Producers and artists are quick to mythologize their roles in history.
J. Robbins would rather work.
As the frontman of the '90s post-punk band Jawbox, J. Robbins was a self-described “gung-ho touring maniac.” To the Silver Spring native, signing to the major label Atlantic Records and having the group's video for “Savory” played on MTV were accomplishments, but none were as rewarding as seeing the world.
“I just loved to tour because I'd be like, ‘Look where the band took me — we made it to the West Coast! We made it to Japan!'” Robbins said recently. “It was amazing. The band is an engine that takes...