Brothers Chris and Rich Robinson spoke to Marci Wiser of the 95.5 KLOS radio station about their 46-date summer tour, marking THE BLACK CROWES' first shows together since 2013. The group will perform its multi-platinum 1990 debut album "Shake Your Money Maker" in its entirety, along with a smattering of other hits and favorites.
THE BLACK CROWES officially disbanded in 2014, with Rich Robinson releasing a statement suggesting his brother demanded that he give up his equal share of the band.
Asked how they worked through their differences to be able to do the upcoming tour, Chris said (see video below): "I think working through it is gonna be like a theme. But life is full of cruel mysteries. It's been a long time, and I think Rich and I, we went many years without speaking to each other. On one level, people with family and siblings, whether you work with them or not, it's tough, in any dynamic. But when you work together, and then you're in something like rock and roll, which is the most beautiful… Rich and I will always agree; we're humble in the face of the tradition we get to work in. But you're young, and stuff happens — all cool stuff — but it's a lot of pressure. And eventually, we just ended up not being able to deal. But I've been through a lot of changes, Rich has been through a lot of changes, and then it just seemed like [the right time to reconnect]."
Added Rich: "Also, when you care about what we do as much as we do. So it was always important to us. But, yeah, family is more important than all of it. And so to be able to come back and really focus on that… 'Cause making music was never the issue for us. And to come back in such a positive light, and come back and play these songs that we wrote when we were kids, in my mom's living room — literally. I was in high school."
The Robinson brothers also spoke about the decision to perform "Shake Your Money Maker" in its entirety to celebrate the LP's 30th anniversary. Chris said: "For where Rich and I are, we never did anything remotely like that." Rich added: "I think we ran away from 'Shake Your Money Maker' pretty quickly and went out into the great wide open of experimentation musically. We were proud of the record, we loved the record, but we did 350 shows on the 'Shake Your Money Maker' tour in 18 months, and by then, we were so done with it. So over the years, with [follow-up albums, 1992's] '[The] Southern Harmony [And Musical Companion]' and [1994's] 'Amorica', we kind of got further away from it. So to look back at this, to me, it's like a new record. It's coming back and really focusing on this thing, the way it is now. We just thought it was a cool idea to focus on this record, 'cause we've never done it. We were, like, 'Yeah. That's pretty interesting.'" Chris chimed in: "Rich and I have bickered and argued over tons of stuff, but this [being] a cool record was never one of the issues."
THE BLACK CROWES launched the reunion with a concert Monday night (November 11) at New York City's Bowery Ballroom and took the stage again on Thursday (November 14) at Los Angeles's Troubadour club. The official tour kicks off properly on June 17 at Austin's Austin360 Amphitheater in Austin wraps on September 19 at the Forum in L.A. Joining the brothers will be a all new lineup of THE CROWES featuring EARTHLESS guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, former TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND bassist Tim Lefebvre along with ONCE AND FUTURE BAND members Joel Robinow on keyboards and Raj Ojha on drums.
Photo credit: Josh Cheuse