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‘Liar’ by the Rollins Band — singing about a sociopath

Check out this music video of the hard rock song Liar by the Henry Rollins Band. It’s clearly about a sociopath.

What’s interesting is that this song was recorded in 1994. Without Conscience, Robert Hare’s book that introduced psychopaths to the world, came out in 1993. I don’t know if Rollins read the book, but he is certainly describing disordered behavior.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.


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16 Comments on "‘Liar’ by the Rollins Band — singing about a sociopath"

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WOW! The lyrics are chilling….and so spot on!!! My spath (or should I say the second of two in my life) admitted he was a LIAR. Concrete evidence of what he is.

Here are the lyrics

Liar
Rollins Band
you think you’re gonna to live your life alone
in darkness
and seclusion
yeah I know
you’ve been out there
tried to mix with those animals
and it just left you full of humiliated confusion
so you stagger back home
and wait for nothing
but the solitary refinement of your room spits you back out onto the street
and now you’re desperate
and in need of human contact
and then
you meet me
and you whole world changes
because everything I say is everything you’ve ever wanted to hear
so you drop all your defenses and you drop all your fears
and you trust me completely
I’m perfect
in every way
cause I make you feel so strong and so powerful inside
you feel so lucky
but your ego obscures reality
and you never bother to wonder why
things are going so well
you want to know why?
cause I’m a liar
yeah I’m a liar
I’ll tear your mind out
I’ll burn your soul
I’ll turn you into me
I’ll turn you into me
cause I’m a liar, a liar
a liar, a liar
I’ll hide behind a smile
and understanding eyes
and I’ll tell you things that you already know
so you can say
I really identify with you, so much
and all the time that you’re needing me
is just the time that I’m bleeding you
don’t you get it yet?
I’ll come to you like an affliction
and I’ll leave you like an addiction
you’ll never forget me
you want to know why?
cause I’m a liar
yeah I’m a liar
I’ll rip your mind out
I’ll burn your soul
I’ll turn you into me
I’ll turn you into me
cause I’m a liar, a liar
liar, liar, liar, liar
I don’t know why I feel the need to lie
and cause you so much pain
maybe it’s something inside
maybe it’s something I can’t explain
cause all I do
is mess you up and lie to you
I’m a liar
oh, I am a liar
if you’ll give me one more chance
I swear that I will never lie to you again
because now I see the destructive power of a lie
they’re stronger than truth
I can’t believe I ever hurt you
I swear
I will never to you lie again, please
just give me one more chance
I will never lie to you again
I swear
that I will never tell a lie
I will never tell a lie
no, no
ha ha ha ha ha hah haa haa haa haaa
sucker
sucker!
oh, sucker
I am a liar
yeah, I am a liar
yeah I like it
I feel good
ohh I am a liar
yeah
I lie
I lie
I lie
oh, I lie
oh I lie
I lie
yeah
ohhh I’m a liar
I lie
yeah
I like it
I feel good
I’ll lie again
and again
I’ll lie again and again
and I’ll keep lying
I promise

Totally misogynistic. there is a wikipedia article- misogyny in rap music. good article in the vancouver sun.

I don’t see misogony at all in this song. It could as easily be about a homosexual relationship as a heterosexual relationship. This seems to be about people who will do and say anything for short term, often twisted, gain. Everyone is obviously entitled to their own opinion, of course.

i guess i should have said about hate and abuse. could be heterosexual or homosexual by male or female.

BTW, this is not rap. Henry Rollins was part of the first punk movement in the eighties.

His band was called Black Flag.

Rap is misogynistic.

I could only watch 30 seconds of this music video, as the hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up because of the lead singer. That is my gut alarm going off.

Reading the song lyrics that Cynthi posted is terrifying. Who ever wrote this song is a sociopath or psychopath, no doubt.

The interesting thing is I had no idea who this guy or this band were, that is until Zoe7 posted the information about this band and the name Henry Rollins. About a month ago there was an interview between Mick Fanning (professional surfer) and Henry Rollins for a Mercedes Benz ad that I happened upon. I had never heard of this this singer or his band. In that interview Rollins has a tattoo on his back “Search & Destroy”…another RED FLAG into his evil mindset.

I remember watching the interview and Rollins just creeped me out. What stood out the most, was the fact Rollins gave a lot of personal information during the interview….I think sociopaths do this to suck in victims quickly into their con game…at least my ex h, a sociopath, did this right from the get go. I was quite private about reviling personal info to him in the beginning of our friendship (had walls = boundaries). But he would pry out personal info and then use it against me throughout our relationship.

