Best known as the guitarist, songwriter, and founder of the Black Crowes, Rich Robinson is touring in support of his third solo record, The Ceaseless Sight.
I sat down with the man himself backstage at The Chapel during a recent show here in San Francisco to discuss the past, present, and all sorts of things rock ‘n’ roll.
My first question for you, back when you guys first hit the scene on Headbangers Ball, the Crowes were really nothing like any of the other bands they played and I wouldn’t call you a hair band per se. Was it part of the plan to debut your music there?
When we came out, that’s all there was—heavy metal—I mean, one of our first tours was with Metallica, AC/DC, and Queensryche.
You toured with Queensryche?
We were the first band on the stadium tour. It was us, Queensryche which—the techs for AC/DC called the Queens-wrong—so it was us, Queens-wrong, Motley Crue, Metallica, and AC/DC.
Did you like any of those bands?
I loved AC/DC.
When Nirvana came out did you foresee the demise of the genre?
Well, we really brought that down, I mean we weren’t solely responsible, but if you look at the context, that shit was dying. When our record came out, Shake Your Money Maker, it was so different from all that stuff, and it was the most played video on MTV that year. It was one of the biggest records of that year and it went on to sell over seven million copies.
Nirvana didn’t really come out until the beginning of—I want to say the beginning of when Southern Harmony came out, when that first video showed up. And I remember thinking like, “Wow this is really cool.” If you really think about it, it’s roots music. Nirvana was way into The Police and The Replacements and punk-pop music which was The Replacements all day, even lyrically. I thought it was a little heavier than The Replacements, but it was cool.