Pinback’s Rob Crow Quits Music: “Making Music In This Climate Is… Humiliating To My Psyche”

Pinback’s Rob Crow Quits Music: “Making Music In This Climate Is… Humiliating To My Psyche”

Rob Crow has been making music for 20+ years, and has been doing so via countless projects, but he’s best known for his work with Pinback — his long-running project with Three Mile Pilot’s Zach Smith — who released five excellent albums between 1999 and 2012. His output tends to come in bursts, but considering the sheer volume of music he’s produced (to say nothing of his catalog’s total randomness), it’s hard to imagine him ever actually stopping. But it seems, in fact, he is. On 3/9, he tweeted:

That’s pretty vague. “I’m gonna finish up & release ALL my current records” before giving up? God knows how many records he’s currently working on. Crow has done five full-length records with Pinback, plus four under his own name, plus Wikipedia lists him as being involved with the following acts/aliases: Heavy Vegetable, Physics, Optiganally Yours, Thingy, Advertising, Alpha Males, Altron Tube, Cthugha, Fantasy Mission Force, Goblin Cock, Holy Smokes, the Ladies, Other Men, Remote Action Sequence Project, Schlag-Schlag, and Snotnose. I’m a Rob Crow fan and I don’t know a single thing about a whole bunch of those projects.

Crow followed up that tweet, though, with an update on his Facebook, saying:

Thanks guys!
I’m well!
I’m out!
Healthy safe and sound with my family.
No bad weirdness.
Just don’t wanna talk about myself anymore.
Feel free to say hi if yo see me!

And soon after that, another:

I’m fine.
I have just come to the realization that making music in this climate is financially irresponsible to my family and ultimately humiliating to my psyche.
Im going to finish and release the work I’ve already spent my heart and tears on, but even that is likely to ruin me.
My kids are growing and my downstairs studio would probably be put to better use as a bedroom.
I’ll keep a small setup with which I can use for scoring, editing and things when they come up.
Also quitting Facebook and Twitter and using that energy to concentrate on writing in my journal.
Chucking the booze as well will help with that.
I just trying to make a mature decision and be a responsible husband and father.

That last one is a crusher: Humiliation comes with being an artist, of course, but not knowing a single thing about Rob Crow’s life, I would probably agree with this: “My kids are growing and my downstairs studio would probably be put to better use as a bedroom.” And yeah, Pinback album sales probably aren’t going to put Crow’s kids through college, but those albums definitely helped a lot of other kids get through college.

Grownups have gotta make grownup decisions, but it’s a bummer to hear that Rob Crow has come to this particular decision. But I’ll be excited to hear whatever he still has coming — “the work I’ve already spent my heart and tears on” — and if it turns out he’s still got some more records in him after that, I’ll be excited to hear those records, too. I love the guy’s voice and his approach to songwriting, production, and guitar, and everything he does sounds great to my ear. Let’s go out on a good note: Here’s one of my favorite Pinback songs — and I could name a bunch more (and Rob Crow solo tunes, too) that are just as good.

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