Henry Rollins is one of the most interesting and prolific artists of this day and age. For more than a quarter of a century, he has toured the world as a spoken word artist, as the front man for both Rollins Band and Black Flag and – without a microphone – as a solitary traveler with insatiable curiosity, bypassing the resorts in favor of places like Siberia and Senegal, or Burma and Bangladesh. In a recent interview, Rollins spoke about his current tour and some of the social and political issues plaguing our world today.
Rollins is currently on tour as a spoken word artist. Topics he covers include what he has been up to for the last two years, traveling, turning 50, the election year and the Republican Party, which he calls “an interesting bunch.” During the shows, Rollins reports to the audience what he sees, where he’s been and what he’s done. There is no other show like his anywhere in the world.
Traversing the globe can make a person look at things differently. Rollins said, “It makes me see that the world is very huge and I’m very small. There are so many things that Americans take for granted because we don’t have to worry about a lack of food, lack of water or a fear of conflict as people in other parts of the world do. We don’t have to walk eight miles to get a dirty bucket of water like the people in Sudan or Africa have to.”
Rollins is undoubtedly one of the most driven people out there. As for what inspires him, Rollins said, “I’ve got nothing else going on. I don’t have a lot of family. I have no substance abuse.” He’s done it all. When Rollins is not backpacking the world, he works as a spoken artist, actor, radio DJ and writer. He also owns his own publishing company and record label.
Being an extremely productive person, the two things that drive Rollins are anger and curiosity. “I want to learn more about the world. It makes me want to get up and go,” he said, “and it’s interesting and fun.”
When the subject of the 2012 presidential election came up, Rollins believes that America has another four frustrating years ahead. “Obama is a very heavy incumbent…he’s an intellectual.” If he were a Republican, Rollins said that he would wait out the next four years and run in 2016. As for the presidential candidates, he said, “Ron Paul freaks people out, Santorum is too religiously skewed and Romney is an empty suit.”
Rollins has a message for his fellow Americans: “Vote. Don’t miss out on this rite of passage for Americans.” For people who want to be more involved in politics, he explained that it’s a lot of reading and understanding. “Listen to both sides and write down what you like and what you don’t like. Then ask yourself, ‘Which party suits you?'”
There is no doubt that this election year is very heated. Rollins talked about the fact that America still has a race problem, as well as a sex problem. This became evident with the recent comments made regarding women’s reproductive rights. He spoke about how very sad it is that we are having this debate again after so many decades. “It’s an age old problem that’s been in this country since women started having an opinion, and men should shut up and get out of the way,” he said.
Rollins believes that religion shouldn’t be dragged into government. He doesn’t have a problem with religion, and feels that “it’s too bad that the institution of Christianity has been thrown under the bus.” Rollins spoke of seeing what a “beautiful thing” Christianity is in other parts of the world such as Asia and South Africa.
Rollins is a man of true integrity and has very interesting stories to tell of his many adventures from all over the world. Perhaps people could even learn a little from his experiences.
For more information and tour information: www.henryrollins.com