Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson says the group’s decision to play “Warpaint,” its first album in seven years, in its entirety at upcoming shows reflects the way the band feels about it.
“We want this album and we want these songs to have a little space and time on their own before they get mashed up into … all the other material we play,” the singer explains to Billboard.com about the One Night Only tour, which begins Sunday (March 2) in Sayreville, N.J. “I don’t think we’ve ever been in such a place where everyone’s so excited to get to rehearsal to start playing stuff [and] really get into a groove.”
Following a three-year hiatus, the Crowes have been back together since 2005 but have focused almost entirely on live work. Robinson says the time allowed the group to get itself back into shape and find the right lineup — including North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson and keyboardist Adam MacDougall.
“I feel the band has been very good the last few years, even with all the changes and things,” Robinson notes. “We’ve done a lot of different things, really opened it up, played a lot of catalog, played a lot of covers. We’ve hit a lot of things musically that I think were interesting for us.
“So the way I look at it, really, what makes (‘Warpaint’) so vibrant is we found our way to this music as opposed to trying to make something happen when it just wouldn’t have been right,” he continues.
The Crowes are releasing “Warpaint” on their own imprint, Silver Arrow Records, though Robinson says there was definitely label interest once the band started working again.
“Here we are enjoying all this success and freedom, and they come sniffing around again,” Robinson recalls. “They want some money and want to tell you what to do, instantly — ‘You guys could get some writers and do this and that.’ And we’re like, ‘Whoa, man. Whoa!’ We’ve always talked about (their own label) and doing something different for us and our little commune here. So here we are. It was the most enjoyable experience ever putting this record together because of that kind of freedom and independence.”