Rollins Band

Last updated

Rollins Band
Henry Rollins 2.jpg
Henry Rollins, founder and frontman with Chris Haskett (background)
Background information
Also known asThe Rollins Band
Origin Van Nuys, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active1987–1997, 1999–2003, 2006
Labels
Associated acts
Website 21361.com
Past members

Rollins Band was an American rock band led by singer and songwriter Henry Rollins.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 18 megadiverse countries.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.

Contents

They are best known for the songs "Low Self Opinion" and "Liar", which both earned heavy airplay on MTV in the early-mid 1990s. Critic Steve Huey describes their music as "uncompromising, intense, cathartic fusions of funk, post-punk noise, and jazz experimentalism, with Rollins shouting angry, biting self-examinations and accusations over the grind." [1]

Low Self Opinion 1992 single by Rollins Band

"Low Self Opinion" is a 1992 single by Rollins Band, from the album The End of Silence.

"Liar" is a song by Rollins Band and the lead single from their fourth full-length album, Weight, released in 1994. It was the album's only charting single and is one of the group's best known songs.

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks and headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

In 2000, Rollins Band was included on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, ranking at No. 47. [2]

History

Precursors (1980–1986)

Rollins was the singer for the Washington, D.C. punk rock band State of Alert from October 1980 to July 1981. Afterwards, he sang with California punk rock band Black Flag from August 1981 to August 1986. Black Flag earned little mainstream attention, but through a demanding touring schedule, came to be regarded as one of the most important punk rock bands of the 1980s.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

State of Alert was an American hardcore punk group formed in Washington, D.C. in October 1980, and disbanded in July 1981. S.O.A. was fronted by Henry Rollins, then using his original surname Garfield.

Less than a year after Black Flag broke up, Rollins returned to music with guitarist Chris Haskett (a friend from Rollins' teen years in Washington D.C.), bass guitarist Bernie Wandel, and drummer Mick Green.

Chris Haskett is an American guitarist. He was a member of the Rollins Band from 1986 to 1997 and again for the band's reunion in 2006. He has also recorded or performed with David Bowie, Foetus, Pigface, The Cassandra Complex, Tool and others.

Bernie Wandel is an American musician best known as the bass guitarist for two Henry Rollins albums, Hot Animal Machine and Drive By Shooting.

This line-up released two records: Hot Animal Machine (credited as a Rollins solo record and featuring cover art drawings by Devo leader Mark Mothersbaugh) and Drive by Shooting (credited to "Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters"). The music was similar to Black Flag's, though it flirted more with heavy metal and funk.

<i>Hot Animal Machine</i> album by Henry Rollins

Hot Animal Machine is a hardcore punk solo album by Henry Rollins which served as a precursor to the Rollins Band. It is only available now in the same 2-in-one package as Drive by Shooting. Notable for a number of cover songs; Suicide's "Ghost Rider", Richard Berry's "Crazy Lover" and The Velvet Underground's "I'm Gonna Move Right In". The cover was drawn by Mark Mothersbaugh, the frontman of the popular 1980s group Devo.

Devo American New Wave band

Devo is an American rock band from Akron, Ohio formed in 1973. Their classic lineup consisted of two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs and the Casales, along with Alan Myers. The band had a No. 14 Billboard chart hit in 1980 with the single "Whip It", the song that gave the band mainstream popularity.

Mark Mothersbaugh American musician

Mark Allen Mothersbaugh is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, author and visual artist.

First edition (1987–1994)

Soon after, Rollins formed Rollins Band with Haskett, bassist Andrew Weiss, and drummer Sim Cain (Weiss and Cain had previously played with Gone, an instrumental rock group led by guitarist and Black Flag founder Greg Ginn). Live sound engineer Theo Van Rock was usually credited as a band member.

