3-minute interview with Henry Rollins

The intense and prolific 46-year-old former lead singer for Black Flag lands at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre on Tuesday for a stop on his spoken-word tour, “Provoked.” The performance includes stories drawn from his 25-year career as a musician, actor and writer, his recent USO trips to Iran and Djibouti, and his incessant frustration with the American government.

You’ll be in San Francisco on election night. Will you be talking about voting? Voting is completely important. People in America think democracy is a given. I think of it as an ecosystem, and what gets in the way of it is politicians and apathy. What’s amazing is, so many people, and they’re not bad people, they just don’t do it. Now, more than ever, I would hope that people would be lining up and frothing at the mouth.

Your spoken-word stories are often pretty funny. Is it difficult to turn something that makes you angry into something that can make people laugh? Sometimes it’s easy. But I’ve done [military] hospital visits in the last four years where you’re meeting guys with … most of their brain gone. There’s not a lot of light there, but pretty much anything else, if you can’t find a way to laugh at it, you can’t fight it.

Do you have as much energy now as you did when you were 25, or is age catching up to you? No, no one does. But I love what I do, hate my enemies and love my chores, all of that. I like going out on stage. I don’t have a wife or kid waiting for me — it hasn’t worked out for me, because I live on the road. This is my real life, and being off the road is kind of a weird and pedestrian rut for me.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read