Hello everybody!

We are Henry Rollins and Jason Krawczyk.

A little bit about each of us:

  • I (Henry) am a musician, poet, writer. I've done acting, radio, voiceover, lot of photography.

  • I (Jason) am the Director/Screenwriter for HE NEVER DIED. I also wrote & directed the film THE BRIEFCASE.

We're here at SXSW together in Austin on behalf of our new horror film, HE NEVER DIED. You can help support the movie here: https://www.facebook.com/HeNeverDiedMovie/info

Victoria's helping us out in person today. AUA! And we will try to answer.

Photo proof: http://imgur.com/PcY7kNI

JASON: The response at SXSW to HE NEVER DIED has been nothing but cordial and very enthusiastic, which makes me really happy. And it seems to fit right in. I've watched a few of the midnight's so far, and it's a huge honor to be able to close out the movie section and move into the music section. The inspiration for the movie was because I wanted to write as much as I possibly can, I love antagonists, I love villains, and I want to know if they're genetically evil or conditioned to be so, I wanted to write the worst person possible and have them have a shred of sympathy. So the "immortal cannibal" is that part of it.

HENRY: I think HE NEVER DIED is unique. I've never read a script anything like it before. Hopefully it will pick up on the comedic beats, and groove on the crazy parts, and have a completely surreal experience. And at moments, hopefully you will be able to identify with it.

Comments: 144 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

Black_Delphinium45 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA! Henry, you've been on so many of my favorite shows, but I would love to know how you ended up being a judge on Rupaul's Drag Race back in 2010? You really seemed to enjoy being there and it was so cool seeing you and Terri Nunn.

HeNeverDiedMovie120 karma

HENRY: eyes widen

Oh, Terri's great. RuPaul and I have been friends since 1993. I went to band practice one day in New York, and a tall handsome man is in the lounge, and he said "You're Henry Rollins" and I said "yes" and he said "I'm RuPaul." But he had none of his stuff on. And then you started to recognize him. And he's this incredibly smart, funny, 100% awesome person. He's a 10. He's just AWESOME. So my bandmates come in, and I go "Gentlemen - RUPAUL!" And they're all like wow. So we became friends.

And his people tapped me a few years ago, and were like "Come be on RuPaul's Drag Race" and I was like "Are you kidding me? Done!"

And so he has another show, where you drive around with RuPaul. He has 2 GoPro cams, and you have a bunch of errands, and you do your errands. And he said "Hey, come do this show with me." So we got on the road to do the errands, and he's very worried about my love life, and he was very concerned - that I have that in my life. He wants me to have it. He's genuinely concerned about ME. He's a big hearted guy. He's like one of the coolest people I ever MET. Back in the punk rock days, he would come onstage with voodoo paint on... and so he came over to the office, and met my staff, a woman near Heidi damn near fell over... and so it's a friendship that endure to this day. And his people want me to do that car show again, and I said yeah, so we're working on the time.

So he's just one of my favorite people. And I'm glad someone mentioned RuPaul. Because RuPaul, in my opinion is not only an icon, but in this century, he's been key to helping people overcome their homophobia, the legitimacy of the LGBT world, I mean, it's reality! People are gay! Don't freak out! But RuPaul has helped a LOT of people deal with that, have some fun with that, not fear it, and not fear themselves fearing it - like "my friend's gay, am I okay?" and a year ago, that guy might not have been able to summit that idea. And now they can get to it, because of RuPaul. We will never have any idea, how many people he has helped. He gets letters like I get. We get into heavy conversations. He gets the "You helped me not kill myself, you helped me come out." ALL THE TIME. And he writes them back, and says "Stand up, stay strong." And it keeps people strong.

JASON: It shows humanity.

HENRY: That's the thing, he's a great humanitarian. When you're a six foot two gay guy with a wig on - not everyone's going to be cool with that. He's a brave, amazing person.

Turnshroud30 karma

Hey Mr. Rollins, thanks for doing this IAMA

Bryan Konietzko mentioned that you created an in-depth backstory for Zaheer before you even auditioned for The Legend of Korra. Could you share some of that backstory with us?

HeNeverDiedMovie43 karma


I came up with this idea that - like a lot of bad guys that you want to like - they're not wrong all the time. They eventually have to get thrown in the slammer, or whatever, but you can't help but agree with some of their ethic. He's too extreme, but some of the stuff he says, you think i'm onboard with this guy!

So my idea was this guy who really DOES know something, he's just really excited.

So I had my road manager take my gigmic backstage, I did the lines, I plugged it into my laptop, I auditioned with that in mind - that Zaheer comes from a high-minded concept of how the world should be - he's also very impressed with himself, I sent that in as an Mp3, and I got the part.

