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You Made It Weird #243: Henry Rollins
Episode 243: You Made It Weird
Henry Rollins
You Made It WeirdYou Made It Weird

You Made It Weird #243: Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins (Black Flag!) makes it weird!

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  1. Bob says:

    This is one of the best Rollins interviews I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot. He got Henry into some areas where he couldn’t repeat a lot of his stage stuff. Great job.

  2. big jim slade says:

    great interview Pete and Henry! Thank you.  So many words of wisdom.  My time is my life, thanks Henry for reminding me to use it by living!

  3. Gala says:

    They was so great to listen to.  I feel like I grew up with Henry Rollins, since the Black Flag days, and I love that he has grown and changed with the years.  I have to say, after the Russell Peters interview, it was really nice to hear someone that has stayed grounded and focused.

  4. choy says:

    I was extra excited to see Henry was the guest this week – truly two of my favorite people! Admittedly I have referred to both Henry and Pete as my future husbands (hehe) but after hearing them together in conversation I see more what I love about them both despite them being so different – they both “lead with curiosity” as Henry says – they go into new experiences and conversations (even with people they may not agree with) with a sense of wonder and genuine desire and openness to learning and hearing different perspectives. And they both have a drive to learn and become more complete human beings by having experiences and REALLY listening to people. And I can easily listen to them too for hours.Great episode! 

  5. Karen says:

    It’s been three months of binging on You Made it Weird. I was only able to imagine/hoping what the Henry Rollins/Pete Holmes podcast would be like. Today dreams were answered and it lived up to the hype my mind gave it. Cheers!

  6. j says:

    I sure have listened to a lot of interviews with Rollins, but this one feels so much like the missing piece, or like the map key to understanding what everything else meant.

    Holmes and Rollins – two VERY different people, and as intimate as the discussion gets, there’s still this fascinating tension and wall that really cuts a sharp line between who each of them really is. But how personal and deep it still gets to be!

    And realizing how deeply Rollins is affected by PTSD, how it shapes and informs who he is in absolutely every way and how he seems to be at a place not uncommon to sufferers where “fixing” them socially won’t necessarily help they be happier and more fulfilled as a person (and when you push for a suffered to get help, you have to really think about help for who, who will it actually benefit? Will them getting help make YOU feel better or THEM?). I think he might be happy because he has over the course of his life learned to gain control of the worst of the PTSD, and to use his obsession with work to drive his inner development as a person. Socially he doesn’t fit in with the rest of us, but he’s not really a jerk in that he is responsible for his words and actions and works to resolve hurt he’s caused.

    As someone who suffers from and also loves someone with PTSD, I feel like this is such a great look into the heart and mind of someone illustrating perfectly ONE of the ways it shapes life for an individual – what that reality feels like.

    • George Jefferson says:

      Yes! Exactly. It’s very easy in an interview to just show the gleaming exterior. But with a little bit of effort Pete changed the conversation. I wonder what Henry is going to be doing in his 70’s when he’s not going to be offered as many gigs. Perhaps he can take Ed Asner’s place as cartoon’s resident Cranky Old Guy.

  7. George Jefferson says:

    Pete, I can tell you went into this with a determination to show us a different side to Henry Rollins, and I for one really appreciate it, because he tends to give the same interview again and again. But you went deep and you got the goods!!!!

  8. Klinger says:

    I’ve listened to a lot of Henry Rollins interviews. He typically steamrolls people and monologues for 10-15 minutes at a time. Pete did a fantastic job of engaging and interacting. It was unique to actually hear Henry have a conversation and be contradicted/challenged on some points. Well done Pete.

  9. Gwen says:

    Henry’s got some interesting ideas, but I hate when people that are ‘well off’ preach that people should just go and travel, or live your dreams… most of us are living paycheck to paycheck. Living a functional life and getting to travel the world are not in the cards for most of us! At least not if you live in the Northeast…

    • Gwen says:

      It also fueled my anger of being in an office job, which I’ve always hated, but struggle to find a way out and not end up homeless. We can’t all be lead singers of punk bands! Though I do believe you should seek out your passions…

  10. raebadnap says:

    Somewhat interesting, mostly miserable. Need comedy.

  11. JWay says:

    so many contradictions. “You get exactly what you deserve” 4 minutes later “He got killed for nothing, and the guy who did it didn’t get punished.

    • Gwen says:

      I noticed the same thing, but I think what he meant to say (and I’d agree) is that none of us ‘deserve’ anything. We are all born into good or bad situations, and it’s not about deserving / not deserving something, it just IS.

  12. Angela Glaros says:

    I love your show and almost never check out before the end of a podcast, because I want to hear the other person (or you, as the case may be) out.  And I’m an anthropologist, well versed in understanding different viewpoints.  But after listening to 3/4 of this show, I felt like someone had taken a Brillo pad to my soul.  Maybe it’s just a personal reaction, but Rollins made my skin crawl.  It felt to me personally that he was such a hardened, closed-up, closed-hearted person, in spite of all the neat things he clearly does and his very creative and ambitious endeavors.  I really felt for you because I felt like you were looking desperately for something–anything–to connect with on a human personal level, and you were very gracious. The fact that his own friends tell him he exhibits signs of PTSD is a telling factor.  Something is not right, and while it’s none of my business, I also don’t have to keep listening to a show that’s grating on me.  That’s part of my own journey toward healing, that I can let go and not do things I don’t enjoy, and I’m only sharing to say that I’m in solidarity with what I perceived (again, just my impression) as your attempts to connect on a personal level with someone who just doesn’t seem capable of doing that.  

