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
With "81 'talking shows,' three movies, a TV show and a trip to Africa" creeping up on his itinerary, Rollins rushed his new collaborators into the studio to lay down 10 tracks. When he returned to L.A. in early '99, a two-week practice session resulted in 13 more songs, all of which were recorded and mixed without the awareness or involvement of Rollins' record label.
"I hadn't even told DreamWorks," he says. "I did it all with my own money, because I didn't want anybody telling me anything. It wasn't going to be the Rollins Band. It was just this thing I was doing that was sounding really good." None of the previous Rollins Band members had even owned a Thin Lizzy record, so when Rollins suggested to Wilson that they work up a version of "Are You Ready?," Wilson's response was extremely gratifying. "We already know it," he said.
By the time he finally got around to playing the tracks for DreamWorks (who responded enthusiastically), Rollins had considered and rejected several names for his new project. His manager suggested that he simply call it the Rollins Band, but Rollins himself wasn't so sure. "I really didn't want to disrespect the old lineup," he says. "After all that hard work, I didn't want it to seem like all of a sudden they'd been replaced. But my manager said, 'You're not dissing them -- you're Rollins, it's a band. It is the Rollins Band!'"
For the most part, Rollins says, his old compadres were not offended. "I think one of the guys was like, 'What the fuck?' But everyone's moved on by now. I also wrote a letter to the fans, saying, 'Here's how it is, here's why, don't be mad, and if you are mad, I'm sorry.' And I got tons of letters back saying, 'Dude, just do your thing! We'll be there!'"
WITH A SUCCESSFUL U.S. TOUR AND SEVERAL EUropean festival dates already under their belts, the Rollins Band plans to be on the road from March through September. "These guys were born to do this," says Rollins, beaming like a proud older brother. "They've gone from playing the Whisky to opening up for Metallica in Portugal, with James Hetfield running up to them, going, 'Dude! You guys fucking rock!' The only drag for them is that we don't do two sets a night. They wear me out, man." (During the U.S. tour, Rollins rewarded their enthusiasm with a surprise recording date at Memphis' legendary Sun Studios.)
Come October, the two factions will head off in separate directions -- Mother Superior to support a forthcoming album of their own, Rollins to honor several weeks of spoken-word engagements -- but there's every indication that Get Some Go Again is merely the beginning of a very productive relationship.
"Jim and Marcus can really sing their asses off," says Rollins. "So now we're writing stuff with two extra voices. And we'll just keep jamming, because I reckon there's enough years to just sit on your ass. That's what your 60s are supposed to be about, right?"