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Q&A with Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins. Photo by Maura Lanahan

Henry Rollins. Photo by Maura Lanahan

Concert preview
Henry Rollins: The Frequent Flyer Tour
8 p.m. Feb. 28. $25. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave., Little Five Points. 404-249-6400, 404-524-7354,

By Shaun Flagg

Henry Rollins embraces controversy. The punk rock icon from D.C. blasted onto the ‘80s punk scene in the band State of Alert and became the front man of Black Flag, arguably one of America’s most influential punk rock outfits.

In the ‘90s, while performing with The Rollins Band, he became involved in the spoken word movement. He began crafting outspoken diatribes combining humor, poetry and political criticism, which he unleashed on audiences between songs.

Currently on tour, Rollins has dispensed with music altogether and is just performing his spoken word rants, railing against injustice, misplaced power and the war in Iraq, among other topics. As his Frequent Flyer tour prepares for a stop at Variety Playhouse, Rollins spoke with the AJC.

Q: What are some of the themes on this tour?
America’s a really interesting place right now. There is a lot to comment upon and a lot of it is very sad. Some of it is just awful and some of it is just hilarious. When I travel I see the smack of globalization. When you see who gets kicked in the ribs by [globalization], it’s a hell of a thing, and that’s what informs my writing, it informs my anger, and there’s a lot to be angry about.

Q: Are our politicians out of touch?
: I think D.C.’s a bubble. Politicians don’t always get to the nitty-gritty and I think the original Tea Party people — their anger is very real, I think they got hijacked by special interest groups. It’s amazing when you see people protecting the captors and shooting at the liberators and that’s happening. When you make money on debt, solvency is your enemy. When you make money selling bullets, peace is your obstacle.

Q: Do you think the Internet has had an impact on activism?
: Sure absolutely as far as getting real information spreading like a rash quickly I think that Internet is key. I think the best journalism in the last ten years has been on the Internet. You can get the info that is dripping though the cracks. It’s people with their cell phones filming a riot in Tehran. Wow! This is breaking news.

3 comments Add your comment


February 24th, 2010
4:33 pm

Henry Rollins is definitely one of the most interesting people in entertainment. I’m a 44 year old father of two boys and My War is still one of my favorite ways to vent.


February 24th, 2010
5:43 pm

Rollins is the man


February 26th, 2010
10:57 am

See you Sunday night Henry. Looking forward to it!