In a new interview with Joe Rock of Long Island, New York’s 102.3 WBAB radio station, punk rock icon Henry Rollins, who is a relentless world traveler, expressed his solidarity with the people of Ukraine over Russia’s invasion of the country. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “The thing is still, in a way, breaking news. What I have been thinking about is everybody at my [spoken-word] shows in Kyiv, no one’s life is what it was a month ago. And I think of all those people throughout the last several days, ’cause they’re either moving, they’re on their way somewhere or they’re panicked or they’re not having a great time today. And these are people — very friendly. I talked to a lot of them. They were waiting for me at the hotel; they were waiting for me at the venue; they were hanging out after the show. Me being in Ukraine, that was a rare deal, so people were — my audience of eight — they were in disbelief. Like, ‘How did you get here?’ I said, ‘I have a good agent and I say yes to shows.’ ‘How come you haven’t been here before?’ ‘I came the first time I was offered a show. Here I am.'”
He continued: “You have to fly through Belarus to get to Kyiv, at least how I was flying, and so that’s another… I saw nothing more than the airport but it was not lost upon me, the times I’d been at the Belarus airport, like, ‘This is Belarus. This is intense.’ Because as an American, I don’t know what travel would be like for me in that part of the world before [Russian president Vladimir] Putin‘s move into Ukraine or now; I have no idea what the law is. I know there’s some countries I’ve wanted to go to where they just will not give you a visa. It’s not necessarily dangerous; they just… they’re not gonna give a normal citizen a visa.”
Two months ago, Rollins canceled the European leg of his “Good To See You” spoken-word tour due to coronavirus-related concerns. He was scheduled to kick off the trek, which promised to “faithfully recount the events of his life in the brief pre-COVID period since the last tour and when things got even stranger over the last several months,” in Berlin, Germany on January 9.
The North American leg of the “Good To See You” 2022 tour is scheduled to kick off on March 12 in Royal Oak, Michigan and conclude on June 4 in Montreal, Quebec.
Rollins has toured the world as a spoken-word artist, as frontman for both ROLLINS BAND and BLACK FLAG and as a solitary traveler with insatiable curiosity, favoring road-less-traveled locales in places such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Siberia, North Korea, South Sudan and Iran.
As a spoken-word artist, Rollins regularly performs at colleges and theaters worldwide and has released a number of spoken-word recordings. His album “Get In The Van” won the Grammy for “Best Spoken Word Album” for 1995. As an actor, he has appeared in “The Chase”, “Johnny Mnemonic”, “Heat” and David Lynch‘s film “Lost Highway”.
In describing Rollins, the tendency is to try to squeeze as many labels as possible into a single sentence. “Rollins is many things,” says The Washington Post, “diatribist, confessor, provocateur, humorist, even motivational speaker…his is an enthusiastic and engaging chatter.” Entertainment Weekly‘s list includes “Punk Rock icon. Spoken word poet. Actor. Author. DJ. Is there anything this guy can’t do?” TV Guide has more concisely called him a “Renaissance Man” but if Henry Rollins could be reduced to a single word, that word would undoubtedly be “workaholic.” When he’s not traveling, Rollins prefers a to keep a relentless schedule full of work, with gigs as an actor, author, DJ, voice-over artist and TV show host to name a few of the roles that keep his schedule full.
Rollins is the music, the attitude, and the voice that takes no prisoners. In his books, he has led us on a hallucinatory journey through the decades–and his mind — with poems, essays, short stories, diary entries, and rants that exist at “the frayed edges where reality ends and imagination begins” (Publishers Weekly).