He sports an impeccably-coiffed mohawk. In photos, he often appears shirtless or exposing his impressive ripped torso and well-defined biceps. Cameras always catch a striking scowl on an arresting-yet-handsome face. And, his unfiltered Lancashire brogue suggests you better not ask, “Sorry, what did you say?” As it happens, John Robb has a lot to say. He has experienced so much and he wants to share his thoughts, so…you better listen. Not because his stern visage is intimidating, but because John is a charming, polite and knowledgable man. Pick a topic, any topic and Mr. Robb will offer up a well-considered commentary.
Inspired by the DIY ethic of the punk scene, 16-year-old John Robb co-founded The Membranes in his hometown of Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1977. The energy he displayed then, is still in full effect today. On June 6, The Membranes released What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away, a double album deservedly receiving generous praise from critics and fans alike. Taking time out from his busy schedule, John chatted to Norman B about the new album, reflected on making music, the story of The Membranes, rock and roll, and selected cuts to play on Life Elsewhere. Make sure you don’t miss this entertaining conversation with one of rock music’s most eloquent voices.
portrait of John Robb by John Middleham