Excepting a three-year hiatus between 2002-2005, the Black Crowes have been in flight since 1984 and putting out music since 1990. But frontman Chris Robinson says that these days “everything for the first time feels really right” in the band’s world.
“We’ve gone through all the drama of getting the band back together,” Robinson, 41, says, “figuring out who’s supposed to be here, who wants to be here, what our commitment is, where our philosophies come together on what we want to do.”
“After all that, we’re very comfortable with who we are and what our career looks like and who our audience is. We feel like we’ve got something to say, and we want to capitalize on that progressive place. So it’s
like, ‘Man, look
at our shiny locomotive. Let’s put it back
on the track!’ ”
The Crowes — including Robinson’s younger brother Rich on guitar, founding drummer Steve Gorman and longtime bassist Sven Pipien — came back slowly after its relatively brief split. The
group focused on touring — including an opening stint with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers — rather than rushing to make a new album. “Warpaint,” the Crowes’ seventh set of new material — and first in seven years — came out in March on the group’s own Silver Arrow Records and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The band also adjusted its lineup during that time, and is now fortified by keyboardist Adam MacDougall and North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson.
All of that, says Rich Robinson, has given the Crowes “this sort of new enthusiasm and this newfound sense of identity as a band.” That, he adds, will likely keep the group together and send it back into the studio this year for another new album.
“We still want to do this, and we want to make another record,” says the guitarist, who hopes for “some different and interesting things” on the next outing.
“Right now I’m just writing what I write, and Chris is writing what he writes,” the 39-year-old guitarist says. “When we get together and put all of our songs together, I think it’ll dictate what common direction it’s going to go.
“Once that happens, that’s when I think everyone’s gonna come in and we’ll solidify everything. It’s better to have too much material than too little.”
The Black Crowes and Vetiver perform at 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 6) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $45 and $36.75. Call (313) 961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.
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