    • Stephen says:

      I don’t make a load of broad determinations about a person’s character based on a few poor comments on a podcast, but I would go so far as to say that you will never get anything.

  13. Stephanie says:

    I get how he feels angry about all the shit that goes on in the world. I have those same feelings. “The older I get the more pissed off I get”. Holy shit, I get him. Great episode!

  14. emk says:

    “…makes me feel like I still give a dam. or that I’m still paying respect to these people by having it hurt like… getting run over or something every year.”

    This line of thinking is very familiar to me, and hearing it from someone else made me so damn sad. And it reminded me, especially in light of what Henry said about people in his life suggesting that he was the textbook case for PTSD, of this excerpt from a recent book written by Bessel van der Kolk about trauma called “The Body Keeps the Score” – this is about Dr. van der Kolk’s first patient at a VA hospital in the ‘70s, before anybody had really even attempted to understand PTSD, let alone diagnose it:

    “So, while I lacked a true grasp of the scope of Tom’s problems, the nightmares were something I could relate to, and as an enthusiastic believe in better living through chemistry, I prescribed a drug that we had found to be effective in reducing the incidence and severity of nightmares. I scheduled Tom for a follow-up visit two weeks later.

    When he returned for his appointment, I eagerly asked Tom how the medicines had worked. He told me that he hadn’t taken any of the pills. Trying to conceal my irritation, I asked him why. ‘I realized that if I take the pills and the nightmares go away,’ he replied, ‘I will have abandoned my friends, and their deaths will have been in vain. I need to be a living memorial to my friends who died in Vietnam.’”

    PTSD is a somatic experience, not just some mental health issue. Trauma is stored in your body. It happens to all creatures, but animals have a way of (literally) shaking it off and moving on. We don’t always do that. The longer it is stored in the body, the harder it becomes to connect with other people, the more we avoid uncomfortable social situations, and the more comforting isolation becomes. That’s just how our bodies and brains work when we’ve experienced trauma. But it can be corrected and healed, and that healing doesn’t even have to involve talk therapy if you’re not into that. I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s curious about the physiology of trauma or healing from trauma. (Just my personal opinion/experience, I’m not trying to shill anything.)

    • Angela Glaros says:

      Thanks for sharing this.  I’m teaching Anthropology of the Body right now, and this will be very  relevant to investigate in the class.  I’ll have to check out The Body Keeps the Score–anything else you’d suggest for a class of undergraduates?

  15. Goodashbadash says:

    Henry Rollins is a beautiful man. If more people thought like he does, the world would be a much more rational, productive place. I can so associate with how he feels in the attempt to relate to individual people. The whole fake act…bleh. He’s the type of man who does not go 1 day without learning something new, rather than living as a mindless drone. Reminds us to stop living in this pathetic half-awake state. Just beautiful.

  16. Kyle says:

    One of the very best episodes of this podcast. I’ve been a Rollins fan for ten years (not really that long, I know) but it’s only after listening to this that I really feel like I might almost “get” the guy. Most people I’ve heard interview him seem not to want to challenge him or dig too deep, but Pete did and it resulted in a remarkable conversation.

  17. josh says:

    I love it when Pete hangs with an uber strong personality and keeps up with them. “Creed? Seriously? Creed?” says Henry Rollins. “Yah. Creed. And here’s why…” says confident Pete! I still remember the Maron interview — the growth in confidence between then and now is definitely noticeable!
    Also, it is kinda funny to think that if Pete Holmes and Henry Rollins had a baby, it’d be Pete Rollins, a dark, but strangely cheery Scottish philosopher. 
    Such ep! Great enjoyment! Much fun! 

  18. Eric says:

    As I have gotten older and gotten married and had a child I relate less and less to Rollins but this interview is great. Pete Holmes has the right interview style to get to the heart of some issues without being confrontational. After hearing this I like both Pete and Henry a little more

  19. Jim says:

    Henry is the man

  20. Brian says:

    I’ve been told that Henry was the inspiration for the Character Negan of the Walking Dead. If that’s true, I hope the hire him for the part should it come his way.

  21. Judyan says:

    Pete maybe how you feel about certain feelings isn’t how everyone reacts to them and they aren’t trying to hide something. It feels like sometimes you keep digging into a guest until they are like you. At least that’s how it sounds to me. 

    • Larry says:

      They’re definitely from two different generations. Pete is of the pop psychology/self-help generation, where anything “negative” is automatically seen as detrimental (negative thoughts, feelings, emotions) and are to be purged from the system. Henry is more of a throwback to the previous generation where you “tote your own water,” meaning that you’re responsible for yourself and you don’t be a burden to other people (compare to Pete saying that he needs other people to validate his thoughts and emotions. Pete obviously doesn’t mind burdening other people with his needs.) 

      • Angela Glaros says:

        I hear you, but isn’t part of being responsible for yourself taking care of the “vibe” you’re sending out?  Rollins came off as so harsh in this interview, with such a hard edge (maybe it was just his vocal timbre; I’m a vocalist and aesthetically pleasing voices do sway me perhaps more than they should). I’m not sure Pete burdens others with his needs; all they have to do to avoid the burden is not talk to him or go to his shows or listen to his podcasts.  And the “tote your own water” generation is the one that caused the “pop psychology” generation to seek help, because it didn’t parent that generation terribly well!  Spoken as someone closer to Rollins’ age than Pete’s…

  22. julian says:

    holy shit, what a guy. also, lovin’ the Ty Segall shout out!