The Angry Truth. An Interview With Henry Rollins.

February 13, 2014

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

(more…)

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Empty Flowers Podcast Interview Parts 1 & 2

November 22, 2013

Empty Flowers Indie Spiritualist

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.

Check out part 1 here!

Check our part 2 here!

And please be sure to support them HERE!

Empty Flowers is:

Christian McKenna- Vocals
Randy Larsen- Bass/Vocals
Bernie Romanowski- Guitar
Andre Galiffi- Drums

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Check Out My Interview With Brann Dailor Of Mastodon

July 30, 2013

 

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I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the most ridiculously good goddamn drummers around, Brann Dailor of Mastodon for the Suicide Girls website. You can check out the interview HERE!

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For A Wounded Wren – An Interview With Into Another’s Richie Birkenhead.

December 19, 2012

Friday December 14th 2012 is a day that will forever be inscribed into the hearts and minds of all of us who learned with painful shock and awe of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where twenty children and six adults were suddenly and unexpectedly robbed of life and taken from their families in a baffling and brutal fashion.  I can’t begin to speak about this day, let alone cover a concert or interview, without bringing light to the fact that all those in attendance who I interacted with were savagely impacted by news of the tragedy and hesitated into the evening with contrite and broken hearts. I have no illusions that I can accurately capture exactly what resonated inside the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance, and certainly lack any combination of words and meter that can begin to truly explain what the families of those afflicted felt that night and will continue to feel.

I was personally dismayed even further upon discovering that a family closely connected to my small church lost a child in the tragedy.  And yet, although it seems to this writer that we all felt a natural resistance in trying to continue with our plans for the evening, we pressed in with an appropriate mindfulness of this unfathomable tragedy that co-occurred on such a dark and heavy day resonating within our collective corner of space and time.  If for nothing else to honor those lost with a celebration of life through an explosion of noise, energy, screams, sounds, and sweat, all poured out in gratitude and with a renewed appreciation for the lives, music, and loved ones we are still so blessed to hold. (more…)

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Bury What’s Dead – An Interview With Steve Von Till Of Neurosis.

December 17, 2012

Steve Von Till is best known as singer and guitarist for the atmospheric metal band Neurosis. Steve is also in Tribes Of Neurot, and records solo work under both his given name and the moniker Harvestman. His solo albums comprise of original songs and traditional folk arrangements, using minimalistic acoustic guitar and vocal styles. Outside his semi-professional role as a musician, he works as an elementary school teacher.

The following interview was conducted via phone on 12/12/12.

The Steve Von Till Interview (more…)

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