Critics Ira Robbins and Regina Joskow described this line-up as a "brilliant, strong ensemble ... the band doesn't play punk (more a jazzy, thrashy, swing take on the many moods of Jimi Hendrix), but what they do together has the strengths of both. The group's loud guitar rock with a strong, inventive rhythmic clock borrows only the better attributes of metal, ensuring that noise is never a substitute for purpose." [3]

Second edition (1994–1997)

Gibbs in a July 19, 1980 performance in Paris, France Melvin Gibbs.jpg
Gibbs in a July 19, 1980 performance in Paris, France

Rollins's tour diaries from this era (published as See A Grown Man Cry and "Now Watch Him Die") details the personal and creative tensions that led to Weiss being fired following the End of Silence tour. The band's new bassist was jazz and funk veteran Melvin Gibbs, who'd been highly recommended by guitarist Vernon Reid of Living Colour, a friend of the Rollins Band since the first Lollapalooza tour. Cain and Gibbs had also both played in different versions of guitarist Marc Ribot's band (with Gibbs performing on Ribot's album Rootless Cosmopolitans and Cain on Requiem for What's-His-Name).

The first video from 1994's Weight, "Liar", was a huge hit on MTV, with Rollins sporting numerous costumes (including a cop and a nun). The band appeared at Woodstock '94, and Rollins was a guest-host for several MTV programs, including 120 Minutes.

This version of Rollins Band had some of the most overt jazz leanings of the band's history: Gibbs had begun his career with Reid in the 1980s jazz fusion group of drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, and worked with Sonny Sharrock on albums like 1987's Seize The Rainbow . These influences, along with Rollins' obsession with the late '60s/early '70s electric/fusion era of iconic trumpeter Miles Davis, shaped this version of the band's music. During the sessions for Weight, Rollins Band recorded with free jazz saxophonist Charles Gayle, though these sessions remained unreleased for ten years at Gayle's request to avoid conflicts with his contractual obligations. The Gayle sessions were released in 2003 as Weighting.

In 1996, there was a legal battle with the band's former label Imago Records. Rollins claimed "fraud, deceit, undue influence and economic coercion" on the labels' part. [4] They signed with the then new major label DreamWorks Records, who released 1997's Come In And Burn. The album had a minor hit with the single "Starve" and the band appeared on Saturday Night Live to promote the album (season 22, episode 18). However, Come In and Burn was not as successful as Weight and, after touring for Burn, Rollins dissolved the group, citing creative stagnation.

Third edition (1999–2003)

Rollins replaced the Haskett-Gibbs-Cain lineup with the Los Angeles rock band Mother Superior, retaining the name Rollins Band, and released Get Some Go Again (2000) and Nice (2001). They also released a two-disc live album, The Only Way to Know for Sure . This line-up was a more straightforward hard rock group: their first album featured "Are You Ready?" a cover of a Thin Lizzy song, featuring Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham; Rollins has often expressed fondness for Thin Lizzy and its founder, Phil Lynott.

Fourth edition (2006)

In between other commitments (his radio show Harmony In My Head, his cable/satellite TV show The Henry Rollins Show, and his spoken word tours), Rollins also reunited the Haskett-Gibbs-Cain lineup. [5] In a blog entry on henryrollins.com, Rollins admitted, "Actually we have been practicing on and off for months now, slowly getting it together ... It's been really cool being back in the practice room with these guys after all these years." [6]

The band opened some concerts for X, and played on the first-season finale of The Henry Rollins Show on August 12, 2006. [7]

Indefinite hiatus (2007–present)

Rollins told Alan Sculley of The Daily Herald that this reunion with Haskett, Gibbs and Cain would not become long-term unless the group decided to write new songs: "Let's put it this way. I don't want to go out and hit America again without a new record, or at least a new album's worth of material. Otherwise the thing will lack legitimacy ... Miles Davis would never do that. And I'm not into a greatest-hits thing. I think a band, if you're going to be around, you should be moving forward and putting in the time and working for it, getting after the art. Otherwise you're just playing retreads. ... Imagine a tree that grows canned peaches. It's nothing I want to do." [8]

In 2014, Rollins admitted a disdain for rehashing old music for the sake of it – "I don’t want to play old music. To me, it is fighting battles that are already over and calling yourself a warrior. For me, I see no courage or adventure in doing the old thing over again. If others want to, that’s for them. For myself, I have to move on. Life is too short to live in the past. There is a lot to be done." [9]

Former member Jason Mackenroth died on January 3, 2016, in Nevada from prostate cancer. [10]

