Henry Rollins to pay a visit to The State Theatre

Henry Rollins started his career with the band Black Flag and has gone on to acting and writing careers.
Henry Rollins started his career with the band Black Flag and has gone on to acting and writing careers. Photo provided

A punk rock icon will stop in State College on Nov. 9 when Henry Rollins performs spoken word and tells anecdotes at The State Theatre.

Rollins began his legacy as the energetic and darkly charismatic lead singer for punk rock band Black Flag. He would later front the Rollins Band and have a successful acting career. His show at The State Theatre will feature something different — Rollins energetically relaying stories from his travels around the world.

“I will be onstage, talking at a fairly high rate of speed, about where I have been recently, things I have done, etc.,” Rollins said. “That’s kind of what I do on every tour. A lot of what I talk about is informed by the travel I do.”

Ever challenging himself, Rollins said he prefers being onstage alone, as it’s tougher for him.

“I have not done music for many years,” he said. “I would rather be onstage by myself. It’s more difficult and you have to earn every minute up there.”

Even with roles in major Hollywood movies and successful TV shows, like his turn as a white supremacist psychopath on the hit FX show “Sons of Anarchy,” Rollins said he still has to put the work in to get roles and he doesn’t know what’s next.

“I have nothing in the works,” Rollins said. “I am not in a position to have ideas like being the lead in anything. I get what I get, and that’s usually by auditioning. I am not high on anyone’s list for hire for anything.”

Rollins is known for his high-energy and avid physical fitness. The singer/writer/speaker/comedian/host/actor is a fitness junkie and takes his diet very seriously.

“I like sushi. I would eat pizza all the time if it didn’t make me feel so slow afterward,” he said. “I try to eat small meals so I can stay active. That’s why I like sushi, it’s very efficient chow.”

Rollins has tried to “compete” with fellow punk rock legend Iggy Pop at shared shows, and has talked about trying to best his “rival” for a more hardcore live performance.

“It wasn’t to be taken all that seriously,” Rollins said. “He is the undisputed heavyweight champion of rock ’n’ roll.”

Preferring a life of solitude, Rollins like his alone time best of all.

“If I am not on a work detail, I prefer to be alone,” said Rollins. “I’ll take that over almost anything. When on my own, I try to listen to a lot of music. That’s the best.”

The road to entertainment wasn’t Rollins’ original intention, but it seemed fate would inspire him to pick up the microphone and never put it down.

“A band I knew needed a new singer and I said I would do it,” he said. “Suddenly I was in a band — past that, I never thought of it. I have never thought of what I do as entertainment. For me, it’s just what I’m doing. I guess you could call me an entertainer. I have never given it all that much thought, honestly.”

After this tour, Rollins will head back out West to look for a job.

“I will be in Hollywood, pathetically begging for work,” he said. “I hope for a state of over-employment.”

Rollins also hosts a weekly radio show on LA’s KCRW and writes weekly columns for the LA Weekly and Rolling Stone Australia.


  • What: Henry Rollins
  • When: 8 p.m. Nov. 9
  • Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
  • Info: www.thestatetheatre.org