So for me a RED FLAG when you first meet someone, is, them giving you to much personal info. (Not talking about here at LF support group as this is a safe place to express our darkest times when we were involved with a sociopath). But when you just meet someone in passing or at a friends party etc and they give you too much personal info straight away.

Anyway, you can watch their interview by Googling “Mick Fanning Henry Rollins”…for me I knew immediately that Rollins has sociopathic traits in this interview. Scary. But, again my alarm was going off and I think this is the most important thing is to listen to your gut alarm and not talk yourself out of how you immediately feel about someone…..First Impressions are lasting impression!! Follow your gut alarm…it is NEVER wrong!!

(google Oprah Gavin Debecker you tube” to watch their interview on listening to your gut alarm).

Thank you for posting this Info Donna and also for Cynthi for posting the lyrics & Zoe7 & everyones input.

Jan I watched the ad you mention, and I was struck by how empty it was. It had no heart! He was empty. And how strange that the video kept going to pics of his shirtless back, not the buff surfer’s, who the interview was supposedly about! I thought that was a very revealing aspect, it having to be all about him actually.

I grew up in the same city as Henry Rollins (real name Henry Garfield) and some of my high school pals were very good friends with him. I have to believe he is a good guy, though we all know how convincing sociopaths can be.

that was like watching a devil singing. very ugly heart. such hatred spewing from him. pure evil. and my thought was what did she ever do to him to get that sort of hateful response? – only love and devotion and care and kindness I’m sure. How could she not see and not know when there is no heart of love? May all women in the hands of people like this have their eyes opened to their black hearts. And I have to add that a lie is NOT stronger than truth. It has my insides churning as I write. pure evil and hatred. so aweful what hides behind the masks.

I have always been a big Rollins fan…. from Black Flag to the Henry Rollins Band. I have gone to see him speak and I follow him on various social media. I have even met him on one occasion, when he came to Saskatoon.
He is a very powerful, outspoken man, and I definitely agree that he has socio tendencies.

I remember watching a documentary of some sort where he was interviewed and he talked about always having an aggressive anger brewing inside of him and I think the words of superior alpha male might have been uttered
I once read an article where he was called an anti-social humanitarian. Interesting way to put it.
I met him while I was breaking free of the sp in my life. At the time, I didn’t get any weird vibes, however I could’ve been hit by a truck & dragged several metres and not felt anything. It would be interesting to see what my reaction to him would be like today….

Rollins isn’t a sociopath. He just plays one on TV!

All right, I couldn’t resist that line, when it is such a well-known cliché! 🙂 But it seems to be literally true of Rollins. He has indeed played numerous “bad guys” on TV and in film. including one that an interviewer described outright as a “sociopath,” adding that the hate-filled character in question–a far right-wing racist Nazi skinhead type, with “I Kill Niggers” tattooed across his chest (as you can see from the photograph in this interview on “theindiespiritualist.com” was, quote, “the complete opposite of Rollins himself. And he’s not the only person to say so.

Among other things Rollins has notably liberal views, though he is a “free thinker.” He has tattoos of his own, as has been pointed out here, but not that obnoxious one! In fact he said about playing that particular role:

most of those biker guys you see in the show are the nicest people you’d care to meet. All those tattoos on their arms are decals, so there’s a lot of artifice in the world of movies and TV and everyone kind of laughs it off and goes home.

The guy is an actor, and it’s a cardinal error to confuse a mere actor with the characters he plays. So Rollins freaks some people out? Off the top of my head, so have many actors who’ve played creepy, violent, villainous or monstrous roles in film. The late Christopher Lee comes to mind, who played the evil Saruman in Lord of the Rings–but he really wanted to play Gandalf! Still, Christopher Lee had a long history of playing creepy characters in horror films–notably Count Dracula!–often playing opposite Peter Cushing as an opponent. In real life the two were good friends, and Lee was one of the nicest guys in the world, who thoroughly deserved his knighthood for services to the arts and to charity.

Admittedly Rollins is an angry man, and he freely admits it himself. But merely being “angry” doesn’t make anyone a sociopath. He seems to be one of these people who are angry, not so much for themselves, but about “the way the world is”–they can’t truly appreciate why it can’t be “better” than is–and that frustrates them. A lot of left-leaning agitators are like that; angrier than they need to be. If only they could find inner peace, understanding and contentment instead of bashing their heads against a brick wall so much of the time, which only causes them more pain as well as the trouble they make for the rest of us. (In all fairness, no doubt the same is true of many far right-wingers.)

