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
"I just found a warmth in that side of things that has been a nice balance, an antidote for me, 'cause I was finding my life just really fuckin' empty, and really square and cold, kinda like a fuckin' Häagen-Dazs or something.
"There's a lotta conflicts in my life between the world in which I would like to be a human being and the world of work, in which you're sized up and judged by the quality and the success of your output. And basically, when the two butt heads, work comes first. I kinda feel like that's wrong, but on the other hand, that's who I am -- I'm an American, dude! I mean, that's our culture, isn't it? I think so."
A FEW TIMES A YEAR, IGGY VISITS HIS dad in Michigan, and they play a little golf -- par-three-type stuff. "The other big thing I've been doin' with my time is visual arts and painting. I find a great comfort in it. It's an archaic form. I like portraiture, particularly, like Velázquez's Pope Innocent X-- wow! Or Lucian Freud, or Joe Coleman."
Does he do any self-portraits?
"Yep! A lot. It works out to about one every two years, when there's something on my mind. They usually look all tortured -- there's a lotta red in the face."
Meanwhile, there's plenty of work to keep him occupied. His acting career is coming along nicely (from The Color of Money and Sid & Nancy to the upcoming Snow Day), and there's a possible villain role in the new Drew Barrymore movie. He'll be in Paris soon to tape a TV show with Medeski Martin & Wood in which he'll do half material from the new album, the other half trying out a few standards. And right now, he's down in Florida, or in Baja, curled up with a book.
"I've got an autographed copy of the collected work of Allen Ginsberg. It's everything from 1947 on, and I went back to that, and I'm doin' one a day of those poems, and, gee, that fuckin' shit is really good. There's an English guy I like very much named Will Self, whose book is called Great Apes. And I've got works of de Sade that I read with affection."
What does the Marquis offer the Ig?
"Well, de Sade, the language, the way he presents an argument, is thorough and beautiful. But what I really like is the way he stands up to all those people that are, like, blowin' their fuckin' hot air in another direction, and says, 'No. No, this is this, and this and this, and therefore this, and that's the way I feel.' And hey, you know, I like that."