The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson: “Rich and I are famous for being at each other’s throats – but we’re never at each other’s throats when we’re writing”

The brothers possibly fight more than the Gallaghers – but music always brought them together.

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

Credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

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Feuds and The Black Crowes go hand in hand. Chris and Rich Robinson’s decade long rivalry has even scared the Oasis brothers, the Gallaghers deeming their bickering “intense” even by their standards when they joined the Black Crowes on their ironically named 2001 Tour of Brotherly Love.

And in a recent interview with Esquire, Chris Robinson has revealed that one thing alone keeps them from killing one another: their mutual love of writing music together. “Rich and I are famous for being at each other’s throats – and that’s very true,” Chris says. “But we’re never at each other’s throats when we’re writing.”

The magic of producing music together has kept the pair inspired. The Black Crowes are even set to release a new album on March 15, Happiness Bastards, which is set to be their first release of new material in 15 years.

Produced by Jay Joyce, Chris describes the new record as “a love letter to rock ‘n’ roll.” It’s set to deliver penchant Black Crowes riffs, a hard-hitting burst of Memphis soul and sturdy guitars. The first two singles, Wanting And Waiting and Cross Your Fingers, capture the pair’s timelessly bluesy groove. They boast the group’s iconic old-school Southern rock twang.

The classic rock group originally pulled the plug in 2015, both pursuing their own respective solo careers. The pair also refused to communicate with one another until 2019, when they decided to reunite to celebrate Money Maker’s 30th anniversary. Due to pandemic delays, however, the tour was be put on hold until 2021.

With the world at a standstill, the pandemic forced the pair to reconcile some of their differences – something they had stubbornly avoided up until that point. “Life is full of adversity, and this business is sometimes overwhelming with the joy and excitement it can have,”  Chris reflects to Esquire. “We didn’t really deal with anything emotionally.”

Speaking on the Howard Stern show in 2019, Chris reflected on his relationship with his brother. “I said some horrible things. I was in a negative place, but you know what, I’ve apologized to Rich about that,” he said. “A lot of things have changed for me in the last two years. I was in a relationship that was failing, I was in a negative place, I was dealing with depression. And I’m sitting over here, like, ‘Why am I saying bad things about my brother?’”

“I was definitely fed up with the fighting, it was unhealthy,” Rich reflected during the same interview. “But it was unhealthy for a lot of reasons.”

While their feuding days aren’t exactly over, it seems the Black Crowes’ new record was produced with an actual sense of brotherly love – and we don’t mean that ironically this time round.

“Chris and I are in a much better place,” Rich reflects to Esquire. “It has made the record a lot more fluid, more positive and a little cooler.”


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