The MusicNerd Q&A With Rich Robinson


As the guitarist and co-founder of the legendary Black Crowes, Rich Robinson has sold more than 30 million records over the last 25 years.

With the Crowes currently on hiatus, Robinson has released what many consider to be his strongest solo record. The Ceaseless Sight, released in early June, earned well deserved praise from Rolling Stone Magazine, Billboard and Guitar World among other media outlets.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Rich Robinson last week:

Your new record The Ceaseless Sight is your third solo record in the last 10 years. Has it always been more important for you to write and release music when inspiration strikes as opposed to feeling as though you are on a schedule?

I could sit down and write 100 songs a day if I wanted. For me personally though, I write when I feel inspired to do so. By going that route, I typically always feel great about what I am turning out.

Your bio mentions how you went into the studio only having skeletons of tracks as opposed to fully realized songs. Do you feel the pursuit of spontaneity is something lacking in music today?

For this new record, I had an idea where it was going in terms of direction but I was really looking to connect with the energy of the studio itself. For whatever reason, I really connect with the studio in Woodstock (Applehead Recording) and wanted to leverage that energy for the album. Making a record is supposed to be fun. You need to get in there and get messy and throw shit against the wall to see what works and what doesn’t work.

With all due respect to your first two solo efforts, I find The Ceaseless Sight is perhaps your most cohesive record to date.

With my first solo record [2004’s Paper], I had never done it before so it ended up being more of an experiment than anything else but then it was seven years before I got to release my second solo album. That record [Through A Crooked Sun, 2011] was more reflective as I had moved to Atlanta to be with my father who was ill. When it came to making The Ceaseless Sight, the best way to describe the album is that I was ready to go in and lay it down.  It feels good.

And though at this point in your career you are most likely making music for yourself, the accolades and reception given to your new record must feel good nonetheless.

It is always nice to hear that people dig what I am doing. I don’t think I make music for that purpose but when you hear from people that they like what you’re turning out, it’s always a great feeling.