With performances in all 50 states (plus Washington DC), the legendary Henry Rollins is out to inform with his new event, Capitalism. Featuring tales of his life as a writer, actor, traveler, punk rock icon and more, Capitalism is bound to be one of the coolest things to happen in Santa Fe...well, ever. Think of it as one part spoken word event, one part semi-informal lesson in the democratic process. In what was both a terrifying prospect and tremendous personal honor, I spoke with Rollins via email...ch-check it out below.
You travel so much, will this be your first time in Santa Fe?
No. I have done a few shows there, although, it has been awhile.
Could Capitalism be considered almost like campaigning—are you trying to
sway people one way or another, or just provide information/diminish
the stigma of boring politics?
I would never try to tell someone who to vote for. I do advise
that you vote if it’s possible. Democracy needs you. Past that, it’s
really your business who you vote for. I really don’t have any
interest in who moves you as long as someone does enough to get you to
So do you think it’s necessary for people in the public eye like yourself
to bring light to certain issues…like a, “should you use your
notoriety for the good of humanity vs. serving personal interest?”
No. It’s an elective. You do what you think is the right thing
to do. It’s not an obligation by any means.
On your 2008 Recountdown tour, you mentioned being hopeful for America
post-Bush. Are you still hopeful now as we head to the end of Obama’s
Absolutely. I think the president is doing a great job,
considering the waste of time Congress he has to wrestle with. It is
quite amazing the amount he has pulled off in spite of things being as
Obviously a lot of people know you as a punk icon, but you act, speak,
write, photograph, document, endlessly travel and so forth. What led
you to pursue so many non-music areas?
Because when you’re small of fame and not really good at any
of it, you can do a lot of things. I just go for it, what led me was
what always does—my curiosity.
So then would you say people more aware of you as a sort of journalistic activist, or as
that one dude from Black Flag these days? Both?
I don’t know. You would have to ask them. I just do the work.
People keep bringing up your age like it’s some sort of magic
accomplishment and it seems weird. I am, however, curious about what
it’s like to get older while trying to hold on to the “punk rock”parts
of yourself. Can you speak to that?
I don’t try to hold onto anything. I just do my work and don’t
think about the rest. Life is too short to lock yourself into
anything. I have a lot of things I have tasked myself with and so I do
them. Past that, there is no past that for me really.
Were you as sad as me about Clint Eastwood? Man, that was sad.
No. He was doing what he wanted. He said later that the Romney
people were stupid to bring him on. He was pathetic but that was all
up to him and he brought on himself.
Henry Rollins: Capitalism
Saturday, September 22
Sol Santa Fe Stage & Grill
37 Fire Place
An earlier version of this post listed an incorrect date.