Henry Rollins tells Rick Rubin why he stopped making music: “There’s no more toothpaste in the tube”

The former Black Flag and Rollins Band singer was a guest on a recent episode of the acclaimed producer's podcast

Henry Rollins has told Rick Rubin why he stopped making music in a recent episode of the producer’s podcast, Broken Record.

The former Black Flag and Rollins Band singer quit making new music over a decade ago, turning to podcasting, writing, acting, comedy and more instead.

In a September episode of Broken Record, which has recently gained attention online, Rollins discussed his decision to step away from music. “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’,” he told Rubin.


“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.”

He continued to say that he had spoken with other “major rock stars” who have chosen to continue in music about why they carry on playing “those same songs every night” decades later. When one such musician told Rollins it was “what people want” and they wanted to make people happy, the Black Flag man said he responded: “You do? Huh. I never thought of that. That never once occurred to me.”

Instead, Rollins said: “If [fans] happen to like what I’m doing, cool. If they don’t, they can bite me.” Listen to the podcast in full above.

Meanwhile, the musician will bring his ‘Good To See You’ tour to the UK next year. The dates will take the form of a “talking show” in which Rollins will “faithfully recount the events of his life in the brief pre-COVID period since the last tour and when things got even stranger over the last several months”.


The shows are currently scheduled to begin in Bexhill-on-Sea on February 18 and conclude at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on February 28. You can find more information and buy tickets here. 

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