“We spent most of our lives in a toxic state”: Rich Robinson on his historically tumultuous relationship with his brother Chris

“We were putting ourselves as brothers second or even third, when it should have been first,” says the Black Crowes guitarist.

[L-R] Chris and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes

Credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

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Though Rich and Chris Robinson have played side by side in The Black Crowes since the band’s formation in 1984, their brotherly relationship hasn’t always been entirely copacetic.

The group even disbanded in 2015 due to rising tensions between the pair, but eventually reformed in 2019. “I know I’m a mental case. It’s very charming that Rich thinks he’s not,” Chris said in an interview with Classic Rock last month.

Now, in a new interview with Guitar World, Rich has spoken at length once again about his at-times-tumultuous relationship with his brother, and how the band’s early success played a part in their “toxic” dynamic.

We got big so quick, and Chris and I just grabbed ahold of that dragon and ran with it; we didn’t look back and we didn’t think about it,” he recalls. 

“I think that created a dynamic unto itself. Not only a shift in dynamic between Chris and me as brothers, but also a shift in the band dynamic. How do we – as incredibly young and naive individuals who were totally unprepared for what was happening to us – deal with the people around us and their agendas?”

He continues: “As a result of that amazing level of success and pressure, we spent most of our lives in a toxic state of putting ourselves as brothers second or even third, when it should have been first. 

“The fact that we stopped in 2013 definitely got us away from that place that we were in prior to the split. It enabled me to think about things and acknowledge that it’s easy for me to blame Chris 100 percent, and likewise – it’s easy for him to blame me 100 percent. That space definitely allowed me to see how I could have done some things differently.”

The Black Crowes released their ninth studio album, Happiness Bastards, on 15 March 2024. Watch the video for its lead single Wanting and Waiting below:


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