|Also known as||The Rollins Band|
|Origin||Van Nuys, California, U.S.|
|Years active||1986–2003, 2006|
Rollins Band was an American rock band formed in Van Nuys, California. The band was active from 1987 to 2006 and was led by former Black Flag vocalist Henry Rollins. 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."
In 2000, Rollins Band was included on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, ranking at No. 47.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Rollins's tour diaries from this era details the personal and creative tensions that led to Weiss being fired following the End of Silence tour. These diaries were published by Rollins's 2.13.61 company as See A Grown Man Cry and Now Watch Him Die.
The band's new bassist was jazz and funk veteran Melvin Gibbs, who'd been highly recommended by Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, 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. Gibbs performed on Ribot's album Rootless Cosmopolitans (1990) and Cain on Requiem for What's His Name (1992).
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.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.
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.
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.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."
The band opened some concerts for X, and played on the first-season finale of The Henry Rollins Show on August 12, 2006.
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."
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."[ citation needed ]
Former member Jason Mackenroth died on January 3, 2016, in Nevada from prostate cancer.
The band have been categorized under the alternative metal, hard rock, funk metal and post-hardcore genres.Mid-career albums such as Weight also had a pronounced jazz influence. They were part of the early 1990s Los Angeles alternative metal scene, alongside Tool, Jane's Addiction, Rage Against the Machine and Green Jellÿ. Their influences include '70s metal and rock bands, including Black Sabbath, The Velvet Underground, Pink Fairies and Thin Lizzy, as well as progressive rock and jazz fusion bands like King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra. 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. The Rollins Band songs "Tearing" and "Shine" have been covered by Pearl Jam.
|1994||"Ghost Rider"||The Crow: Original Motion Picture 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)|
Henry Lawrence Garfield, better known as Henry Rollins, is an American musician, singer, actor, presenter, comedian, and activist. He hosts a weekly radio show on KCRW, is a regular columnist for Rolling Stone Australia, and was a regular columnist for LA Weekly.
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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. Brandon Pertzborn was replaced by Isaias Gil on drums and Tyler Smith was replaced by Joseph Noval on bass.
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Damaged is the debut studio album by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. SST Records released it on December 5, 1981.
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 American instrumental rock trio formed in 1982 in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, 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.
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.
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 heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. He ranks No. 9 on Guitar World's best metal guitarists of all time. Gates was voted as Best Metal Guitarist in the World by Total Guitar in 2016 and once again in 2017.
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 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.
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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.
"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.
Melvin Gibbs is an American bass guitarist and record producer. who has appeared on close to 200 albums in diverse genres of music. Among others Gibbs is known for working in jazz with drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and guitarist Sonny Sharrock, and in rock music with Rollins Band and Arto Lindsay.
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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.
[...] 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. [...]
[...] 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.