Musical style and influences

The band have been categorized under the alternative metal, hard rock, funk metal and post-hardcore genres. [11] [12] [13] [14] Mid-career albums such as Weight also had a pronounced jazz influence. [15] [16] They were part of the early '90s LA alternative metal scene, alongside Tool, Jane's Addiction, Rage Against the Machine and Green Jellÿ. [13] Their influences include '70s metal and rock bands, including Black Sabbath, The Velvet Underground, Pink Fairies and Thin Lizzy, [11] as well as progressive rock and jazz fusion bands like King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra. [17] [18] Rollins' shout-singing style proved influential to later alternative and nu metal artists, such as Coal Chamber, Korn, Chevelle, Godsmack and System of a Down. [11] The Rollins Band songs "Tearing" and "Shine" have been covered by Pearl Jam. [19]

Band members

Last line-up
Former members

Timeline

Rollins Band

Discography

Studio albums

Outtakes and demos collections

Live albums

EPs and 7" singles

Miscellaneous

Other appearances

YearSongAlbum
1994"Ghost Rider" Crow soundtrack
1995"Four Sticks" Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
1995"Fall Guy" Demon Knight (soundtrack)
1995"I See Through"Johnny Mnemonic soundtrack
2001"What's the Matter Man" Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 soundtrack

Related Research Articles

Henry Rollins American singer-songwriter

Henry Lawrence Garfield, better known by his stage name Henry Rollins, is an American musician, actor, writer, television and radio host, and comedian. He hosts a weekly radio show on KCRW, and is a regular columnist for Rolling Stone Australia and was a regular columnist for LA Weekly.

Wire (band) English rock band

Wire are an English rock band, formed in London in October 1976 by Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Bruce Gilbert (guitar) and Robert Gotobed (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on The Roxy London WC2 album – a key early document of the scene – and were later central to the development of post-punk.

Black Flag (band) American hardcore punk band

Black Flag is an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands as well as one of the pioneers of post-hardcore. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag reunited in 2003 and again in 2013. The second reunion lasted well over a year, during which they released their first studio album in over two decades, What The… (2013). The band announced their third reunion in January 2019.

<i>My War</i> album

My War is the second studio album by American band Black Flag. It polarized fans on its release in 1984 on SST Records over the LP's B-side, on which the band slowed down to a heavy, Black Sabbath-esque trudge, despite the reputation the band had earned as leaders in fast hardcore punk on its first album, Damaged (1981).

<i>Slip It In</i> album by Black Flag

Slip It In is the fourth studio album by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag, released in 1984 on SST Records.

<i>Damaged</i> (Black Flag album) album

Damaged is the debut studio album by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. SST Records released it on December 5, 1981.

<i>Family Man</i> (Black Flag album) Black Flag album

Family Man is the third full-length studio album by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. Released in 1984 through SST Records, it features spoken word tracks by the vocalist Henry Rollins and jazz-indebted instrumental tracks. "Armageddon Man" is the only track on the album in which Rollins and the instruments are together.

Blind Idiot God is an instrumental rock trio formed in 1982 in St. Louis, Missouri by guitarist Andy Hawkins, bassist Gabriel Katz and drummer Ted Epstein. The phrase "blind idiot god" comes from horror writer H. P. Lovecraft's description of the god Azathoth. Their often improvisational musical style combines influences from punk rock, noise music, 20th-century classical music, heavy metal, dub, free jazz, and funk. They are currently based in New York City and have often collaborated with musicians Bill Laswell and John Zorn.

Andrew Weiss is an American musician, composer, audio engineer and Grammy-winning record producer.

Synyster Gates American musician

Brian Elwin Haner Jr., better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band Avenged Sevenfold. He ranks No. 87 on Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Gates was voted as Best Metal Guitarist in the World by Total Guitar in 2016 and once again in 2017.

<i>The End of Silence</i> album by Rollins Band

The End of Silence is the fifth release and the third full-length album by Rollins Band, led by former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins. The album's cover features a stylized drawing of the sun identical to the one tattooed on Rollins' back. The album's liner notes credit the artwork to California tattoo artist Rick Spellman.

Ricky Warwick musician, songwriter

Ricky Warwick is a Northern Irish musician and songwriter, and the lead singer with Black Star Riders and Thin Lizzy. He is also the frontman for the Scottish hard rock band The Almighty, with whom he achieved chart success in the UK throughout the 1990s, although the band is currently on hiatus. Warwick has released several solo albums and performed with a variety of other bands and artists, and also fronts his own band, The Fighting Hearts, to showcase his solo material.

