Chris Robinson Brotherhood Premieres 'Weird, Terry Gilliam-esque Video' for 'Forever As the Moon': Exclusive

Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Jay Blakesberg

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

When Megaforce Records suggested a video for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood's latest album, Robinson knew exactly who he wanted to create it -- which is how veteran artist Alan Forbes, an associate since the early days of the Black Crowes, came to draw and direct his first-ever video "Forever As The Moon," premiering exclusively below.

"We've never really done any kind of video stuff, so when the idea came -- especially with a song like 'Forever As The Moon,' which has very expressive language and vivid imagery, I thought it would be pre-formed for Forbes," Robinson tells Billboard. "On one sense he's the real psychedelic heart beating the blood through the existential body of the CRB. He's equally one of the engines of what we're doing. We're sympatico on a psychic level. So it was a natural fit."

For "Forever As The Moon," the San Francisco-based Forbes -- who in addition to the Crowes and CRB has also done album graphics for the White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against The Machine, AFI and others -- crafted an animated piece that features CRB characters such as Captain Nebula, the Crystal Queen and Mystic Lady for what Robinson calls "a weird, Terry Gilliam-esque video in the digital age. (Forbes) is so in tune with us he can take the lyrics and do what he wants. It's kind of a colossal event for the counterculture."

The video caps an eventful year for the CRB, which saw the group release its fourth studio album, Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel, along with a companion EP If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now. The group is also finishing its fifth year since Robinson, guitarist Neal Casal and keyboardist Adam MacDougall (another Black Crowes alumnus) launched the band, which is its own high-water mark for Robinson. "We said when we started the band we're gonna go five, six years and if we have momentum that's where the real work starts," Robinson explains. "The whole concept of this band, as cliche as it sounds, is we're gardeners and the music is our garden, we tend our garden and take it to market like anything else. We've worked hard to build the audience and build the mythology and build the history. It allows us this great freedom and opportunity to keep an expressive continuity going."

After the CRB wraps up its touring year on Dec. 17 in Los Angeles -- with a three-night stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco Dec. 8-10 -- the group will return to the studio in January to work on the next album. "We're sitting on a batch of about 12 or songs ready to be birthed," Robinson says, "but we want to go back in and try some different vibes, different textures and stuff, maybe more acoustic-oriented kind of music. We're in a position where we can record 16 pieces of music, but because the songs are long and we don't have to answer to any corporate quotes or anything, we can utilize that session and put out an adjacent record, if you will, from the same sessions like we did this year, just give a little different picture as a bonus." 

The group is also planning a third volume of Betty's Blends live recordings from 2015 done by Grateful Dead archivist Betty Cantor Jackson, who was also on the road with the CRB during its fall tour to continue to build the stockpile of concert material. Tour dates have already been announced for February, and Robinson is expecting 2017 to be an equally busy and "fruitful" year for the CRB. 

"The idea is how can we keep being creative in the music business where albums don't mean anything and everything is going to streaming," he explains. "Us, we collect records. We like to own music. So this is like a dream come true to get to make a lot of records and work with great artists like Forbes and Betty, and my wife is in charge of the ship and we have little outside influence. It's a really good situation."

 

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