On March 15, the Black Crowes released their first studio album since 2009.

With a sound and joy reminiscent of 1990's Shake Your Money Maker and '92's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, Happiness Bastards has been celebrated by fans and critics alike as a return to form for the Black Crowes.

Rich Robinson joined Loudwire Nights on the night of the release of the new record to help shed light on that connection from the early days of the band to where he and his brother, Chris, are today.

"Sometimes it was great and sometimes it was fraught with friction and dysfunction," Robinson told host Chuck Armstrong about his relationship with Chris over the years. "But I think since the split and since getting back together, Chris and I have really worked out a ton of our issues. Our relationship, we've decided to put that first and then everything kind of flows down from that instead of the opposite, instead of putting that relationship at the end."

That newfound focus on their familial relationship took center stage as the Black Crowes reunited for their recent tour that celebrated the anniversary of the release of their debut, Shake Your Money Maker.

And it shines on Happiness Bastards, too.

"We've kind of flipped the script and therefore since we've been back, we've always been cool. If we have disagreements, we talk about it, we don't scream and bitch. We just talk about it. And I think that sort of spirit has really, you know, colored this whole album and the recording experience."

Why Rich Robinson Says Lions Is One of His Favorite Albums

As Robinson and Chuck discussed the new album, they also spent some time revisiting several other records in the Black Crowes' discography. From the live, uncalculated nature of Money Maker to the more studio-sounding Amorica and the Zeppelin-esque Three Snakes and One Charm, Robinson was very open about how the band's expectations and focuses shifted album-to-album.

"There were moments where things flowed better," he said, "and there were moments when they didn't, you know? But it's all part of this overall overarching sort of theme that we made these records."

Robinson also shared one of his favorite albums that doesn't always get the kind of attention those earlier releases do.

"Lions is one of my favorites," he said. "There's some really interesting stuff on there. I mean, it's funny. Time kind of puts things in perspective — Lions is kind of a jarring record in a sense, if you compared it to what By Your Side was. It's a full-on 90-degree left turn, but it's really interesting."

He explained how a lot of that interesting material on Lions — the Black Crowes' sixth studio album that came out in 2001 — was influenced by a film that he was scoring at the time.

"This young director wanted me to score his movie and the guy was like, 'Do whatever you want,' which is incredibly rare for people who score movies," Robinson recalled. "Sort of the power of music over visuals and how all that was working, it was really fascinating and far out and a lot of that what I learned kind of wound up on Lions."

He admitted there might have been one other major influence at the time the Black Crowes were making Lions.

"Being in the presence of Jimmy ��� you know, Jimmy Page."

How AC/DC Gave Rich Robinson a Live Experience He'll Never Forget

Earlier this year, Chris Robinson joined Loudwire Nights to help fans get excited for the release of Happiness Bastards. Near the end of the conversation with Chuck, he shared a memory of what it was like seeing Metallica at the Power Trip festival in 2023, marking the first time he saw the band live since touring with them in the early-'90s.

So when Rich joined the show, Chuck couldn't let the chat conclude without bringing Metallica into it, too, hoping to find a memory or two from the Monsters of Rock tour that the Black Crowes embarked on with AC/DC and Metallica.

"Before we left [for that tour], we would play in Atlanta to 12 people," Robinson remembered. "We'd play a club and no one would show up. Within 18 months, we're playing in Moscow in front of 800,000 people."

Robinson said the first show they did on the Monsters of Rock tour was at Donington and that's when he first learned that AC/DC were big fans of the Black Crowes.

"I remember Angus [Young's] tech walked up to us and he's like, 'Our boys love you guys, you're a proper rock and roll band,'" Robinson said.

"He had some funny names for some of the other bands like QueensWrong. 'We don't want to hear QueensWrong. We want to hear the Black Crowes.' He was just kidding around, he was cheeky, but it was amazing that AC/DC loved us and we were like, 'I can't believe AC/DC knows who we are.'"

Reflecting on that first show, Robinson turned the conversation to what it was like witnessing the power of Metallica taking the stage.

READ MORE: Chris Robinson Recalls 'Most Violent' Black Crowes Concerts

"I'd never seen Metallica before," he explained. "I went out there and I'd never seen an audience respond that way to a band. It was one of the most amazing, heavy things I've ever seen, to the point where I was kind of worried about AC/DC. I was like, 'How the fuck is anyone going to go [after this]?'"

Robinson decided he had to go out and show his support for AC/DC.

"They opened with 'Thunderstruck' and I've never seen or felt anything like it since then ... I've never seen a transition from Metallica, where every person in that audience was so into Metallica, and then Angus — their spotlight opens up, all the lights go down. Angus is doing the intro to 'Thunderstruck' and it's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."

What Else Did the Black Crowes' Rich Robinson Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • How Aerosmith showed support for the Black Crowes in the band's early days
  • Which song on Happiness Bastards is an homage to the Black Crowes' punk rock past
  • Who influenced him when he was 17 years old writing the songs that would end up on Shake Your Moneymaker

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Rich Robinson joined Loudwire Nights on Friday, March 15; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand.

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