Don't let the name fool you: The Chris Robinson Brotherhood does not include the vocalist's baby brother, Rich. Rather, the Brotherhood is the band with which the elder Robinson has released a pair of shuffle-rock records [The Magic Door, Big Moon Ritual] during the current hiatus for the Black Crowes (which features Chris' vocals and Rich's guitar). With the Brotherhood set to play Neumos on Saturday, Chris took a few minutes to talk about the CIA, punctual pot smoking, and how to agitate Green River fans.
Do you mind if I record this call?
Robinson: Go ahead. I'm not the director of the CIA. I have nothing to hide.
Isn't that wild? Have you been following this?
Just what I saw on Jon Stewart. What a shocker, yeah--man of power abusing it in a sort of misogynistic way? No, tell me that didn't happen. In this country?
He felt it was necessary to resign his post. What would it take for you to resign your post?
For me it would be self-imposed exile for, like, somehow tainting the muse, if you will. That to me would be the ultimate transgression. What is the real pursuit? What is your goal as an artist? And if I deviated from that too much, it would be too much self-disappointment.
When the Crowes have gone on hiatus, you've always seemed really excited about the projects you work on. I remember I saw you opening for the Allman Brothers and String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks with New Earth Mud. I think that's the only set I've ever seen where the band went on early.
It's a very little-known fact, though, that [I'm] one of the most punctual people for somebody who is supposedly so out of his mind. Even when I was, actually, back in the olden days, we were always very punctual.
What do you have planned for the holidays?
This is our kinda last leg for the year, which is our West Coast run, which we're very excited [about]. I feel this band is born of a really West Coast spirit, which includes the Pacific Northwest. I know all the old Green River fans probably hate hearing hippies say stuff like that.
Were you into Green River?
Not especially, you know. It was so funny to me--like, when all that stuff sort of happened, I was like, "That's how . . . all the guys in bands in Atlanta that worked at the pizza shop [sounded like]. I already heard all those bands."
Really? That's funny.
Oh yeah, in the '80s? The music scene? Of course.
The '80s music scene in Atlanta sounded like the '90s music scene in Seattle?
I think there was definitely the same roots of what supposed alternative or indie rock became--yeah, totally. I wasn't a part of it, but all my friends were.