By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
What I did for a long time was put my head on other people's bodies. You look for your own niche. How have all these things synthesized in you? You take your Elmer Bernstein and you take your 7 inches of throbbing pink Jesus and you put it together and you try to make some sense out of it. Melt it, crush it, saw it, solder it. I've always had diverse influences, and I never know how to reconcile them. There was a point where I wasn't sure whether I was a lounge act or . . .
Me: A main-room act.
Tom: Yeah. "Am I too hip for the room?" I don't know. "I'm not hip enoughfor the room." Or am I just, like, you know, a garage sale? It's an ongoing dilemma. Where are you, what are you? In popular music, the key word is "popular," and popular usually connects something very temporary -- once popular, then they call you once-popular.
Me: Ninety-five percent of everything is temporary.
Tom: I'm okay with that . . . But it's nice to think that when you're making your music and you bring it out, someone's going to pick it up. And who knows when or where? I listen to stuff that's 50 years old or older than that and bring it into myself. And so you are in a way having communion and fellowship with folks you have yet to meet, who will someday hopefully bring your record home and -- you know, they're running a little lingerie shop down on Magnolia -- and put it on, and bring it together with the sounds that they hear in their own head. It's nice to be part of the dismemberment of linear time.
The meal is finished, the check paid. On the way out, half a dozen decanters representing Elvis Presley in the several stages of his fine, fine, superfine career are discovered in the bar. Outside, a red Corvette is parked. Waits hands me his camera, and I take his picture posing proprietarily by the car. For a second, he looks about 17. Then he climbs into his hulking black Silverado and drives away, into the cow-covered hills, back to the family, as night falls on the countryside.