Henry Rollins should be a man who needs no introduction, but for those of you unfamiliar with him let’s just say, he’s been pretty busy. Fronting one of the most important punk bands ever to (dis)grace the music industry, Black Flag helped Rollins gain the sort of stature that left him feared by many, but loved by more, he is an accomplished poet, a published writer, a musician, a public speaker, a journalist and frequent traveller of the world.
I spoke to Henry and he agreed to fit me into his busy schedule and answer a few quick questions for DAMNED magazine. This is what he had to say…
HENRY: I guess there are a lot of sights that are beautiful. It’s not a word that really gets me to jump up, in that there’s beauty everywhere, if you are inclined to see it. For me, it’s all about the impact of a place. How it hits you in the gut. For me, that was stepping out of a small plane in Kenya at the border with Tanzania. The huge silence of the place, the clear sky, I felt completely insignificant. I said to the pilot that it was the most amazing place I had ever seen. He laughed and said people told him that all the time.
DAMNED: I believe that alot of people confuse your passion for anger, possibly due to your musical background and infamy that came along with it, but what actually makes you angry in a day to day situation?
HENRY: A lot of it is anger. I think the combination of anger and curiosity is a good thing, it can lead to good results. I get angry about things in America. The way people are getting jerked around is one thing, that so many are ok with it is incredible. It’s things like that which get me angry day to day.
DAMNED: Aside from knowledge, what do you think are the most important attributes a person needs to succeed in life?
HENRY: Discipline. Patience. Tenacity. Resolve.
DAMNED: What is your view on bullying and do you have any advice for someone who is being bullied?
HENRY: Of course, I don’t think it’s a good thing. What to do about it, that’s the question. Often, the bully is coming from some kind of pain in their life, that’s why they are taking so much time to make someone else’s life so bad. If the one getting bullied points that out, it’s probably not going to go too well for that person. I don’t know if beating up the bully is a good idea either. It worked for me but I don’t know if that’s advice I would hand out. Perhaps you would hope that parents would teach their children better. The advice would be to know that the bully is essentially weak. The weakness can break bad for you. Avoid this person whenever possible.
DAMNED: If you were stuck on an island and you had to pick a single author to read and a single musician/band to listen to for the remainder of your existence, who would they be and why?
HENRY: I would take Proust as you can read a page over and over and it’s just great in different ways. Perhaps the first Stooges album for the soundtrack, it always sounds good to me.
DAMNED: Do you have any advice for any aspiring authors and musicians out there?
HENRY: Be yourself, be brave and work harder than all the rest.
If you’d like to know more about Henry Rollins, type his name into a search engine and enjoy.