An interview with Henry Rollins about the importance of Dinosaur Jr.

It’s no secret that Dinosaur Jr. is a favorite band among its peers. On any given night, you will be likely to find at least 2 or 3 other musicians who are either in attendance at the show or getting up on the stage to play along with them. There are very few bands in the industry that garner such widespread respect.

Henry Rollins is among Dinosaur Jr.’s biggest fans. He has seen hundreds of their live shows, traveled with them extensively, and touts their excellence whenever possible. Because Dinosaur Jr. was really the band responsible for my writing this blog and immersing myself back into the world of live music, I knew Henry would be exactly the right person to ask about why this band has enjoyed such a long career and why seeing them live, no matter how often, never gets repetitive or old.

I particularly enjoy Henry’s response to the mainstream question. That, my friends, is the real Henry Rollins.


J How long have you been following Dinosaur Jr., and when was it that you realized just how special they are?

HR I have been seeing them play since 1986. I thought their first album was one of the coolest first albums of any indie band. I remember when it came out. It was different than anything around at the time.

J What is it about Dinosaur Jr. live shows that make them so incredible?

HR Their songs fill the room very well. It’s a band that’s not just taking up time. They are really putting something across. Their songs are very well written and quite memorable. The band has a signature sound, which is quite rare these days. They crush it live.

J You have seen so many Dinosaur Jr. shows in your life. What about these shows keeps you coming back night after night?

HR It’s a perfect combination. The rhythm section meeting J’s guitar and voice. There’s nothing like it. I will never tire of seeing them, not even close.

J Why is it that Dinosaur Jr. is so well-respected amongst their peers, but have never taken off in the mainstream?

HR They are a band’s band. A career that long would make most bands very envious and most bands will never get it. They get to all the people that they should get to. Screw the mainstream and their half-time Superbowl music. That’s cowpen music for box wine listeners. These people would never get something like Dinosaur Jr.

J What do you think about the new album? How does it compare to previous releases? I’m really looking forward to it.

HR The new album is really good. It seems extremely focused, and in a way, mature. I think it’s a perfect record coming off I Bet On Sky. There are no bad Dinosaur Jr. records, anyway. Give a Glimpse is excellent.