Well, you seem like you take your work very seriously, but at the same time, whenever I've seen you, you're very funny onstage.

The trick is to take the work seriously, but not yourself, you know? That way you can really just get in it and do your work and just be enthralled by your own fumes. 'Cause I think that's what gets in the way, to be thinking about how you're coming off or how you look too much. You should just be really all about what you're trying to say, what you're trying to get across. So that's what I try to do — and that's not unique, either. I'm sure you'll find a lot of people onstage who take the audience to task with a great amount of seriousness, but when they talk about themselves, it's almost dismissive, because they know that the bigger priority is this thing they're trying to do. The person trying to do it is not what it's all about.

Well, at the same time, there's not a lot of people who do what you do, if any. I can't think of anyone whom I would consider your peer at this point.

Henry Rollins: Portrait of the artist as a wise man.
Ben Swinnerton
Henry Rollins: Portrait of the artist as a wise man.


8 p.m. Thursday, November 6. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $23. 314-726-6161.

As far as the talking shows and stuff, yeah. Well, it's a unique thing in a way, but then again not. There's been people onstage kind of ranting and raving since the proverbial soapbox made of marble in Rome. But in coming from the punk-rock thing, doing it in this way, maybe there's a uniqueness there. Again, I really don't give it much thought. I'm just trying to get this thing over the wall every night. And it is a considerable task. It takes a lot out of me. Like, whenever I walk offstage, I'm kind of surprised that I did it.

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