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
It actually changed a little bit last summer, and that's because I broke straight-edge. I started smoking pot, and that caused me to mellow out a lot. And I've now come to see that a lot of the tension in the band was caused by myself, especially on tour. We still fight and we still don't have a lot in common, but as far as the open warfare that used to exist, that's my burden to bear for being the cause of it.
Why did you decide to break edge?
Well, I'd been on anti-anxiety pills and I hated the side effects. I decided to go off them right before we went to Europe. I find it very stressful to tour, which I realize sounds like the biggest first-world problem I could ever describe. [Laughs] "Poor me, I have to tour Europe!" But I went over there and had kind of a freak-out. Now, the last time we went to Europe, I had to go to a mental hospital in Denmark, and I didn't want that to happen again, so in a moment of desperation, I was, like, "Yo, pass that joint." And it worked. It took away all the stress. And the side effects aren't nearly as severe as the ones that come with the anti-anxiety pills. So I'm not drinking or taking other drugs, but marijuana is something I've taken to like a fish to water.
Why did you reach for a joint before a beer? Was it just a matter of what was immediately available?
I kind of debated this in my head for a while before I broke edge, but alcohol is something that I've always associated with severe family strife. It's not like I grew up with drunk parents or anything like that, but anytime alcohol was present, it always led to a disagreement. Also — shockingly — I have stomach issues, so the prospect of having gut-rot brought on by alcohol was not appealing to me. [Laughs] Hangovers don't appeal to me, either.