Like most people my age, Rollins is synonymous with Black Flag. Black Flag and those (IIII) bars are synonymous with anger, intensity and some serious angular/disjointed riffing. For others, Lollapalooza (I don’t know if I’m spelling that correctly – I’m not Googling that. I have my standards) was their introduction to Rollins Band or maybe even his appearance (via Low Self Opinion or Liar music video) on Beavis and Butthead. Others may know him from his TV work. But however you know Rollins, one thing is always evident: passion and intensity.
Rollins has been able to take his passion and drive and put it to many uses: this is rare. Every so often I re-read a Hubert Selby book and thank Rollins for bringing the author and his books to my attention. Or maybe you’ve been impressed and moved during his spoken word performances. Was it one of his PSA’s on YouTube that struck a chord with you? Or was it him screaming “MY WAR!”?
Most lifters have read his popular Details article about his love of weights/iron. It is a terrific essay – if you’ve been stuck in a rut the size of Metalcore’s failure, do yourself a favor and check it out. If you recognize Metalcore’s failure, check out Henry’s sizable musical output. His work with Sim Cain/Chris Haskett/Andrew Weiss (and later Melvin Gibbs) is amazing. Henry is NOT a gifted musician, he will admit that. But he does sing with passion and surrounds himself with amazing musicians. All this leads up to a short interview with Henry about training. Click HERE to read it.
If you are not familiar with Rollins or Black Flag, here is an introduction to his most accessible work (this is off the Rollins Band, “Weight”. If you dig this song, get that album and his later work (much more accessible to the average person). Once you get that, you can start with his work in Black Flag. “Damaged” is probably the best place to start. The classic “My War” is one of my favorites but it is super slow (compared to other works) and is often referred to as THE album to help launch bands like Eyehategod.
While I don’t agree with some of his political views, I can certainly look past that. What I see is a man who continually pushes himself in all his passions. As a side note, Henry trained with Dr. Ken Leistner and Dr. Ken relayed some great stories to me about Henry’s character. He is, most importantly, a good man. To quote Dr. Ken, “One of the few people I would leave my kids alone with.”