This is a well written (or edited?) story. It flowed well, good mix between old and new, with sage observations. Good stuff. It helps that Chris is a good interviewee.
By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Industry control, vapid commercial success and the pursuit of fame for fame's sake remain anathema.
"I laughed my ass off when Jack White released his solo record. Jack is a massive, modern-era rock star who is on a corporate record label and does everything through that system. Don't get that wrong. Jack is very talented and charismatic, but it's, like, 'An artist out of the box'? Not only is he in the box. He owns one of the sides."
While the desire for mainstream popularity might be easy to criticize for someone who has had it (and still receives the royalty checks), Robinson's pursuit of the genuine feels real, especially after his decades of squirming uncomfortably in the grips of the money-above-all, popular-music factory.
As such, the personal freedom he has created with the Brotherhood is another mark on the growth chart. "There are no trips, man, no ego or side deals. We have musician friends around the world who come to see us, and they're, like, 'I want to be in your band.'"
The band members set up their own equipment at gigs and recently decided to eschew hiring roadies so they could all get raises. Stressing the importance of going onstage every night and "proving it," Robinson says he's proud of local fans who buck the too-cool factor of L.A. concert culture and get down to their music. "There are still heads here, too, man."
These freaks and weirdos are his friends, his fans, his people; they are him. I mention a barefoot man with a parrot on his shoulder whom I spotted on the side of the road in Topanga Canyon earlier in the day. "Yeah," he responds, "I know that guy."
He may mean this literally or metaphorically; it's true either way.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood play Dec. 7 at El Rey Theatre.
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