Immortal Technique is a man who needs no introduction to fans of real Hip Hop. That being said, I’m not going to waste any time romanticizing the impact Tech has had on the Hip Hop world and counterculture at large but rather get right down to the interview and let the man himself drop knowledge in a way that only he can.
The following interview was conducted on 3/18/12 in New Haven, CT at Toads Place. My thanks to Cara Webber and Jason Dolloway for their help.
The Immortal Technique Interview
A special introduction from author and friend Peter Farris.
I know that guy.
Depending on your age and musical tastes, you might’ve been exposed to Henry Rollins as he ground it out in punk rock titans Black Flag. Or like me, you might’ve been an impressionable teen, watching that “Liar” video get heavy play on MTV’s Alternative Nation. I’m sure there are folks out there who only know Rollins from his books and spoken word performances, or his numerous television and film appearances. The tattooed dude with the muscles, right?
Regardless, you know that guy.
Almost as fascinating as the cult of personality that has grown around Henry Rollins over the years is the way he’s deftly navigated a creative life, always working with a desperation that one day it could all go away—IT being the audiences, the paying public, the speaking gigs and acting opportunities. That fear is common in Hollywood, but in Rollins’ case I think it has only served as motivation: to leave it on the stage every single night (whether he’s speaking or screaming) and make every sentence count. One reason why I can claim I’ve never, ever been disappointed in Henry Rollins.
He’s probably the world’s first anti-social humanitarian and as passionate in his opposition to war as he is for his support of U.S. military personnel. His emergence as an astute social commentator doesn’t surprise me either, and whether you agree or disagree with his distillation of what I’ll call the bullshit, you will always get a smart argument.
But do we really know that guy?
My obsession with Black Flag runs deep (I have Pettibon’s Family Man tattooed on my leg), and Get In The Van is (and always will be) an annual source of inspiration, but what’s most astonishing is just how much Henry Rollins has informed my own tastes. Rollins is a music lover first and foremost, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge that’s been referenced in his non-fiction for more than twenty years. I learned from Rollins that Black Sabbath was punk rock. And so was Thin Lizzy. And John Coltrane. And The Stooges. And Parliament. And Miles Davis. So was Henry Miller and Thomas Wolfe for that matter.
More importantly, I learned from Rollins that there was nothing wrong with being alone. I crave solitude. It was nice to know there was someone else who cherished isolation as much as I did. Someone out there who didn’t feel in lock step with the human race and instead of fighting that alienation, embraced it and channeled it into their work.
Now fifty, I do wonder if Rollins has any regrets leading the aforementioned creative life largely on his own? Is he finally comfortable in his own skin? Does he crave companionship? Children? Has seeing the world through a misanthropic lens made it all the more confusing?
I suspect the answer to all of the above is no…but I also suspect we’ll never really know. And that’s okay. There is a remarkable body of work worth knowing above all else, and that is the most important thing.
– Peter Farris 3.27.11
The Henry Rollins Interview
I recently conducted an interview with Empty Flowers vocalist Christian McKenna and guitarist Bernie Romanowski before their November 10th show at Arch St Tavern in Hartford, CT. From Justin Broadrick and Jesu to Brian Simmons and Atomic Action, this 40 minute interview (*total parts 1 & 2) fills you in on pretty much everything you need to know about this amazing fucking band.
And please be sure to support them HERE!
Empty Flowers is:
Christian McKenna- Vocals
Randy Larsen- Bass/Vocals
Bernie Romanowski- Guitar
Andre Galiffi- Drums
12:30pm, Tuesday March 15th. I lay in bed with a nasty fever as I receive a call from the Deftones publicist letting me know Chino would be available for an interview at 3:30 that day. I knew I had an upcoming interview with him, but no idea it would be that soon, so needless to say, I was not completely prepared. Luckily, I, along with some close friends (who also love the Deftones) were able to come up with a quick interview in the short time we had! My gratitude goes out to them as well as Chino Moreno for taking the time to do the interview!
The Chino Moreno Interview
Which came first, the skateboard or Suicidal Tendencies? While obviously the answer is the skateboard, it seems like Suicidal has been around for basically just as long. Shit, these guys even had a cameo in an episode of Miami Vice for God’s sake (seriously!).
Suicidal recently headlined at show at The Palladium in Worcester, MA along with Underdog, DRI & Cro-Mags, which was amazing! Before the show, I sat down with guitarist Dean Pleasants & drummer Eric Moore to talk shop on skateboarding, gangs, and much more. I’m happy to report that after all these years, Suicidal Tendencies is still keeping it very real! The following interview was conducted on 11/13/10.