Q&A: Rob Crow, March 4 at George’s Majestic Lounge

Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place / Courtesy

You probably know Rob Crow from Pinback. And you might have read about his plan to quit making music. But scratch that, He’s back with a new band and they’ve recently released two catchy, melodic, and dynamic singles – “Business Interruptus” and “Oh, The Sadmakers.” These songs address Crow’s departure from music and his return, and they are both killer. Crow is about to release a new record with his new band Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place called You’re Doomed, Be Nice (Out March 4 on Temporary Residence).

Who: Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place / Teenagers
When: Friday, March 4, 2016
Where: George’s Majestic Lounge
Cost: $7, General Admission / Purchase online

You’re Doomed, Be Nice sounds like an artist having fun while opening up about the grim prospects of being a full-time artist. “Business Interruptus” might be the most infectious song written about the economics of being a touring musician and a father. The album is full of intricate songs, and is a perfect addition to Crow’s already stacked catalogue. It’s also the best debut record you’ll hear this year.

You can see Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place on Friday, March 4 at George’s Majestic Lounge.

I talked to Rob about the new band – here goes…

Is Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place a one-off record about returning to music, or is it a new band?
It’s my new band. I’m going to keep doing this while it’s possible. This is what I do now, and I look forward to keep doing it as long as I can.

So you’re back with a new band and new record, how is it possible for you to do this now?
My wife has a full-time job. When I stopped, she had been in school for a long time and I was the main money maker. Now she’s out of school and has an amazing job. She’s doing great, and thankfully her mother helps with our kids, or else I wouldn’t be able to tour.

You’re Doomed, Be Nice is a great record. Do you have a new approach to music now that you’ve returned?
Well, I talked the label into letting me record with a great engineer and producer so that made a big difference. I needed it to sound like a real band, so people would come to the shows and know what to expect. The record sounds like an energetic live band, much more like Pinback.

Is there anything that you’ve read lately that has ended up in a song?
Maybe… I haven’t been reading a lot of fiction lately. Other than reading a lot of Dashiell Hammett, I’ve mostly been reading comics. I’m so backlogged with comics that I haven’t had a lot of time to read anything else. I prefer my own world building in songs.

This upcoming tour is your first in three years – how will it be different for you? What do you plan on doing in each stop?
This tour will be a lot cheaper than Pinback tours, where we had a tour bus we could sleep in. We’ll be sleeping on people’s floors this time. The whole tour will be a lot different because I’m a lot different. I’ve lost 100 pounds, I exercise more, I don’t drink at all anymore and I don’t even drink caffeine. I will allow myself to eat at nice places on this tour. So I’ll look for nice places to eat and work out. I’ve been running a lot lately and I plan to look for places to run for a while.

What can we expect at the show?
This is a really tight band. I’ll be playing the new record and some older songs, since I didn’t tour for my last record He Thinks He’s People, I’ll be playing some of those songs. They’re fun to play. I like to link songs together to fit as many songs into the set as possible, so no one feels ripped off. I want to deliver as much as possible. I like to play with very few breaks between songs, since I have a history of my banter not being good. I start overthinking between song banter and embarrass myself.

Do you have any stories from playing Arkansas?
Not that I can remember. But I love playing and every show is an all new opportunity. With Pinback shows, We’d play two-hour sets and I would worry about my voice, so I didn’t talk as much after shows. But now I’ll be playing an hour or so, and I won’t have to worry as much and I’ll look forward to talking to people after shows and getting to immerse myself in it.