Australia has enjoyed a long and torrid love affair with Henry Rollins. Despite being born and raised in America, he holds a special place in Australian music history thanks to his frequent Aussie tours and collaborations with Australian artists.
To give you a prime example, the former Black Flag frontman appeared on stage with true blue punk rockers The Hard Ons at the very first Big Day Out back in 1992. If that’s not grounds for some kind of fast-tracked Australian citizenship, we’re not sure what is.
“I love my Australian audiences madly,” Hank told an interviewer back in 2014. “I try to attend to them as best as I can – it’s been a fantastic audience since day one. They got into my band before there was even a record to sell them. I’m very grateful.”
The famously busy punk polymath has also made several contributions to the Australian rock and roll canon, having collaborated with the Hard Ons on wax as well as on stage and manned the mixing desk for The Mark of Cain’s 1995 breakthrough album, Ill at Ease.
But it appears Hank’s knowledge of Aussie music extends far beyond your dad’s collection of punk rock 7″s. He’s surprisingly up to date on the various goings-on in the Australian music scene, regularly showcasing Aussie talent on his US radio show.
“Excuse us for being stoked/proud/bragging, but it’s not often your childhood hero spins your record on their show and calls your band ‘really cool’,” Melbourne’s High Tension recently exclaimed in an elated Facebook post.
“If you see us walking around town with emotional grins on our faces, give us a hug. THANKS HENRY xo Turn up the volume thingy to hear what he had to say.”
Perth outfit Tired Lion were equally chuffed to have the self-proclaimed “ageing alternative icon” sing their praises on his KCRW show, taking to their official Facebook page to share the good news with excited fans.
“He’s actually a friend of mine now, so I’ve been sending him some of the newer Aus bands he’s been playing,” Julia Wilson, founder of beloved Aussie indie label Rice Is Nice, tells Tone Deaf.
“I give him all the RIN artists obviously and also try and keep him up to date with anything else I think is good, i.e. High Tension, Terrible Truths, and my mixtapes (Zeahorse, Tired Lion, Suiix etc etc).”
“He really digs Sarah Mary Chadwick, Summer Flake, Angie, Alex Cameron, Straight Arrows and others. He is excellent. He has always supported Aus music and we actually started talking because he was playing the Straight Arrows.”
It’s not as if you needed another reason to love Henry Rollins — he’s already given us plenty of them — but here’s just another example of what a hell of a guy ol’ uncle Hank is.