Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Henry Rollins says he won't be playing any "old music"—or maybe any music at all—any time soon

Illustration for article titled Henry Rollins says he wont be playing any old music—or maybe any music at all—any time soon

With not one but two different iterations of Black Flag reuniting this summer, it’s not outlandish to ask, “When is Henry Rollins going to launch his own, far more musclebound nostalgia tour?” The answer, as Rollins explains in his L.A. Weekly column, is probably never. As he puts it, Black Flag tunes are “old music,” and “currently, my future is getting in the way of my past.” (Somewhat ironically, Rollins is  filming a history-based TV show in Arlington, Virginia.) He goes on to say:

“I tell you this because in the summer months, you can count on bands that have been gone for years who will reassemble and go onto stages all over the world playing 'vintage music.' Perhaps they are on a Proustian mission to recapture that which has been lost. I read the interviews where the musicians claim that now they can really play this music. I don't doubt them, but therein lies the problem. Musicians should not play Music. Music should play musicians.

Bands that think they have a handle on Music are no longer battling the beast. They think they have mastered Music. They have not.
Music cannot be mastered. What they think is control and mastery is not only hubris but even worse, it is Music's great indifference. Simply put, Music no longer plays them. Music has moved on to more worthy combatants.

This is why I stopped touring with a band. I put up my fists and there was no longer anything there. It was heartbreaking, but it was clear. Music had moved on. Such was my reverence for its limitless power, I faced this truth and moved on in search of new battles.”


So, in short: No, Henry Rollins will not be trotting out a bunch of old songs anytime soon, if ever. At this point, the idea that the world will get any more songs out of him at all seems pretty unlikely.

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