Joe Rogan Talks Horror Films & Books, Monkeys, and the Psychedelic Experience
The face of genre fandom is a kaleidoscope of different people, backgrounds, and perspectives. A person’s love for all things spooky need not necessarily mean that they fit a certain aesthetic or sport a specific wardrobe choice. Genre fans are a collection of unique individuals who all come from a wide variety of vocations.
Celebrity genre fans are no different. Some of them are actors. Some are musicians. Lena Headley (300) cites films like Session 9, Black Christmas, and Martyrs as favorites. Eddie McClintock ("Warehouse 13") is another actor who supports the genre. Tina Turner reads Anne Rice. Richard Christy (Howard Stern Show) is a major horror fan. Hell, even Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) refers to herself as a fan with The Exorcist and Poltergeist topping her list.
Another name that might surprise you: that of actor, comedian, UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Since coming to the public’s attention in 1995 when he began a four-year run as eccentric electrician Joe Garrelli on the immensely popular show "NewsRadio", Rogan has surprised and entertained audiences the world over. As his comedy reputation continued to grow through the late 1990s, Joe branched out and added “mixed martial arts commentator” to his resume and massively broadened his already large fan base. While the gig surprised many, to others, it made a lot of sense. After all, Joe won the US Open Tae Kwon Do Championship at the age of nineteen and, as the lightweight champ, went on to beat both the middle and heavyweight title holders and take home the Grand Championship. Then, from 2001-2006, hosting the network challenge show "Fear Factor" solidified Rogan as a viable commodity and made him a household name. Once the popular stunt show’s run ended, Rogan returned to his first love – stand-up comedy – and proved that his was a voice that was insightful, contemporary, and utterly hilarious.
Now, with his sold-out comedy shows, continued involvement with the highly successful UFC, and hugely popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Joe sits at the forefront of the world’s attention. He continues to speak openly on topics many other people in the public eye would shy away from such as psychedelic drugs and marijuana use, conspiracies, and alien/human interaction. His is a considered and informed voice unlike any other in the media.
Dread Central spoke at length with Joe Rogan, and what we discovered may – once again – surprise you.
To be fair, it should be said that the following interview includes some of the notorious “7 words” George Carlin warned you about. Life’s tough, kids… wear a cup.
Dread Central: Ok, I’m going to start this recording, so everything you say from here on out will be held against you…
Joe Rogan: Holy shit!!
DC: Let’s start by me asking some easy questions. You play a lot of music in your podcasts. What are some of your favorite bands?
JR: That seems like it should be an easy question, but I never really fucking know what I really like. I’ve always loved classic rock. I’m a big fan of music from the 70s. I love The Allman Brothers and Hendrix and shit like that, but I’ve never sat down and quantified it or put together a Top 10.
DC: I was a buyer for Tower Records for like 10 years, so my tastes tend to run all over the place, from old school jazz to rock to whatever.
JR: I tried hard to get into jazz, but it is the one thing that, for whatever reason…
DC: I would think though that someone like yourself who does jiu-jitsu would really like it because it’s so freeform and improvisational.
JR: I don’t know. It just seems to me that they’re just kind of banging away on their instruments and I appreciate that and everything, but…
DC: Sometimes it feels like “Ok, this is everything I learned while I was at The Berklee School of Music” in three to five minutes. I used to take my wife to jazz shows and she’d always end up looking at me like, “What the fuck is this shit?!?!” Just a room full of guys all nodding their heads and laughing because of some technical thing the band was doing.
JR: [laughs] I wonder if there are a lot of female jazz fans? Is it more of a male-oriented thing?
DC: Well, I think there are a lot of female fans of things like “Quiet Storm” or “soft jazz” stuff like Kenny G.
JR: Is that really jazz though?
DC: Not really… But when you get into shit like Thelonius Monk or Coltrane, a lot of women tend to just look at you like you’re nuts. Now, I know you’re a reader and you’re kind of all over the spectrum on what you read…
JR: As far as fiction, I love horror books. It’s practically all I ever read. I don’t read anything about war or romance or politics, that’s all nonsense to me. I’m enjoying books by Joe Hill like HEART-SHAPED BOX and I have a copy of HORNS. I love King. Didn’t you and I talk about Guillermo del Toro’s THE STRAIN on my message board before?
DC: Yeah, we did…
JR: I liked it in the beginning. It was like, “Wow, this is kind of cool. It’s interesting,” but… I think we both talked about how, at the end, it was like he was just trying to finish it.
DC: I think that happens a lot. Writers will have this great idea and they’re cruising along and then they look at their word count and think, “Oh, shit! I’m getting to 170,000 words… I need to wrap this up.”
JR: How is the new one supposed to be?
DC: I’m so swamped with reading other stuff that I ended up thinking, “Do I spend a few days buzzing through something I know might be flawed or do I take a chance with some unknown quantity?” I’m hearing good things about King’s new book, Full Dark, No Stars.
JR: I haven’t picked up a King book in a while. I’m kind of skeptical since he laid off the drugs. [laughs]
DC: I think getting off drugs and getting hit by a car can change your perspective a bit. [laughs]
JR: Uh… Yeah… not just getting hit, but having your whole body ruined.