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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The Return Of The Tankster - Time Out, 11.22.95...
This article © TIME OUT magazine (Brisbane, Australia). 22nd November 1995. Transcript by CJ.

The waitress at the restaurant of Adelaide's Country Comfort Inn had bad news; there was no soup of the day. She was already intimidated by Henry Rollins, and being the bearer of bad tidings was clearly not something she relished.

"So," jokes Rollins, "it'll be OK if I throw my TV out the window of my room?"

Minutes later a call came through to reception for The Tankster and the gentlemen on the front desk politely summoned "Mr Rollins".

"Call me Henry, man," he said as he walked over to the phone.

It was August and the Rollins machine was in Adelaide to mix the `Ill At Ease' album for the Mark of Cain.

"The stops and starts on this record will make your heart jump out of your throat," he grinned. "You can set your watch to it. It's that good. It kicks the ass of most records I've heard in the last two years. It's a fist of diamond. It's heavy shit. It was a real honor to work on the record."

Rollins was right in the mood for the job. There was still a roar in his ears from a week of dates with the Rollins Band in Europe.

"I don't think we've ever played better. We did a week of playing the set and songs we haven't played for awhile. We hadn't played live for like eight months, which is a long time for us. So we thought, `Wow! We can do this!' And we went out and just fucking destroyed! Six shows, six days and some of the best gigs I've ever played in my life. It was so much fun. We were impressed with ourselves. Like, I didn't think it would be `that' good!"

Rollins being Rollins, there have been a stack of other items of business on his agenda during the year. The man is a magnet or a catalyst for the sort of projects and alliances that for most will remain nothing more than a fan's dream.

First up, yes, he and Iggy Pop are going to remix The Stooges punkoid metallic masterwork, `Raw Power'.

"It [the master tape] was in Belgium, it migrated to Holland and it came over into our dressing room in Eindhoven. [Rollins band guitarist] Chris got it back to New York and personally delivered it to Iggy himself. This is a cornerstone of hard rock music. You're sitting next to and mixing with one of the great legends of rock`n'roll, not like Axl Rose, but the real thing. Iggy Pop. I told him, `Go get the record'. He's never even heard it on CD. I think we're going to have a fucking blast."

Still on the Stooges front, Rollins is continuing work on a reissue of the classic Iggy Pop and Anne Wehrer book on The Stooges, `I Need More'. A lot of the original photos have been lost so they're just working off a copy of the book. "Thank goodness for computers." Rollins also interviewed Jerry Lee Lewis for MTV on two occasions. The first was at The Killer's home and the second in the MTV studios in New York. Jerry Lee was so impressed with Hank's style he said he'd only do the studio interview if Hank handled it himself. Rollins accommodated the old rocker's wishes to the point of opening the door of his limo when he arrived at the studios. In another dream gig, Rollins also interviewed John Lee Hooker at his home for the US mag, HUH.

"A task that can now be filed under `completed' is the book, `The Photographer's Led Zepplin', which was the brainchild of famed hard rock snapper, Ross Halfin.

"It's 365 pages and 5 and a quarter pounds in weight. Page verified that it was a good book. The first editions are going to be hard cover with a slip case. There might only be 10,000 of those. It's the finest photo book on the band ever. All the famous Zepplin shots you've ever seem are on it and everything you've never seen. It's a real beautiful tribute. Way more of a happening tribute than the fucking tribute album was. It's retailing for $100 US but it's worth it though. It'd be worth $150 American really."

To cap all this off, Rollins landed a role in `Heat' with Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jon Voight and Val Kilmer.

"Pacino makes you a better actor. He comes into the room and you're 10 per cent better because he's so good. I was the only non-actor in the film. The rest of the people are Jon Voight, Val Kilmer, you're in way over your head! And Pacino came in [low voice] `Henry, how are you?' Oh my god! I'm going to act with fucking Scarface!"

All that is now on the sidelines. The Rollins Band is top priority. Though they've been songwriting on and off since April, since August the band have been going at it hard in a rehearsal studio five days a week with Rollins doing speaking dates in the weekend. It's hoped the band will be in the studio working on the follow up to `Weight' by February.

"We're going to hopefully be playing 4 to 6 new songs when we get out there (Australia). We've been digging out some old ones. We've been playing `Low Self Opinion' and `Do It'. I like all those old songs. I miss them."

Those songs also helped make a considerable physical impact on Rollins. The intensity of his vocal performances over the years manifested itself as a cyst in his left vocal chord which had to be removed earlier in the year. "The doctor looked at my throat and said, `You're sure you don't smoke?' I go `No." `How's your drinking?' `I don't.' He said, `Well, your vocal chords look like you party and sing all night'. I said, `Well, it's 14 years,' and I gave him a record. He goes, `Oh! NOW I see!' He was used to doing real singers. He never heard nothing like me before."


FN: The Rollins Band headlined this year's (1995) Livid Festival - this Saturday at Davies Park, West End (stage 1, 9:00 pm).

CJ: I couldn't afford the $50 tickets to Livid but I was listening to Triple J which was broadcasting the Australian Livid acts to tie in with Australian Music Week, so they didn't broadcast The Rollins Band nor interview Rollins on air (but I'm sure they would have taken the opportunity anyway for later broadcast). There were mixed reviews of The Rollins Band (I guess you have to be a fan). Apparently, Rollins was scaring people as he warmed up before going on stage because he's so intense and looks so fierce, and during the show, because kids were climbing on top of the tents containing the stages, Rollins said that they were ruining it for everyone and if they didn't get off, he was leaving. They got off.

Alf - 11th January 1996