TheJOATs20 karma

Hi Henry,

You lent your voice to Zaheer in the Legend of Korra, one of the best shows ever to air on TV. Your delivery of the “Enter the Void” lines was stunning and to me your work helped make “Enter the Void” and “The Venom of the Red Lotus” the two best episodes ever to air on television.

A couple questions:

  1. What was it like on set?
  2. Who was your favorite person to work with?
  3. Do you ever get requests when people meet you to say Zaheer’s lines?

Also you should stop by and visit /r/theLastAirbender ! We would love to have you.

HeNeverDiedMovie24 karma

We're basically in a studio setting, most of the time the entire cast would be there. And you read in-order, like a live radio show, and between moments, most of the male actors are incredibly funny, and the first opportunity someone starts joking. Oh, I liked all of them! They're just the nicest bunch of people. In those situations, I'm very shy and I keep to myself. They all sit together before we go in, they're all comedians, and I sit in a corner and study my lines. I say a curt "good morning" and nod my head, and I think they all regarded me as kind of a weirdo, because I just came in and did my work.

I'm just serious when it comes to work. Because they're just fun people, and fun-ny, and they crack each other up, and I can't do that, come in and do heavy speeches that I have to do.

And no! That hasn't happened yet, hahaha!

Frajer15 karma

Henry- if you were to have a TV party tonight what show would you watch?

HeNeverDiedMovie23 karma

HENRY: Um... let's see... I'd watch Judge Judy.

JASON: laughs uncontrollably

redlennon14 karma

Mr Rollins,

If you were giving an acceptance speech at an awards ceremony for an artistic endeavor of yours, and Kanye West interrupted you, what kind of aftermath should the public expect to see or hear about?

HeNeverDiedMovie49 karma

I thought about that.

Because I thought Beck did not deserve what he got. He made a beautiful record - like the record, don't like the record, doesn't matter, Beck won. He was voted for victory by his peers. It's not for anyone to interrupt that moment.

I have no doubt that Kanye West could drop me like a bad habit.

But I'd wake up, with a straw coming out of my nose in intensive care. No Doubt.

But if he did to me what he did to Beck - it would go a lot different than it did with Beck. And I'd invest a lot of calories, all the speed and experience I have, to make sure he never, ever forgot me. And I think Kanye West is a lot better than that conduct.

MulciberTenebras10 karma

Hello, Mr. Rollins. If you can remember way back when... how was it you came to be cast on "Batman Beyond" as MAD STAN? And was that previous role one of the reasons Andrea Romano thought to cast you as Zaheer?

EDIT: OMG, Henry Rollins actually answered my question!!! Never thought I'd get a chance on one of these AMAs, closest I came before now was on... Robin Williams'

HeNeverDiedMovie17 karma

HENRY: There's a woman... a producer named Andrea Romano... and if you're lucky enough to fall into her Rolodex, she never forgets you. Hence me as Zaheer, that was her. Batman Beyond, TEEN TITANS, Green Lantern... the other night, at her house, at a wrap party for Korra, she asked "how long have we been working together?" And we counted it up and it's been 17 years. Some of the biggest talent in the world is in her rolodex. She's so much fun to work with. She gets it done, but she's like a big kid. She always says "You ready to play?" And whenever you leave, she's like "Thanks for coming to play!"

JASON: I frikkin' love that role... did they design Mad Stan based off you?

HENRY: I don't know. But I've been working with Andrea for YEARs, and I hope it never ends. She's so much fun to work with. And if all your bosses were that loyal - like every YEAR. SO cool. And that... Zaheer thing. That was 2 years of doing that. We couldn't talk about it for years. I started that in 2012, I think it only came out a few months ago.. we'd walk in, no air date, you couldn't say a word. My agent knew, Heidi at the office knew, that's it. I keep secrets. I didn't tell anybody.

mracidglee9 karma

My TV's not working! What am I gonna do?

HeNeverDiedMovie24 karma

JASON: Read a book, go outside. Anything by Neil Gaiman. Check out a Garth Ennis comic book. Uh... try a HITT exercise.

HENRY: OOF! You're young man, you can do that shit. Everything hurts if I do that.

JASON: Figure out how to meditate.

Jack31107 karma

Hey Henry! I am a huge Black Flag/Henry Rollins fan! I just want to say thank you for everything you've done for the world. My question is, what is the thing you've done that you're most proud of? Thanks again!

HeNeverDiedMovie19 karma

HENRY: The word "proud" and the idea of being proud - the word "pride" - I don't like to have pride.

Just because it leads to "get out of my country" - I don't like where that goes very quickly.

It's grape juice that turns to vinegar. there's a nationalism and coarseness that comes with pride. But the thing - as a person -that I invested in emotionally, fiscally, where I got the ending I wanted for the most part, that in 11 years of standing up and advocating for was the West Memphis Three.