Of course, that’s not the whole story of Rollins’s emotional makeup. When I watched the Fanning interview–at least four times to make sure!–despite being told that he “gave a lot of personal information during the interview,” I didn’t hear him say one single thing about himself! So I don’t know where that notion come from. Was something he said misheard or misunderstood? I admit that I myself didn’t quite catch his opening words in the interview the first couple of times around:

A lot of Australian men, when questioned on toughness and “not showing emotion,” will say “That’s how we grew up. Our fathers never showed emotion. Our mates never showed emotion. We aren’t supposed to show emotion…

I missed the phrase about “Australian men” at first, and I did think Rollins was talking about himself and his own experience of life. (Though I did wonder why he used the Aussie word “mates” rather than “buddies.”) But in reality he said nothing at all about himself; all he did was ask questions of Fanning.

Of course, we’re always free to speculate what anyone might be implying about themselves when they ask a question of anyone else. The superficial implication of such a question is that Rollins sees the experience of Australian men as different from his own. But is that true? We can’t deny that countless men, American as well as men all over the world, have reported that experience: of being taught “not to show emotion.” Not all men, to be sure (despite certain stereotypes), but many men, without doubt. Could Rollins have been sharing a part of himself without actually saying so? Without wanting to be sexist about this, just as many men “can’t understand women,” some women have a hard time understanding the subtler ways in which men often bond and relate to one another.

If this was Rollins’s own experience as well, it would certainly help to explain his own reluctance to “show emotion” in so many appearances–not “soft” emotions at any rate, though “anger” is acceptable–and the admittedly “flat” delivery of his questions in the Fanning interview that “freedomformydaughter” saw as having “no heart.” I think that’s just a perception, and Rollins was indeed intrigued by how Fanning handled the emotional aspects of his life. That could very well have resonated with similar struggles in Rollins’s own emotional life–which he’d naturally hide from the world for reasons already stated. Still, simply being inhibited about showing emotion doesn’t in itself make anyone a “sociopath.”

I have to admit that “Search and Destroy” tattoo on his back looks like a big “black flag”!–if I may be forgiven the allusion! 😉 It’s not something I’d want to wear myself. He offered his explanation of his tattoo on this interview with an unnamed “female interviewer,” giving a rather convoluted metaphorical interpretation of this “search and destroy” concept. I personally think the guy just enjoys projecting a “macho” persona, and this is another example of it–just as he ends up playing so many “tough guy” roles. But again, projecting a macho persona doesn’t in itself make anyone a sociopath.

Still, I wouldn’t have bothered posting about this if it hadn’t been for other observers with the same impression of Rollins: that his real personality is quite opposite from the characters he plays. Somebody named Rae Alexander remarked on sfweekly.com (that’s San Francisco, folks, not “Science Fiction”!) that despite the roles he plays, Rollins is

an articulate, sensitive, deeply intelligent, incredibly sympathetic, all-round-likeable dude.

He seems to be sincere in the causes he campaigns for. It’s striking that he’s a noted supporter of LGBT rights, despite not being gay himself–apparently because a gay classmate in high school was bullied to the point of attempting suicide. He’s also campaigned for World Hunger Relief and an end to war–though he has toured to entertain troops in addition: it’s not the troops’ fault that wars happen, after all. An eclectic mix of causes, to be sure.

It’s hard to reconcile such a caring attitude with being a sociopath. Apparently he’s not into drugs or booze either, the way a great many musicians regrettably are. But I do have to agree with Donna that his “Liar” song is informed by experience he’s acquired from somewhere. Whether it’s his own experience as a past victim, or somebody else’s experience, remains to be seen. I see the song more as a warning to people than anything.

I tend to agree. I have also always been a big fan of his. I have read a lot of his books and poetry; as well as listened to his music. It is true that he often gets angry, but it is largely at injustice in this world. Another big reason for his anger is he was abused as a child.

He is also very humanitarian, which means he channels this anger in a very constructive way. He’s often gone on tours performing for the USO, and helping out victims of floods, earthquakes, and other major disasters.

I don’t think being angry at injustice and taking action to stop it is a bad thing. To me, it is not the same as being a sociopath at all. Though I’m not a mental health professional. Sociopaths are all about themselves; they don’t care about injustice at all; even if they may pretend to be. Although Henry Rollins is a loner, he does like to help others.

I agree that he may have been singing about other sociopaths he has encountered.

“Search and destroy” is a song by Iggy Pop, when he was in the band the Stooges. That may be what his tattoo is referring to; though I’m surprised he didn’t say so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKYALsp-sIg

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