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Guitarist Rich Robinson stepped away from his Black Crowes' duties to record his third solo record The Ceaseless Sight last year. We chatted with him via phone before his acoustic performance at The Warehouse on Friday.
NUVO: What can fans expect from you on this acoustic tour?
Rich Robinson: Well I’ve been doing these acoustic shows now for awhile and this is the last leg. This leg is more just getting an insight into how the songs are written. Most of the songs that I write are written on acoustic. I always like bringing the purest form of a song to what we’re doing so people can get as close as to creation of that song as possible.
NUVO: Does the smaller more intimate venue suit your acoustic performance better?
Robinson: Yeah it does. Well I guess it depends, every every venue is different, every place is different, but it’s cool to be able to have people sit down and listen from that level.
NUVO: The Ceaseless Sight follows the path of your musical journey over the past 25 years. How would you describe that journey?
Robinson: There’s a lot going on, ya know? It’s 25 years and we played with our favorite musicians, had a lot of experience, traveled all over the world, had some fights, and joy and despair and everything in between. All of this adds to your musical filter. What happens is you go through all of these things and all that goes into a filter that you see the world through — and what comes out is through your music. Hopefully it’s sincere and unique at the same time.
NUVO: How do you go about picking a distinct setlist each night?
Robinson: Kind of see how I feel and what flows and what I feel works with one another. Setlists to me are an art form onto themselves because you can move. A different song here, a different song there, it’s all about creating a flow. It starts from one place, goes to another. The music is a motive and creates motion, you can take people somewhere.
NUVO: In 140 characters or less, pitch me your record.
Robinson: I don’t do Twitter really but the thing about Twitter, like everything, especially with Internet and social media is we lose the human quality of communication which has to do with context, nuance and body language. To try and reduce that into something that is 140 characters seems a little silly.
NUVO: With that in mind, do you think that puts more emphasis on the touring aspect of music?
Robinson: Possibly. I think what’s happening is that people are waking up. All of that technology and entertainment is a huge distraction that sends people into a sleep-like state. They fall asleep at their own lives, they’re not living they’re lives. So when they go and they have a real experience and they see people actually playing music. I think a lot of people have forgot what a sincere moment is and so some people wake up and come to these shows and think “I need to preserve that.” So they’ll point a camera at the stage and film you. Instead of experiencing the show you’re going to capture something but by capturing that thing you’re missing the experience that you could have. Our bodies and our brains have the best computer and the best memory you could imagine but were not using it because we think we need to keep it on a little device. And so there are people that come and have that epiphany. There’s people that have always had that innate understanding of what human experience is and they’re the ones that come to the shows. The ones sitting at home playing video games not living life are the ones that are really missing out. So as they wake up and emerge and start listening to vinyl, realizing that there’s a whole world out there, they’re pleasantly surprised.