And upon their release in August of 2011, we got them out, me and a whole bunch of other people - people contributing $10, bake sales, i did a benefit record, a benefit tour, and the rest of the time, tapping rich friends and giving money and writing letters - telling 'em "Fellas, we're not giving up until we get you out."

That was Arkansas. Never go. If you're writing from Arkansas - you need to get out. But that was the thing - I saw the documentary on HBO and was like "Aw really? Arkansas, you made me mad." I took it personally.

JASON That's the thing - you not only spread awareness, you spread solutions.

HENRY: One thing I loved about President Cliton - he had this speech he did at Dimblebee, years ago. He said "For $10 million, we can put water in all these houses in these countries, let's do that." Pom pom pom, solution solution solution. So I saw these guys in jail for something they didn't do. And I can't liberate them myself, I'm not magic. But what turned into a benefit album, turned into a benefit tour, turned into tapping my rich friends - everyone from Queens of the Stone Age to Slipknot, I went EVERYWHERE, I said "Be on this record" and they said "Alright."

JASON: There are so many documentaries that are just "griefporn."

HENRY: I came at it with vengeance. I wanted to get these guys outta jail. But I also wanted to whoop ass in Arkansas. Arkansas has been fighting logic for DECADES.

jumped-up-pantry-boy7 karma

Wow! Henry, I have always been impressed with your intelligence. What kind of formal education did you have?

HeNeverDiedMovie14 karma

HENRY: High school education at a nationally accredited private school for boys. Which means - that every time the SATS come, you must take them. And it was a school that your parents pay a good deal of money to, so when Johnny isn't learning (like me), you sit after school until you get it. So I spent 6th grade through graduation sitting with Westpoint Washouts saying things - I was being yelled at by a bunch of army and navy and air force vets.

violue6 karma

Welcome to Reddit, Henry!

So, back when Robin Williams died there was quite a bit of controversy over your initial article on the matter, and it sounded like you thought a lot about things after the response you got from people.

I was wondering what your views are on the subject now that several months have gone by?

HeNeverDiedMovie25 karma

HENRY: Well, I was accused of calling Mr. Williams "weak and selfish." Neither of those words were used in the article, nor were they implied. I was a fan of the guy. Really sorry to see him go. In the article, I did ask a question. I said "How could ANYONE leave their kids behind?" And I also said a statement: I said "I don't understand." And I didn't.

And so people - most of the mail I got was from people who didn't read the article, but had read responses from those that had read the article. "I heard you wrote a thing man!"

So... I wrote an apology. But not to the people I angered. But to the people I hurt. Because people wrote me and said "I like you man, not as much as I used to, but what you wrote was hurtful. It hurt me." And I"m not in the business of hurting anyone. I detest that. I don't want to do that. If I make you mad, we can have a nice disagreement, but if I hurt someone, I am sorry. So I wrote 2 apologies, one for my website, and one for LA WEEKLY. One was about 1,000 words, the other was a bit more succinct. I meant it then, and I mean it now. But as far as me always choosing life over suicide, I don't think I will ever be swayed off that opinion. However, I do understand feeling so bad you wanna do it. And I did read all the letters. And I was made to understand that a suicidal impulse is much like temporary insanity, where at the moment, it feels like the only sensible thing. But with suicide, it's a mistake you can never recover from. And as soon as it was explained to me like that - when people were saying that they felt like they were TRYING to do the humanitarian thing, but they failed - I said thank you for that. And I got it. But again, to hurt someone? That is not what I'm about. So I was so sorry, you can't even imagine how sorry I was.

kdk12k2k126 karma

Henry, thanks for doing this AMA. I’ve been following your work for a long time now.

You’ve traveled the world pretty extensively and have written about it for years. Two questions:

  1. Where do you want to go that you haven’t had a chance to yet and why?

  2. From what you have seen, what is an issue that’s important to you that you’d like to see get more attention so action can be taken on it?

Good luck to both of you on He Never Died. I look forward to seeing it.

HeNeverDiedMovie16 karma

1.) I wanna go to Central Africa, it's a region of the continent I've never spent any time in. I'd like to start in Chad and push in. Why? A lot of Darfurians have been relocated to Chad, and I'd like to see what those camps look like now. So that's a part of the world I'm concerned with, and I'd like to go to.

2.) As far as the globe is concerned - water. Drinkable water. And its distribution around the world. It's the new oil, the new gas. Whole peoples will go extinct. The same way a bird goes extinct - entire tribes will either move or die. Entire tribes, like the Mundari tribe, a beautiful people, six feet five, just amazing - they either will move, or die. The water's - every major rivers been redirected. The water's been taken out from under their feet.

