In an interview setting, give Henry Rollins a subject — one of his spoken-word monologues, his real-life encounters with everyday Iraq, Afghanistan or Kurdistan citizens, his loathe for U.S. foreign policy or the Fox News Channel — and he can talk at great, informative lengths.
Yet with all the one-time Black Flag and Rollins Band lead screamer has to espouse, the 47-year-old admits that being on the interviewer side of things for his new TV series The Henry Rollins Show has been an adjustment.
"Thankfully, I had done a few of these one-on-ones before," Rollins said yesterday while in Toronto plugging his new 30-minute weekly talk show series for the Independent Film Channel (IFC). "I did video press kits for Black Sabbath, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ozzy Osbourne. The Experience Museum in Seattle said I could do interviews with John Lee Hooker, Jello Biafra, the Circle Jerks, David Lee Roth."
Rollins points out that the real appeal of the show are the guests (from film director Oliver Stone, rapper Chuck D to metal icon/reality TV star Osbourne), the subject material — anti-Bush rants, a Mariah Carey/Al Gore connection, guns — and the Heidi May-hosted musical segments featuring the likes of Jurassic 5, Ben Folds, the now-defunct Sleater-Kinney, Ben Harper and Frank Black.
What sets The Henry Rollins Show apart from the rest of the typical American talk-show banterers?
"I wouldn’t ask anyone all that icky, gratuitous personal information that ends up making someone look bad," Rollins said. "I want to give my guests questions they want to answer. If there’s someone on the show I have a legitimate beef with — a politician, say — I’m gonna ask real tough questions but I’m going to be respectful. It’s gotta be fair."
- The Henry Rollins Show airs on IFC in Canada Saturdays at 9 p.m. Log on to BlogTV.ca for a live online chat today at 4 p.m.