The American musician, author and actor was in Dudelange on Thursday for a spoken word show on his Good To See You Tour.

RTL: Now that you are finally back on the road, how is that moment to moment touring life treating you?Henry Rollins: Being on the road is my preferred way of living. It’s a lot of hustle and small living environments but it’s better than being off the road, where life seems to pass me by. The road is as honest as you can handle, so I reckon it’s treating me fairly.

You started doing spoken word shows early on in your life. What kind of energy did that give you opposed to a music show back in the day? What motivates you to this day?  

For me, it’s from the same discipline set as doing music. In either, I’m trying to get something across with accuracy. The band work is a collaborative effort so there’s attention being paid to remaining cohesive, to be a part of something and not the thing itself. I always thought band shows, while far more physically demanding, were not as challenging as being on my own onstage where there’s nothing to stand behind, so your material better be good or at least you better think it is.

I always liked the band shows for their gladiator/bloodspot nature. It was never about being a musician or an artist, I’m neither. The venue was the arena, the audience was the audience, I was the gladiator, the music was that which was trying to kill me. I battled the songs. They were built to pulverize the singer and the drummer. These days, being alone onstage is very much how my life is now. On my own, advancing on death. It’s the truest performance environment for me. I’m not as interested in collaborative efforts as I used to be.

You don't live in LA anymore. What is your view on that city right now sitting in a tour bus somewhere on an autobahn in Europe?

It’s a city falling in on itself. If you lived there long enough, you knew it was only a matter of time. You can’t have that kind of disparity, with the ultrawealthy living a few exits down the highway from gun homicides and thousands of homeless, without things eventually falling apart. I think that’s what’s happening. There are, 50-75 thousand homeless folks in Los Angeles County. I don’t think that number goes down. Life will continue to cheapen and those who can will leave. At the same time, those who can, will move there. It’s good to be gone. I would have eventually killed someone.

Have you stayed in the States because somewhere else would make no difference as people tend to suck everywhere? 

I never thought about leaving. I have a lot of things like records and books. I don’t know if I’d want to get rid of it all or try to haul it somewhere else. The USA has never made me feel like I had to leave it. There are a lot of things I disagree with happening there but so far, I’m still a tax paying citizen. I reckon I could get by just fine in a lot of other places. I’m not all that particular about my environment. I’ve become accustomed to a lot of variation.

Police brutality having been a theme in your work/life over the years, what is your take on the "Disband the police" movement in the US?

I think you might be referring to “defund the police.” The actual idea is one thing, the name doesn’t really align with it. In the USA law enforcement officers are routinely thrown into situations where they have to be everything from psychologists to hostage negotiators. The idea is to bring in more specialists to the police force so officers don’t have to try and deal with so many complex situations with a limited skill set. The outcome could be less people getting killed or injured.

Some people took the name “defund the police” which again, is a poorly chosen grouping of words and used it to assert a part of the American electorate was against the police and in favor of chaos and violence. I think the phrase should be dismissed and the actual problem of crime in the USA be addressed with an eye to make things better. However, there are a lot of people who are invested in the problem and any solution would interfere with their bottom line, so I don’t think things will change. America’s great experiment in democracy ultimately failed. Took a while but I think its clear at this point it didn’t work.

Music is still an important part of your life. Would you make music again if it wasn’t automatically a band/other people thing?

No. I’m done. For me it was a time/place thing. I’m not an artist or a musician. For me, it was more like the time an athlete can be competitive. You have your time and then it’s over.

Will the Stay Fanatic!!! book project keep on going?

Unfortunately, yes. If I could stop, I would, believe me. Volume 4 is in the works.

What is your take on the state of the music industry in the year 2023 in one word/sentence?

I only pay attention to the Independent music world which I think is going great.

Your actor/voice-over work is lately to some extent in the fantasy and science-fiction realm... do you like the genre? Who are your favourite authors?

It’s just work to me. I don’t watch the shows. I do as much of that work as I can get.

In your experience, is it a good idea to meet your idols?

I’m a fan of a lot of people. I’ve met many of them but the situation was conducive to it being a good experience. I’ve been introduced to a number of them by someone who knew them. Every great once in awhile they actually approached me. That’s how I met David Bowie. I wouldn’t go a step out of my way to meet anyone I admire. I’d rather just let their work do the talking and allow it to be what I know of them.

At the end of the day, these are just people with all the usual good day/bad day baggage and I’d rather listen to the records and never meet the person than meet them, have a bad experience and have it be deleterious to the listening experience of their records. This vulnerability and possibility of things going bad has made me extremely careful with anyone who comes up to me. I don’t want them to have a bad experience meeting me.

Have you ever been to Luxembourg in the past?  

I was there for a few weeks years ago, working in a film. I remember the streets near the hotel being nice. I was close to a record store called CD Buttek. I went in there a few times and found some great records. All the coffee places closed early, which was a bummer on a night off but you can’t have everything.