Brothers Rich and Chris Robinson are as notorious for their familial scrapping as they are for their blues with the Black Crowes. But after two decades together, they’ve arrived at a solution: Rich resides on the East Coast, Chris on the West, and — aside from recording sessions and concerts, such as their annual run at The Fillmore next week, billed as the “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys” tour — never the twain shall meet. But when they collaborate musically, creative sparks fly, says the Connecticut-based guitarist Rich, 41: “Absolutely, they do, so it’s really good to be in that kind of spot at this point in our career.”
So the holidays are upon us, but you and Chris never really have festive family get-togethers, right? Not really. I’ll be spending the holidays with my wife and our new baby and my two older boys. So we’ll be able to do that and see her family, too, and we do a lot of that kind of stuff. There are a lot of cool people up in the Northeast and it’s good to be around ’em. When Chris and I aren’t together, I don’t just go sit on a mountain alone and brood. Although that does sound appealing.
Was it weird revisiting your band history in the recent webisode series “20 Years of Tall Tales”? Well, a lot of those things that Chris said are kind of old hat. But we lived ’em and we held on to ’em, because they’re great stories and great things to remember. And when we got inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame, it was cool to look back at all our accomplishments this year, read out, because you don’t see them being laid out in a row that often. We’ve played with so many great people, from the Stones and Page/Plant to AC/DC, Aerosmith, Neil Young and Bob Dylan. It’s been a really rich experience. Uh, no pun intended.
And you’re surviving quite nicely, with your own imprint, Silver Arrow, right? Yeah. This industry is dying, and it’s definitely a weird thing to be a part of it and to see it fall. But [new two-disc greatest-hits reworking] “Croweology” worked out great, because it breathed new life into those songs. So I have hope — I think the music business is heading to a time where it’s more pure.
So there won’t be a new studio set for a while? No, because we’re taking at least two years off. We decided to not go down that road where we start fighting again. So it’s a good time to take a break.
IF YOU GO
The Black Crowes
Where: The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Dec. 19; 9 p.m. Dec. 17-18
Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.livenation.com