Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson has given a surprising assessment of his band.

“We don’t know shit about music,” the rocker firmly declared during an appearance on the Broken Record podcast. “We didn’t learn music… I don't read music. Rich doesn't read music.”

While Robinson noted that other musicians “do the fuckin’ math,” he argued his band has found success by focusing on the emotion of songs, rather than the technicalities.

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“We know what it feels like and we know what sounds right, and then you keep doing that,” the singer explained. “Of course, through that your vocabulary is bigger. But we maybe are using different words than people who are more knowledgeable about the inner workings and mathematics, the arithmetic of music. It's something that has escaped us.”

The Black Crowes' Songwriting 'Magic'

In discussing the Black Crowes’ songwriting, Robinson detailed the chemistry between he and his brother Rich.

“It's kind of magic when a song happens out of the blue. One minute, there's nothing, one little thing like this, and then I get an idea, and then that changes what Rich is doing,” the singer explained. “And then it's all dictated by whatever the vibe is that Rich plays me. There's an emotional ingredient to what he plays me, like our probably the most famous song as ‘She Talks to Angels’. He wrote that song. He was very young with the riff, and then we probably didn't get to it ‘till like a year later.”

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Ultimately, Rich’s music put Chris “in a place to write a song with that kind of dark, romantic, melancholy imagery.” Released in 1991, “She Talks to Angels” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and No. 30 on the Hot 100.

More recently, the Black Crowes released their latest album, Happiness Bastards, in March. The band recently began a headlining tour that runs through the summer, then later in the year they’ll open for Aerosmith on their rescheduled farewell tour.

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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff

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