Despite deciding to stop making music 15 years ago, Henry Rollins is still one the most recognizable faces in punk rock. In a recent interview with Rick Rubin, the former Black Flag frontman has shed some more light on why he stepped away from the industry.

“The smart thing I did as a younger man was one day I woke up in my bed and I went, ‘I’m done with music. I don’t hate it. I just have no more lyrics. There’s no more toothpaste in the tube,’” Rollins said during an appearance on Rubin’s podcast, Scrached disk.

“Luckily, I had enough movies, voiceover, documentary work, writing, talking, where that just filled in, and now I’m busier than ever. But I walked away before I had to start saying, ‘Hey, kids, remember this one?’ So I didn’t have to put it on and go up there and put on the dog and yelp for my dinner.”

During the chat, Rollins mentioned that he’s quizzed other artists, who’ve been in the biz for decades, about why they haven’t retired.

“I’ve had gentle discussions with major rock stars,” he continued. “I [go], ‘You go out and you play those same songs every night for the last 40 years.’ And one of these people, who I love dearly, said, ‘Yeah, that’s what people want.’ I go, ‘You wanna give ’em what they want?’ ‘Yeah.’ He’s an older-school guy — even older than me. And he said, ‘Yeah. You wanna make people happy.’ I’m, like, ‘You do? Huh. I never thought of that. That never once occurred to me.’ And he went, ‘What do you do?’ I go, ‘Just what’s on next.’ And he went, ‘Huh. How’s that treating you?’ I’m, like, ‘Well, I need bus fare to get home.’ [Laughs] But just two different schools.

He continued: “his whole thing is you put on the show, everyone goes ‘yay,’ you play what everyone wants to hear and everyone’s happy. And he said, ‘You’re not?’ I’m, like, ‘No, not necessarily. If they happen to like what I’m doing, cool. If they don’t, they can bite me.’ And I’m sure in the last few years he has sung that one, that one, that one and that one for the five hundred and seventy millionth time. And 50 thousand people went ‘yay.’ That’s just not for me. I’d rather take the risk.”

Since leaving the music biz, Rollins has continued to work in the entertainment industry. He’s worked as a podcast host, actor, author, DJ, voice-over artist and TV show host.

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Black Flag disbanded in 1986. Rollins has previously shared in his book Get in the Van, that he was informed about the break-up when founding bandmate Greg Ginn called him to say he was quitting the band in August 1986. “He told me he was quitting the band. I thought that was strange considering it was his band and all. So in one short phone call, it was all over,” Rollins wrote.

In 2003, Black Flag played some reunion shows, but Rollins wasn’t a part of them. In 2006 the band officially reformed with Greg Ginn on drums, Ron Reyes on vocals, Gregory Moore on drums, and ‘Dale Nixon’ on bass.

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Watch Henry Rollins perform ‘Rise Above’ with Black Flag: