Henry Rollins plans to visit all 50 state capitals on his spoken-word Capitalism tour, which will wind up in Washington, D.C., on the eve of election night.
But the last thing this tattooed, modern-day Renaissance Man wants to convey is some sort of agenda, he says.
I just want to do 50, 51 good shows, explains Rollins, who will talk for about 2 1/2 hours at Boises Knitting Factory on Sept. 18 (8 p.m., $20, Ticketfly).
Thats the only objective to connect with the audience, get across the information I want to, as lean and to-the-point as possible. I would never have the chutzpah or required temerity to tell anyone who to vote for which is so rude. I just hope that people do vote. Because democracy really needs you to weigh in.
With his cropped hair, piercing eyes and tree-trunk neck, Rollins looks the part of a drill sergeant from hell or at least a scary white supremacist, a role he played beautifully on season two of FXs motorcycle-gang series Sons of Anarchy.
In reality, Rollins is exceedingly thoughtful and polite which is probably part of the reason hes been drawn to activism in recent years.
Im not a mean person, he says. If you can help someone out, I think its a cool thing to do. Im quite happy to do it.
Remembered by punk-rock fans as the frontman of 80s band Black Flag and his own abrasive group, Rollins Band, the 51-year-old gave up music in 2006 when he stopped coming up with ideas for lyrics.
It was the right thing to do, he says, but it was heartbreakingly hard to do. I just cant go out there and be the yesterday machine.
Hes spent the last two decades rebranding himself as an intense force of nature: speaker, author, publisher, television and radio host, actor, voiceover talent and, in recent years, champion for the human spirit.
Much of the material at his spoken-word performances comes from his travels, whether hes filming for National Geographic Channel or taking his own camera crews to faraway lands.
Rollins hopes that his tales inspire others to travel and, consequently, to learn.
People should travel, Rollins says. As soon as you get out of your area of comfort, immediately you start learning. And some of these places, the learning curve I mean, southern Sudan? Uganda? (Whistles) Hanging out with kids abducted by the Lords of Resistance Army one day, walking through shallow graves that theyre growing corn through on another? This is stuff that causes one to do quite a bit of thinking if you avail yourself to that.
The personal rewards are vast. So is the satisfaction he gets telling others about his experiences on tour.
Its work that I enjoy, he says.
But when Rollins talks about his acting stint with Sons of Anarchy, theres a longing in his voice. Just seeing Sons of Anarchy billboards around Los Angeles or TV ads for the new season makes him envious of the actors still starring on the show, he says.
If I could be on Sons of Anarchy six months a year, he says, Id run at that through a minefield to get that work.
But acting roles dont come often for him.
Im not an actor, Im just an opportunist, Rollins says. Truly, I go after work. I have a high school education. I come from a minimum-wage working world. And so I choose not to fool myself.
In fact, after the Capitalism tour winds down at the end of the year, Rollins says, hes basically unemployed.
I am in a mild state of panic about that. I mean, something always turns up. But I dont want to sleep on that.
If Rollins wants to add another job title to his long resume, he might consider politician. Despite the fact he isnt pushing a specific presidential candidate on his Capitalism trek (I think the side I lean on is flagrantly obvious, he says), Rollins sounds infinitely electable when he addresses votings importance.
Truly, whoever wins, I hope they do well by you and me, Rollins says. I dont have a crystal ball. I dont know who the hells going to win this thing. But whoever it is, I want the best for all of us every single American.
PINK FLOYD TRIBUTES
Brit Floyd, which was slated to perform Sept. 21 at the Eagle River Pavilion, has been moved to the Revolution Center in Garden City.
Normally, moving an outdoor concert indoors is a bummer. (But not always. Read my thoughts about My Morning Jackets Sept. 9 show at the Knitting Factory on my blog.) However, Brit Floyds relocation does give fans a chance to check out the Valleys newest concert venue. Plus, Brit Floyds eye-popping lights and video wont be compromised by daylight.
Check my blog Monday for a chance to win tickets to that concert: five pairs, plus 10 Brit Floyd DVDs.
A second Pink Floyd tribute band, Portland-based Pigs on the Wing, will perform Dec. 1 at the Knitting Factory in Boise. This group doesnt quite match Brit Floyd, but why not go, anyway? If youre a true Pink Floyd diehard, you can never hear or spend enough Money.
Local headbanging favorite Fly2Void will perform its first gig in almost a year and a half Friday, Sept. 21, at the Knitting Factory. We are coming out all guns blazing, says guitarist Fahd Ismail. We are enthused to bring a fresh set list to the stage, and also a few surprises that we have never done on stage in the past.
Openers will include Half the World, The Fav and Exit Prose. Show starts at 7 p.m., and free tickets are available at Fly2Voids Facebook page.
IN SCENE MAGAZINE SEPT. 21
Æ Octogenarian Clint Eastwood stars in Trouble with the Curve.
Æ Discover Black Hunger, a simultaneous art studio, gallery, project and social experiment.
Æ A review of Casa Blanca Cuban Grill in Boise.
Michael Deeds column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. Email: mdeeds@ idahostatesman.com. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds