The Black Keys new album Turn Blue will be out Tuesday and they play Saturday Night Live this weekend. Here are 10 things you may not know about The Black Keys.
1. Turn Blue will be the 4th Black Keys album in a row that Danger Mouse produced/co-produced in some form. They met when Danger Mouse hired them in 2007 to write a few songs for an Ike Turner album. That fell through after he died but they took those songs and put them on their Attack and Release album.
2. They couldn’t figure out how to get “Little Black Submarines” right so they kept changing it around. After they cut it 4 or 5 different times, they did a really stripped down version on an acoustic guitar. The final version is that stripped down version mashed together with one of the takes.
3. Dan and Patrick have done a lot of producer work for other artists. Pat produced The Sheepdogs’ self titled album and Dan recently did Ray Lamontagne’s new album, Supernova, and Lana Del Rey’s upcoming one called Ultraviolence. Dan even won the Grammy for Producer of the Year in 2013.
4. Jack White HATES The Black Keys. There was a rumour he banned them from his recording studio and when Jack White was going through a divorce, his ex-wife wanted to enroll his kids at the same school as Dan Auerbach’s kids. Some emails between Jack White and his ex were leaked where he talks about how he doesn’t want to spend the next 12 years in kid chairs next to Auerbach. Jack White also said, “He gets yet another free reign to follow me around and copy me and push himself into my world.”
5. Their first two records The Big Come Up and Thickfreakness were recorded in Patrick Carney’s basement on and 8-track tape recorder. Thickfreakness was recorded in one 14 hour session out of necessity because they spent the advance payment they got from signing with a record label on rent.
6. People sometimes compare the drums on “Howling For You” to “Rock and Roll Part 2” by Gary Glitter. The Black Keys say the similarity stems from how Patrick Carney plays them live. He always plays much faster, but when they slowed them down to record, that’s what they sounded like.
7. Early in their career The Black Keys were offered a bunch of money (6-digits) to have their music in a Hellman’s Mayonnaise commercial but turned it down so they didn’t alienate their fan base. Since then, they’ve had their music in EVERYTHING from Grand Theft Auto, to an episode of Gossip Girl, to a Victoria Secret ad with Heidi Klum.
8. Patrick Carney has never taken a drum lesson. His dad bought him a guitar when he was 12 but since he doesn’t have an ear for pitch he says he was terrible. He then took up drums and claims he’s never taken a lesson or bought a drum magazine unless he was in it.
9. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have lived in the same neighbourhood since they were 8 or 9 years old but they didn’t become friends until high school. They met through their younger brothers who were friends at a tag football game.
10. The Black Keys both went to Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio where Dan was the captain of his high school soccer team. Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders also graduated from that high school. Other notable things to come out of Akron are Devo and Lebron James.