<i>Come In and Burn</i> album by Rollins Band

Come in and Burn is the fifth release and the fifth full-length studio album by Rollins Band, released in 1997. It is also the last album before lead singer Henry Rollins dissolved the band's "classic" lineup and later formed a new version of Rollins Band with musicians from Mother Superior, who provided his backing band from 1998 until 2006, when the classic Rollins Band lineup reunited.

<i>Life Time</i> (Rollins Band album) album by Rollins Band

Life Time is the first full-length studio album by Rollins Band, fronted by ex-Black Flag singer, Henry Rollins. The album was produced by Ian MacKaye, well known in the genre of hardcore punk for his work with Minor Threat and as co-owner of the Dischord record label. MacKaye was also a childhood friend of Rollins, who acted as a roadie for MacKaye's band The Teen Idles. It was originally released in 1987 and included four live tracks recorded in Kortrijk, Belgium in October 1987. It was subsequently re-mastered and re-released in 1999 without the live tracks, but with the addition of three session tracks from the Do It album of 1987. The 2014 reissue on Dischord includes the live tracks but not the bonus tracks included on the 1999 reissue.

Melvin Gibbs musician

Melvin Gibbs is an American bass guitarist and record producer. who has appeared on close to 200 albums in diverse genres of music. He has been called "the best bassist in the world."

Punk jazz describes the amalgamation of elements of the jazz tradition with the instrumentation or conceptual heritage of punk rock. John Zorn's band Naked City, James Chance and the Contortions, Lounge Lizards, Universal Congress Of, Laughing Clowns, Midori are notable examples of punk jazz artists.

<i>Do It</i> (Rollins Band album) Rollins Band album

Do It is the first EP after the first full-length album Life Time from Rollins Band, fronted by ex-Black Flag singer, Henry Rollins.

The Complete 1982 Demos is an unreleased set of demo tracks intended for a follow-up album to Black Flag's debut album Damaged (1981). The tracks recorded show the band moving in a riff-driven, heavy metal-inflected direction, away from the pure hardcore punk of the first album. Due to legal issues, the album was never recorded, though most of the tracks were re-recorded for later albums. Though never officially released, the recordings have been widely bootlegged.

References

  1. "Henry Rollins" from Allmusic.com; URL accessed April 16, 2008
  2. "VH1: 100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists: 1–50". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  3. "Rollins Band". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  4. "Henry Rollins Sues Imago Records". MTV News. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  5. "Rollins Band returns". Punknews.org. 2006-03-31. Archived from the original on 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  6. 21361.com Archived February 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. Roadrunnerrecords.com Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. Hearld Extra Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. Kevin Wells. "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Henry Rollins speaks about punk rock". Commdiginews.com. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  10. Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2016 January to June". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  11. 1 2 3 "Rollins Band | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio". AllMusic . Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  12. Bradley, Stephen (September 22, 2010). "Concert review: Kevin Seconds". The Washington Times Communities – Riffs. Retrieved October 27, 2011. [...] Where most punks from the '80s hardcore scene made the transition into hard rock or post hardcore outfits like Rollins Band and Fugazi, it still seems natural that he would make the jump into the acoustic side of things. [...]
  13. 1 2 Grow, Kory (2013-03-20). "Not a Downer: Tool's Adam Jones Talks 'Opiate' Reissue, New Material | SPIN | Q & A". SPIN. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  14. Chris True. "Life Time". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  15. "Rollins Band, 'Weight'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  16. "Lollapalooza 1991: Where are the stars now?". USATODAY.COM. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  17. Shteamer, Hank (April 2011). "Heavy Metal Be-Bop #4: Interview with Melvin Gibbs". InvisibleOranges.com. Brooklyn (published 24 June 2011). Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  18. "INTERVIEW. 041 - Chris Haskett (Rollins Band)". Thisisfubarproductions.tumblr.com. Retrieved 4 March 2017. [...] the biggest ones that influenced the playing I did in the Rollins Band would have to be the “Red/Starless & Bible Black/Lark’s Tongue”-era King Crimson work of Fripp and the Mahavishnu Orchestra McLaughlin.
  19. "Pearl Jam Music". Pearljam.com. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  20. Steffen Hung. "Rollins Band – Weight". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  21. Steffen Hung. "Rollins Band – Come In And Burn". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  22. Steffen Hung. "Rollins Band – Get Some Go Again". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  23. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 469. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.