The S+V Interview: Chris Robinson Page 3
By the way, I do love my iPad and iPod, and I have 72 days of continuous music on hand. But there is something far more social about the medium of vinyl. It's not just the tactile art of what it is, it's the pulling it out of the sleeve and sharing it.
I'm upset about what happened in the '80s with CDs. At the advent of technology, people will always find ways to abuse it. And records that were made for AM radio sound different than records that were made for FM and for CD. When people start making records for a specific medium, they start losing the magic of what's going on in the performance. It's not about the perfection of it; it should really be about what sounds cool.
One problem in the CD age: When it first started, a lot of times, the Powers That Be just grabbed later-generation masters in the vaults for when they wanted to put stuff out. Led Zeppelin '80s CDs are a prime example of that, before Jimmy Page was able to remaster them himself. They were clearly missing something.
And then what about records like [the Stoog- es' 1970 album] Fun House, or the MC5? I don't need that clarity! I need the f---ing distortion the way it was originally meant!
Right - you want a band like the Seeds to be dirty. Garage rock has to be grungy. You can't scrub that off.
Yeah, yeah, exactly! And that's in the groove, somehow. But some of that did come off in the '80s.
We got seduced by the technology, and the portability. Nowadays, it's almost come full circle. It's interesting to see young people who have only listened to compressed music most, if not all, of their lives and may not appreciate the breadth of a song's mix unless they hear it on vinyl.
So true. And then I hear young dudes in bands rapping on about how they want to make records, and I'm like, "Yeah, dude, people aren't even going to buy your record anymore; they're gonna f---ing steal it. And by the time they [the consumers] get it the way they get it, you're not in control of it. You just can't get caught up in the politics.
You and the crowes had to make a number of creative adjustments while you started transitioning from the vinyl age to the CD age, yes?
Right, right. Early in our career, we were trying to make albums while other people were making CDs. Unless it's a live thing, I hated seeing 15 or 16 songs on a record. Hated it.