Chris Robinson Discusses CRB Album, Playing Black Crowes Songs, Grateful Dead & More

By Scott Bernstein Jul 12, 2017 6:50 am PDT

Next week, the ever-prolific Chris Robinson Brotherhood will release a new studio album entitled Barefoot In The Head. Frontman Chris Robinson recently spoke with Rolling Stone about the LP, the evolution of the CRB, his desire to play Black Crowes songs again and his controversial comments on the Grateful Dead.

Back in May, Robinson appeared on The Howard Stern Show and when the conversation turned to his distaste for John Mayer Chris said, “the Grateful Dead has turned into this giant nipple that everyone sucks off of to get money.” The guitarist/vocalist was asked by Rolling Stone about his recent criticism of the members of the Dead and Robinson made it clear it’s just his own personal take on the situation. “The only thing I would say about that, is, you know, go to the show. Go and have fun. I said what I said because I’ve been doing this for 30 years. And it’s not so much about what’s going on onstage. It’s how it got there. But my personal opinion shouldn’t have anything to do with you going and enjoying yourself. At the end of the day, those guys are … that is a hugely successful tour. Everyone is making millions and millions of dollars. Good. Awesome. … I dig it. I said what I said, go have fun at the shows. That’s it,” Chris said of Dead & Company without mentioning the group’s name.

Chris also discussed how one phase of the Grateful Dead’s evolution is how he would like the CRB to operate. “I kind of take the position … the Grateful Dead I love was the Grateful Dead that were outsiders. They were weirdos. They were the ugliest, weirdest, druggiest, funkiest, coolest thing rolling around, you know what I mean? I identify with that. The outsider part. The weirdo part. The CRB, when we’re onstage and everything is cooking and everything is going – and that happens a lot – it’s exactly where I want to be,” Robinson told Rolling Stone.

Last month, Chris Robinson played his first-ever series of solo shows and some fans were surprised to see how many Black Crowes songs he worked into the mix. The Georgia native made it clear he’s open to performing material from the Black Crowes repertoire again, “I plan on, at some point, singing those songs. But not with any of those people. Family’s family, business is business. But music is music. And that music has been tainted to me by behavior and attitudes.” He also addressed his brother Rich forming The Magpie Salute, “Yeah. I mean, everyone’s gotta feed their families, or whatever. So it is what it is. I wouldn’t have expected any of those people to come up with an idea outside of that anyway. You know what I mean?”

Another topic addressed was the process of recording the CRB’s new album. “By the time we got together, my only thing that I said to everyone was, ‘Listen, no one bring any instrument to the studio that we played on previous records or that we played live.’ So [guitarist] Neal [Casal] brought a different rig. I brought a different rig. We brought every stringed instrument that we could get our hands on. And that’s how we started,” Robinson revealed.

Head to Rolling Stone for more from Chris Robinson on the CRB and other topics.

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