SU: You are obviously the type of musician who is always working on song ideas. When writing a new song or getting ready to release music, how do you decide under which moniker to release it?
Rob Crow: It always seems pretty obvious to me. The style dictates the project.
SU: What differentiates a Pinback song from a "Rob Crow" song from a Optiganally Yours song, and so on?
Rob Crow: A Pinback song is a collaboration between ABSIV and I. An Optiganally Yours song is a collaboration between Pea Hicks and I.
SU: Fair enough, so how about a Snotnose vs "Rob Crow"?
Rob Crow: Snotnose songs are mostly 10-45 second "jingles" exclusively for distorted electric guitar and (sometimes) voice. The idea was to be an anti-coffee house singer. Whereas people purposefully go and see those dudes in a comfortable space play some very quiet acoustic guitar and sing about feelings, Snotnose is a character who arrives unannounced to public places and forces people to endure loud portable feedback and screams in peoples faces. I haven't done this in a while.
SU: There has been word of a new Thingy record being in the works, can we expect to see that sometime soon as well?
Rob Crow: It's all recorded, pretty much. I just gotta find the time (and skill) to finish it.
SU: I hadn't heard this before, but I read recently you contributed to a couple tracks on the Team Sleep record. How did that come about?
Rob Crow: I was working on The Ladies record with Zack Hill up in Sacremento and worked on it to waste time while Zack worked on Hella in the morning. I still haven't even heard the Deftones, but I don't think I'd like it.
SU: How does touring as "Rob Crow" solo compare to touring with one of the bands?
Rob Crow: I get tired of the sound of my own name even faster.
SU: Do you mind the focus being on you rather than it being shared with the other band members?
Rob Crow: Yes. For instance, one of the things I like about touring with Pinback is that everyone thinks that I'm the roadie until we start playing. Then, there is so much to take in after that. I try to make this happen with the solo stuff as well, but a lot of the ideas and styles I'm trying to put out there aren't as easily consumable.
SU: How does adjusting to family life affect your songwriting?
Rob Crow: I'm still figuring it out.
SU: Has there ever been a collaboration project you were asked to be involved in and you turned down?
Rob Crow: Definitely. Lucrative ones, as well. But, I just wasn't into it.
SU: Some musicians seem to spend forever working on a small set of songs, constantly changing and refining them. You on the other hand seem to be able to get comfortable with your songs very quickly and get them out to people. Is this true or do you actually work on songs for a while before having them ready to be unleashed?
Rob Crow: I kind of finish songs fast, but then sit on them for a while, making sure I like them.
SU: Has the introduction of new recording tools and technology changed your approach to writing or recording music?
Rob Crow: For sure. I still kind of use everything as a glorified 4-track, but it turns into a more intense 4-track all the time.
SU: Album art for your various projects has always been relatively simple. Is this intentional, or it is really just a matter of who worked on each over?
Rob Crow: I usually try to have the art match the feel. I don't consider the Goblin Cock art to be very simple, but it's nothing compared to the new Pinback CD, Autumn of the Seraphs.
SU: Do you feel like packaging and album art are more or less important in our digital world?
Rob Crow: They are more important if you want people to buy your record as a piece of art.
SU: Is that how you want people to view your records?
Rob Crow: I'm just glad when people are interested at all. I'm a very lucky guy.
SU: EMI and Apple just announced DRM free songs will be available on iTunes. Do you concern yourself with piracy and do you have an opinion on this most recent move by a major label?
Rob Crow: It's weird. I do believe everything should be free, but if people don't buy my stuff I can't afford to make any more. I personally have a HUGE collection of CD's, music DVD's, and vinyl that I've bought (and will continue to buy). But, I also have several hundred gigs of the like on my PC.
SU: Other Men was released on your own new label. Do you have other non-Rob Crow releases planned?
Rob Crow: Right now I've kinda promised to put out only my own stuff, but eventually there are a few bands I think I could really push well.
SU: Do you hope for the label to be the future home for all your projects or will each one be approached separately?
Rob Crow: It's the idea. I still like what Temporary Residence has been doing with Living Well and The Ladies record, so those'll probably stay. And, of course, Pinback is on Touch and Go, which is the best label ever.
SU: With all the amazing music you have released and all the many bands you have been involved in, how do you keep yourself inspired to create new songs and how to you keep from feeling like you are repeating work you have done before?
Rob Crow: I honestly don't know how inspiration works. In fact, I'm afraid of knowing. It is strange how one minute I'll be moping around the living room wondering how I ever wanted to write anything and then be mixing down a whole new idea not a half hour later in my studio/comic book storage facility.
SU: What do you want the legacy of Rob Crow to be: Man who had the most number of concurrent bands? Pinback front-man? Great solo artist?
Rob Crow: Most importantly, I want people to know that I'm NOT the Pinback front man (as I've seen printed a lot lately). While it is true that I seem to handle most of the vocals and talk to the crowd live, that band is a full collaboration and partnership between ABSIV and I. We share the blame equally. As for a legacy, I just want my son to remember me as an alright dad. I hope that if his friends find out about his kooky Dad playing in a dress and having giant monster penises on his records and such, that they don't take it out on him (and if they do, they he can take it in with a sense of humor).