I am in the night
I am every part of it
The consumption of its beast 
The deck that it deals
The veins that bleed
The caress of its serpent

I am the night
As it writhes and undulates toward dawn
It moans and cries a symphony of anger
I am its agony as it struggles against the light
And dies with the strike of the Sun God.






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Everything Rollins

 Come In and Burn...
An Unofficial Henry Rollins and Rollins Band Site...
FHM June 1997...
Quote, Unquote: Henry Rollins

US punk veteran on clean living, gay porn videos and his best friend's death

What's the most annoying question you're always asked? "'How many tattoos do you have?' How boring."

So, how many tattoos do you have?

"I don't know. Probably between ten and 13."

What made you get your first tattoo?

"I was 20 years old and in pursuit of self-definition. For me, tattooing was a way to not look like my Dad. Now they're just like freckles."

You're well-known for imploring audiences not to destroy themselves with alcohol and tobacco, but have you ever had a pint and a Castella?

"Never had a cigar. When I was 17, I got drunk a few times. I didn't like it, never have. Don't like the taste, don't like the feeling, don't like throwing up on my sneakers."

Aren't there other things that it might be better to warn the audience against, like heroin?

Oh, I tell them that's bad, too. Cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, pot...I think it's all fucked. It's a waste of time. I think marijuana should be legalized, though. I mean, I think alcohol's fucked, but it's legal. I'm not going to slap joints out of people's hands or go stand in front of people shouting 'No!' I just go, 'Man, is that all you can do? Damn, how boring.'"

So, have you ever had a cigarette?

"Yeah, I tried smoking. I never got through one, though. A fter a couple of inhalations, I felt like I was going to power-vomit."

What's the stupidest thing you've ever seen anyone do when they've been off their face?

"I saw a guy get stabbed in the stomach and stand there, not feeling it, while he bled like a stuck pig. He just stood there bleeding and we were all like, 'Oh my God, look at that guy go.' He had white pants on and they turned red."

How off his face was he?

"He didn't feel it. Didn't even look down. This was in upstate New York in 1982. A guy walked up to him and stuck him. The guy just stood there. Didn't seem to notice it. After a few minutes of standing there going, 'It's cool, man, it's cool,' he just got in his car and left. Nobody did anything. This guy had tried to kick me in the head during the show earlier that night, so none of us were running up to help him. Maybe the guy who stabbed him didn't like him doing that to me."

Ever tied up a woman during sex?

"Oh no, I would never do that. I've been asked to, but I'm not into any kind of restraints or hurting or anything. Women have asked over the years, but i don't want to hit any girls, don't want to tie any girls up. It's not my thing."

When you first got into punk, did you do the whole safety-pin-and-ripped- trousers thing?

"No, that was England. That wasn't the American vibe. It's like those postcards of punks with 'Welcome to London' on them. Most things that come out of the UK are so corny. Britain is not a country I take very seriously on a cultural level."

Most of us would say that about America...

"Oh yeah? You might say it, but you ain't following what you're saying. You guys fucking love America. If you didn't, you wouldn't rip off the blues, be-bop, rock 'n' roll. I mean, the Rollins Stones grew up on American blues, so did Led Zepplin, so did Eric Clapton. Jimi Hendrix didn't come from here-he came from America, like James Brown, George Clinton, Prince, all those motherfuckers...Nobody in America is trying to be Paul Weller, OK? But Pail Weller was trying to be the Supremes for a while."

Musically, that might be true, but if you ask your average Englishman to sum up America, they'd say McDonald's, Coca-Cola, 'Have a nice day.'

"Yeah, and they're eating at McDonald's every day. And they're buying Levi's and doing all that American stuff. I'm not defending America-I think it's a turgid fucking cesspool that's dangerous and racist and hellish, and I stick around because I like to fight the opposition. But when I read in Vanity Fair that London is the next cultural mecca, I'm like, 'Just wait till culture seekers get up on this grimy, overpriced dump.' Wait till they get up close on all those rotten teeth and that bad water and the horrible food and the shitty rooms and the moist clubs and all these bloated people who've been living on generations of fried and boiled food. Wait till they get up close on this mecca of civilization. That's going to be such a joke."

Apparently, you called Steven Seagal 'a cuking jerk' because he once kept you waiting for 20 minutes. Has he come back to you on that?

"No, he probably doesn't remember me. The guy was an asshole and he knows it. The guy's a dick, but I'm not going to go up and get in his face. The guy would kill me. He'd dispatch me with one hand. I am not doubting his prowess, his size, his capability. He's a big dude and he knows his shit. Didn't have to be such an asshole, though. He knows what he is. He knows he's an abrasive, pushy guy. I'm not the first person who's said it."

Are you always punctual?

"Yes, I do my best. Put it this way: if I'm not, I'm really fucking sorry. I see it as showing respect."

I've heard you haven't read much porn, but a friend once showed you some gay videos...

"Yeah, Larry the black fag. He was my buddy and one night we went up to his Super 8 thing. The had no music, so we put on the Wild Cherry album while we watched a film. It was called 'The Military Boys' School' and everyone was standing there in their uniforms. Then it was like, 'Okay, have we established that it's a boys' school? Great, get your clothes off, start fucking and sucking.' It was just awesome. By the end there's this huge daisy chain of men fucking. Then everyone pulls out and jerks off one each other's backs and the movies over. I said to Larry, 'You're into that?' And he went, 'Yeah!'

Didn't you think he had a hidden agenda?

"No, he didn't try anything on me. I don't think that was his game. We just laughed hysterically throughout. He wasn't jerking off next to me. He just sat there grinning with a look that said 'So what do you think?' I just said 'Whatever, but I'm into chicks.' He said, 'Well, I used to be, but I just love that big piece.' He used to be married and his wife called him Mr E, which meant Mr Everything. Great guy."

Did they ever make a sequel, Military School 2?

"They've probably done that, yeah, I mean, what a great theme-Boys' Summer Camp 5. Basically, what you want to do is get to the action. It doesn't matter what you're taking off. They seem to need to establish a plot in porno-must be to make it kind of seductive. But I dont' really watch porn. It doesn't really do it for me."

Your best friend was murdered next to you and yo've used the story in a comedy routine. Some people would say taht was rather twisted.

"No, I just told the story. A lot of people started crying. The first half of that show was very funy, but then I said, 'I want to tell you a story about two guys who were best friends,' and I went into this whole thing and the place got very quiet."

How come you weren't killed?

"The guy missed. He shot at me twice. Missed by about an inch on my left, and he went a little wide ont he right. I was standing dead still with my hands up and he was firing on the run. I had my back to the guy and I had no idea until the next day when the detective made me stand there again. My groceries were still on the ground where I'd left them. They froze the whole scene. I had been standing in the living room. What happened was that they came out of darkness on the sidewalk. My friend died on the front lawn. I was the guy with the key so I went in and waited for instructions. I heard gunshots, then nothing. Then my feet just started moving and i went out the back, ran around the corner and called the cops. They never caught who did it."

You've survived a shooting, but do you really think you can survive the next ice age as you have prophesied in the past?

"Oh, I think taht was not so literal. That was more just like, 'I'll survive the nucleur holocaust, you pussies.' That's where that's coming from."

interview by Ivor Baddiel