when Henry took over vocals, there was a new element to the music that captured me.  I continued to devour all his artistic endeavors as he fronted his own band, published books, did speaking engagements, and even acted in some huge movies (i.e. “Heat”…still a favorite that is sacrilege to turn off when it pops up on cable).  I’ve seen Rollins speak numerous times and have dragged along students, my wife, and my best friends, converting them all into fans of the man who just speaks “real”.  I’ve asked for interviews numerous times but it never seemed to work out for various reasons, mainly Henry’s schedule, he is a super generous guy when he can be.  So, when his assistant told me that I could email questions and he would get back to me from the road, the fanboy in me rose up and did a little embarrassing dance internally.  These are just some of the questions I wanted to ask the man; if I could ask them all he would probably have to write an autobiography!

When did you start taking photos of your adventures?

I think I stared in 1998 in Egypt. I had been to the African continent before but didn’t want to haul camera gear around with me but after that first time there, I figured I better bring a camera, even if it was a point and shoot.

What type of equipment do you use?

I try to keep things as simple as possible. I use a Canon 5D and a couple of lenses. The more I travel with camera gear, the less I take. I would rather travel with two bodies but often I’m carrying things on my back for long periods of time, so I try to keep it light.

Do you have any idea of how many miles you have logged?

I travel internationally every year. Multiple times to Europe and Australia in 2018, with one more trip to Europe, Russia, Ukraine, and Iceland still to go. I’ve been traveling like this for decades, so I don’t know how many miles. I know there are people who fly internationally like someone takes a taxi across town.

rollinsI’ve seen you perform many times before and it always had the feel of being fresh and not canned.  Will you use different photos to speak of different experiences each night?

During the show, I put up a photo on the screen, talk about it, perhaps some historical information. The stories I tell onstage are often driven by travel. This time you will have the image of what I’m talking about.

Can you tell us a bit about the VIP experience you are offering? (note: not all cities)

 I meet a few people post-show. Do photos with them and answer some questions and that’s it. It’s not a big deal. I can no longer stand out by the bus for 90 minutes and sign things and then seem them on eBay, so it’s a way to hit the middle.

Will you avoid politics speaking in front of mixed audiences, or project your opinions and let the cards fall where they may?

No. I never avoid politics. You can’t take photos internationally and not be political. The world is political. Water is political, almost everything is political. There isn’t anything I would say politically or otherwise, that is in any way controversial.

What you consider being called a renaissance man a compliment or an insult?

Mainly it’s a mistake and an insult to all those hard-working renaissance people out there. I’m not a renaissance man. I’m an opportunist. I’m adverse to boredom and mediocrity, so I try to make things as interesting as I can. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. I do like to get things done, so I say yes to a lot of different kinds of work.

What would it take for you to play live with a band again? Is it a never or only if that becomes what you are passionate about at the time?

HenryRollins_Performing_1993I’m not a musician. For me, it was a time/place thing. One of the reasons I know it was real is because I never really liked being in a band but it was in me and it had to come out. When there was no more left, I stopped. It was never about art or a career. It was like having a flu. It’s in you and then it’s gone. The idea of going out and doing old music to me is fighting wars that have already been fought. If I can’t do new music, then I’m just a war reenactor. It has to be real or I can’t do it. Like I said, it was a time/place thing. If I can’t hit it hard, then I don’t hit it at all.

What prompted you to get into podcasting?  Do you have favorite podcasts? (The I did some fanboy flattery over him being on The Joe Rogan podcast, so, Please check out his appearance on Rogan it’s fantastic)

Thanks. Mr. Rogan is great. My manager, Heidi said to me several months ago, that there were a lot of stories I’ve told her that I’ve not done onstage and that we should do a podcast so I could tell them. So, we started doing them and apparently, people seem to like them. I have not listened to many podcasts. I’ve heard a couple that Marc Maron did. He’s great.

Are you still in love with bands like Black Sabbath and The Misfits today as much as you were as a kid?  What was it like hanging out with Sabbath in Birmingham {Rollins got to be with them on their last tour}?

I listen to both bands all the time. They are core listening experiences. They’re like part of me. When Sabbath was planning to do their reunion shows in 1997, I think it was, I went to their band practice in Wales and then to Birmingham for the two shows. It was an amazing week. I was with the band pretty much every day. I sang Paranoid at soundcheck with Geezer, Tony and Bill playing. That was a great moment. The shows were fantastic. The day after they were done, I flew to Kenya. I used some of the leftover food from their dressing rooms for days while living in a tent.

When you worked in the ice cream store did you ever have an inclination (or even a desire) to travel the world like you do now?

When I graduated from high school, I had no plan. So, when I was working at the shop, I thought a version of that would be the rest of my life. I had no idea of anything. All I knew was that I was crazy, it was going to be very hard to be in the regular world and it was going to be all I could do to maintain. I truly thought the rest of my life was going to be a grind. I knew it wasn’t right for me but I didn’t think I had any choice.

Is there someone that influenced you to retain the humility, curiosity, and creativeness that you embody?

Not really somebody but some thing, yes. The reality that I’m nobody from nowhere. I was given a chance and to not make the best of it, would be betraying the break I was given. This truth keeps me fairly grounded. I don’t expect any of this to last more than the end of the next tour or whatever task is at hand. I’ve always felt this way.

You have been to Pittsburgh many times, what are your impressions of the city and do you have any favorite spots within the city?

