Indy: You're on tour with the original members of the Rollins Band for the first time since that lineup split in 1997. Why did the band break up then?
Rollins: We'd chewed all the flavor out of the gum. I mean, I think we had come to the end of the trail. It wasn't like, "I can't stand you because you're on cocaine." It was just, "What are we going to do, these songs over again?" I just didn't see another writing period rendering anything.
Indy: You said you guys only decided to do the reunion tour once you had rehearsed and knew the band sounded good. What kind of expectations do you think the band faces in returning?
Rollins: I know that we must defy expectations. I knew these guys [in the band] knew that, but I just had to say it out loud to these guys. I go, 'You realize it almost has to be better than it ever was ...' I said, 'Are we all clear on what this takes?' It's going to be grueling because it's got to be great, or I'm not showing up.
Indy: You say the group won't tour America again unless it has new music. Why is making new music essential for the Rollins Band to continue beyond the current tour?
Rollins: I'm not into a greatest-hits thing. I think a band if you're going to be around, you should be moving forward and putting in the time and working for it, getting after the art. Otherwise, you're just playing retreads ... Imagine a tree that grows canned peaches. It's nothing I want to do.
Saturday, Aug. 5, at Denver's Ogden Theatre.