Henry Rollins on Black Flag, Quitting Music, Why "All Men Deserve an Ass Whooping" | Revolver

Henry Rollins on Black Flag, Quitting Music, Why "All Men Deserve an Ass Whooping"

Punk singer joined Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme on 'The Alligator Hour' radio show on Apple Music's Beats 1
henry-rollins-2016-didier-messens-getty.jpg, Didier Messens / Getty
Henry Rollins, 2016
photograph by Didier Messens / Getty

Josh Homme recently recorded the 60th episode of his Apple Music Beats 1 show The Alligator Hour, and joining him was legendary hardcore singer Henry Rollins for a discussion that centered on the downfalls of fame and how it ruins band dynamics, Rollins' foray into music beyond his Black Flag days, quitting music to become a fan again, and "deserving," particularly the retired punk's idea that "all men deserve an ass whooping" right now. 

Homme asks Rollins to explain what's important to hold onto versus let go when it comes to bands, and the two engage in a discussion of how fame and success change the way artists feel and create, and not usually for the better. "[Success] ruins a lot of really great bands, and writers and actors, and, because what got them there was the cold water flat, no elevator and cold rice for dinner," explains Homme, calling up the trope of the struggling artist whose work can be inspired by harsh surroundings. Rollins agrees, responding, "When the wound heals you get an extra inch on the ... We can't see your ribs anymore. The music kind of gets a little eh."

The conversation shifts to Rollins' post-Black Flag career, specifically the birth of Rollins Band and how it couldn't just be more of the same but rather "an exhibition of your own wingspan," as Homme puts it. Rollins describes an incident where he and his eventual band mate Chris Haskett saw Thin Lizzy now-deceased front man Phil Lynott on the street in London and Haskett took it as a sign they should continue on should Black Flag ever broke up. That day came, and the two got to work in Leeds, England. 

"I love it when it's not about me. I go to gigs all the time. I was at a gig the other night. I'm like the oldest person in the building, and I always stand at the back so the whipper snappers won't run into me and break a hip," muses Rollins during the next portion. He discusses how his love for taking in shows and records was invigorated by his own retirement, which came to him out of nowhere. "One day I woke up, this is like a hundred years ago, I woke up and went, wow, I'm done. It's like an application had been opened in my mind." 

The final topic rolls around with the rockers discussing the concept of "deserving." Rollings states, "Never think you deserve anything. I mean, the only thing I say about deserving all men, you, me, anyone in this building who's a man, all men deserve an ass whooping. Right now." Homme backs him in agreement, "Yeah, I would say," and "I couldn't agree more." 

This particular episode is on demand only, but you can subscribe to Josh Homme's The Alligator Hour on Apple Music's Beats 1 here