Actually, I’ve always found the people to be great and very honest. It’s a very good audience. It’s a tough town but if you’re real then I reckon you’ll be okay. Pittsburgh was one of the first cities I played when I started out. I did a lot of two set nights there. Not easy. As to favorite spots, I can’t recall any, although I’ve had some great meals there. What’s that place where they put the French fries in the sandwich, that place is amazing (for those of you who do not know, he is speaking of Primanti’s).

You are speaking at The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh…did Andy have any influence on you or fascination?

No influence but he’s a fascinating artist. When you go to the museum and see the pieces full size, it’s almost too much to take in. Incredibly powerful.

You can check out Henry on any of the dates listed below and use the link for tickets…

 

TOUR DATES

9/17/2018    Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI    BUY TICKETS

9/18/2018    Southern Theatre – Columbus, OH    BUY TICKETS

9/19/2018    Ohio Theatre – Cleveland, OH    BUY TICKETS

9/20/2018    Music Hall Ballroom – Cincinnati, OH    BUY TICKETS

9/21/2018    Kentucky Center for the Arts – Louisville, KY    BUY TICKETS

9/22/2018    The Andy Warhol Museum Theater – Pittsburgh, PA    BUY TICKETS

9/23/2018    Egyptian Room at Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN    BUY TICKETS

9/24/2018    Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL    BUY TICKETS

9/25/2018    Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL    BUY TICKETS

9/26/2018    Turner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI    BUY TICKETS

9/27/2018    Ames Center – Burnsville, MN    BUY TICKETS

9/28/2018    Barrymore Theatre  –  Madison, WI    BUY TICKETS

9/29/2018    Hoyt Sherman Theatre  –  Des Moines, IA    BUY TICKETS

9/30/2018    Icon Lounge – Sioux Falls, SD    BUY TICKETS

10/1/2018    Rococo Theatre – Lincoln, NE    BUY TICKETS

10/2/2018    The Pageant – Saint Louis, MO    BUY TICKETS

10/3/2018    The Englert Theatre – Iowa City, IA    BUY TICKETS

10/4/2018    Liberty Hall  – Lawrence, KS    BUY TICKETS

10/5/2018    Orpheum Performing Arts Center – Wichita, KS    BUY TICKETS

10/6/2018    Gillioz Theater – Springfield, MO    BUY TICKETS

10/7/2018    Revolution Music Room – Little Rock, AR    BUY TICKETS

10/8/2018    Tower Theatre – Oklahoma City, OK    BUY TICKETS

10/9/2018    Kessler Theater – Dallas, TX    BUY TICKETS

10/10/2018    Heights Theater – Houston, TX    BUY TICKETS

10/11/2018    Jefferson Theater – Beaumont, TX    BUY TICKETS

10/12/2018    KiMo Theatre – Albuquerque, NM    BUY TICKETS

10/14/2018    Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO    BUY TICKETS

10/15/2018    Avalon Theater – Grand Junction, CO    BUY TICKETS

10/16/2018    The State Room – Salt Lake City, UT    BUY TICKETS

10/17/2018    Egyptian Theatre – Boise, ID    BUY TICKETS

10/18/2018    Bing Crosby Theater – Spokane, WA    BUY TICKETS

10/19/2018    Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA    BUY TICKETS

10/20/2018    Capitol Theatre – Yakima, WA    BUY TICKETS

10/21/2018    Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR    3PM BUY TICKETS   8PM BUY TICKETS

10/22/2018    McDonald Theatre – Eugene, OR    BUY TICKETS

10/23/2018    Rogue Theatre – Grants Pass, OR    BUY TICKETS

10/24/2018    Cargo @ Whitney Peak Hotel – Reno, NV    BUY TICKETS

10/25/2018    Herbst Theatre – San Francisco, CA    BUY TICKETS

10/26/2018    Crest Theatre – Sacramento, CA    BUY TICKETS

10/27/2018    Rio Theatre – Santa Cruz, CA    BUY TICKETS

10/28/2018    Visalia Fox Theater – Visalia, CA    BUY TICKETS

10/29/2018    Fremont Theater – San Luis Obispo, CA    BUY TICKETS

10/30/2018    City National Grove – Anaheim, CA    BUY TICKETS

11/28/2018    TivoliVredenberg Grote Zaal  –  Utrecht, Netherlands  BUY TICKETS

11/29/2018    Christuskirche  –  Bochum, Germany  BUY TICKETS

11/30/2018    Schouwburg  –  Kortrijk, Belgium  BUY TICKETS

12/1/2018     Arenbergschouwburg  –  Antwerpen, Belgium  BUY TICKETS

12/3/2018    Rival  –  Stockholm, Sweden  BUY TICKETS

12/4/2018    Parkteatret  –  Oslo, Norway  BUY TICKETS

12/6/2018    The House of Culture  –  Helsinki, Finland  BUY TICKETS

12/7/2018    Studio 2 (DR Concert House)  –  Copenhagen, Denmark  BUY TICKETS

12/9/2018    Muffathalle  –  München, Germany  BUY TICKETS

12/10/2018    Schlachthof  –  Wiesbaden, Germany  BUY TICKETS

12/12/2018    Im Wizemann  –  Stuttgart, Germany  BUY TICKETS

12/13/2018    Kampnagel  –  Hamburg, Germany  BUY TICKETS

12/15/2018    Gartenbaukino  –  Vienna, Austria  BUY TICKETS

12/17/2018    Moscow Hall  –  Moscow, Russia  BUY TICKETS

12/19/2018    Caribbean Club  –  Kiev, Ukraine  BUY TICKETS

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