Henry Rollins Will Always Have Time for the Troops
Henry Rollins is a blur these days. The hard-working Grammy winner, best-selling author, radio/TV personality and stage performer has never looked back after fronting the seminal punk band Black Flag in the 1980s. And while his creative journey has been relentless, his physical journey has been just as impressive — taking him to dozens of obscure pockets around the globe.
But he did slow down for a moment to speak with Noisecreep at the recent NAMM convention in Anaheim, Calif. He rattled off a list of places he’s been to recently. “Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, Bali, Senegal, South Africa, Vietnam — that’s just a few.” Though he’s in hot demand to appear all over the world, much of his travel is built around something Rollins has been passionate about for years — visiting the troops.
“The USO called me years ago,” Rollins told Noisecreep. “And I went that first time, because it just seemed like the right thing to do. Then you get to know many of these men and women and there’s no turning back. You just have to keep going. It gets in your system. I’ve been to Iraq, Afghanistan, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda Medical Center — it’s intense.
“Some of these soldiers are really torn up. I’ve spent Christmases with them, you know? It means a lot to me, even if I just provide a temporary distraction. No one likes war, and some of the most anti-war people I’ve met are soldiers. But they are there doing a job, and it’s a privilege for me to do whatever I can do to help. These are amazing people.”
In addition to visiting more troops, Rollins has a busy upcoming year. “I have a new book coming out toward the fall called ‘Occupants,’” he said. “It features photos I’ve taken during my worldwide travels. I’m really proud of it. I’m also going to focus a lot on my radio show, which I really enjoy. And then I’m doing some interesting TV with the National Geographic Channel.” Rollins has been doing work on the flagship series ‘Explorer’ for the network.
Intense and focused as ever, Rollins remains a ferocious force of artistry and activism. But no matter how busy he gets or how many projects there are to tend to, it seems this creative warrior always have time for the warriors he respects — those on the battlefield.