Music

Why Henry Rollins quit music: “there’s no more toothpaste in the tube”

Though he remains a prominent member of the music community, Henry Rollins quit recording music long ago. Here’s why.

When Henry Rollins appeared on Rick Rubin’s top-notch podcast Broken Record, he discussed many things. Ever the honest talker, the former Black Flag frontman outlined exactly why his days writing music came to an end.

Speaking to Rubin, he said: “The smart thing I did as a younger man was one day I woke up in my bed and I went, ‘I’m done with music. I don’t hate it. I just have no more lyrics. There’s no more toothpaste in the tube.'” 

Rollins shot to prominence as the frontman of State of Alert and subsequently Black Flag, two highly important bands from the early days of punk rock. He would later record spoken word records and more solo music, as well as albums with the Rollins Band.

He continued:

“Luckily, I had enough movies, voiceover, documentary work, writing, talking, where that just filled in, and now I’m busier than ever. But I walked away before I had to start saying, ‘Hey, kids, remember this one?’”

“So I didn’t have to put it on and go up there and put on the dog and yelp for my dinner.”

Elaborating, Rollins declared that he often compares himself to other “major rock stars” who still tour. Without necessarily dismissing their choices, Rollins said he never considered the “what people want” route, instead following his heart on the projects he wanted to continue with.

He said that if his fans “happen to like what I’m doing, cool. If they don’t, they can bite me.”

Though he may not be thrashing around in front of bands any longer, Rollins has far from quit the stage. As he mentions, Rollins has grown into an accomplished actor and voice actor, writer, public speaker, and amongst all this, he still hosts a weekly radio show on KCRW.

Read Happy Mag’s 2018 interview with Henry Rollins here.