Vincentamerica5 karma

Hi Henry! Big fan. My mother took me to see you in dallas like ten years ago with X. I'm getting married in the fall, and she said we should do our mother son dance to a Henry Rollins song. My question is- What song of yours do you recommend for a mother son dance at a wedding reception?

Also, saw your lecture at UNT a few years ago. It was awesome.

HeNeverDiedMovie15 karma

HENRY: Jeez! I could never recommend any of my songs to anybody to do anything! Jeez! Well... I don't do dance music, let's see... I'm really caught out there. A mother / son dance?

JASON: You have such instant answers, hahaha!

HENRY: I shouldn't take so long... um... there's a song called "Low Self Opinion," don't pick up the sentiment, but it's got big beats, maybe you can find a way to - motions dancing

JimMorrisonFuckedMe5 karma

Hey Henry! Is it true that you're narrating "Before the end: searching for Jim Morrison"? Can you tell me anything good about it, if so? I've backed it with 100 bucks so I'm beyond excited!

HeNeverDiedMovie11 karma

HENRY: I've been asked to do that. But so far, the man whose name is escaping me at present has not sent me a script.

Ribelin20004 karma

Henry, knowing how much of a movie buff you are (you even had your own show about movies on IFC), I'd just like to ask you: what is the best movie you've ever seen?

HeNeverDiedMovie15 karma

Well, I have a number of favorite movies.

But the movie that captured my imagination the most, for decades, was APOCALYPSE NOW. It still resonates with me to this day. Because it reminds me of being on tour. In fact, I remember saying lines from it. One night, we rolled up on some construction site in Florida, we had the back doors from the van open, we'd driven all night from New York down to the Florida, somewhere there after too much driving, it's like 4 in the morning, you see a construction site with fire and light, and I said "This sho'nuff is strange sight in this shit." Which is the line from when they come across that crazy happening in the jungle. I related so much of what was happening around me to APOCALYPSE NOW. The riverboat - "What's out there?" "I don't know, it might kill us."

Because every night, you never knew what the audience was going to throw at us.

ProfessorSpiffyPants3 karma


HeNeverDiedMovie14 karma

JASON: Jason Eisner, director of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. I would say Steve McQueen, but he won an Oscar, so not him anymore, haha! Whoever directed DEATHGASM, I just watched that movie, he just was amazing. And John Helcoat, anything he does.

HENRY: There's a guy who's been at it for a long time. His name is John Dwyer. He owns a label called Castle Face. He's in a legendary band called The Oh Sees. And he is... one of the best live bands I've seen in the last decade. There is no bad records. He's as prolific as he is consistent. He has two records coming up this year. I've heard them both.

Also a guy named Ty Seegal. He is prolific, he is fantastic, he has 5 records in the last 4 months and they are all good. He is something else. Humble, too. In one of his bands, FUZZ, he plays drums. His new album is called "Manipulators," and it's perfection.

Those are two guys that not only have labels, and play in a few bands each, but they are producing and developing other artists. Ty's label is called GOD?

And there's a band called the Meat Bodies. They used to be called "Chad and the Meat Bodies" and their new album is self-titled debut. And it's one of my favorite records of this year. Just FANtastic. Not a bad second on it.

And these are young people who - well, John's 40-but they haven't even picked up speed yet. They have 5 more records before they even get average. So great listening ahead! A nail in the coffin of anyone who says "Music sucks now!"

JASON: There are so many people now!

HENRY: There are so many great new records.

JASON: I guarantee my favorite record, book, TV show is out there. You just gotta find it.

HENRY: So the idea that everything sucks now - that's just defeatist. You WANT that to happen. That's all you. Everything's American Idol? That's a TV show you turn off. Or who knows? You might watch it. It was really good a few seasons ago...

sharpy1111 karma

Henry , pick one song you wish you wrote and Jason, what movie you wish you directed? Thanks

HeNeverDiedMovie8 karma

HENRY: Oh that's easy!

JASON: Oh man PROPOSITION. That idea with the morality, Guy Pearce, the way it's shot, Danny Huston's amazing - it's one of the things you watch it, and you kinda hate yourself- you wanna quit your job, because you'll never hit that peak.

HENRY: It's like watching ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. I hate you guys, you're so good! The second time you watch it, it's like SO GOOD! There's moments where you're like it's as good as it gets! The song... it's a double-wound. The song - I hate this song so much - "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin, and the fact that none of us had the idea to cover that song in my 1992 lineup, when we could've done that song SO MUCH JUSTICE - we would have been known for that song, Zeppelin would've wrote us a fan letter... it was perfectly composed, perfectly executed, I have tons of live versions... it is a perfect song. And then, selfishly - the 1992 lineup - OH! OH! If I could get those bandmates together - if we could just go back in time! I can't stand that song! It's so good!