The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are releasing a new studio album, Barefoot in the Head, next week, and the band’s frontman and namesake spoke with Rolling Stone for an interview in which he discussed the “hippie baroque” ethos of his band and his good and bad memories from being in The Black Crowes, along with his recent derogatory comments toward the current ongoings with the members of the Grateful Dead in Dead & Company.
Robinson talks about how the CRB and his role in the band is really the incarnation of himself he always wanted, even back in the height of the Crowes in the ’90s, equating his own values to those of the Grateful Dead in their early days. “The Grateful Dead I love was the Grateful Dead that were outsiders,” he says. “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.”
The singer-songwriter does show respect for the time he spent with his brother Rich in the Crowes, if not necessarily for Rich himself, saying, “I love the songs. None of this would be possible without the people that were interested in that music and that let that music move them. I’m proud of that band and the music we made. You know, I’m not that crazy.” On his former bandmates, including Rich, forming The Magpie Salute and playing some Crowes songs along the way, Robinson takes a not-so-veiled shot: “I mean, everyone’s gotta feed their families. 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?”
Moving onto Robinson’s comments on Dead & Company and the current state of the Grateful Dead brand, which he called “this giant nipple that everyone sucks off to get money,” he qualifies his thoughts somewhat, saying, “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…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.”
Read the full interview here.