This is the 2nd Part of an extended interview with Pat Carney from The Black Keys exclusively for The Black Keys Fan Lounge.
Part 1 can be found here.
I wrote a post relating The Black Keys to ideas of being an ‘outsider’. Are the conclusions I’m drawing there fair comment?
We are outsiders in the sense that we are from and live in city that is out of the loop. Besides that being out of the loop is the way to be I think and we both are drawn to misunderstood weirdos.
What does it personally mean to you and why do you support other up and coming bands, collaborating at a grass roots level, and producing their music as you (and Dan) have?
We like music and if we can help bands we like because of the position we are in we will try and take advantage of it. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for people like Sleater-Kinney, or Beck or whomever giving us opportunities early on.
Up until the last album, The Black Keys hadn’t worked with any other producer or recorded with another artist. When choosing someone to collaborate with on a song (Jessica Lea Mayfield) or produce the album (Danger Mouse), what sort of qualities are you looking for? Or is it more of a simple gut feeling or do you realise they fill a hole in the sound that you can’t find/make yourselves?
Well we picked musicians we like and Dan was working on Jessica’s record at the time and we are both big fans of Ralph Carney (who is one of the most talented musicians I have met) and Marc Ribot as well. We respect their work and wanted to borrow some other talent I guess.
Do you know how many live shows you played in 2008?
I don’t but I can guess 75 with another 45 days of travel.
Express to me the importance of the live show to the success of The Black Keys?
Nowadays a band has to tour to make a living so it is how we earn our living so we try and make it as good as it can be.
At the last 2 shows I’ve seen you play in 2008, it’s my personal view there’s a struggle to bring some of the increased subtlety of the Attack and Release album to the audience. At one Dan played the organ yet at another it seems you are playing increasingly to an audience who just wants the heavy beat and cranked up guitar sound. Fair comment?
I don’t know how much of that is the audience or us. I think that we preferred to just play the loud stuff this last few months of touring.
Why don’t more girls like The Black Keys? Are they really all at Kings of Leon shows, as has been suggested?
I don’t know. I am afraid of them anyway so it is best they stay away. And we look like managers from a sbarro.
Drummer the band. Is it good to have people talking about how your side project might break up The Black Keys rather than people bleeting on about Dan’s side project doing this?
I don’t know why people would say that stuff. At this point the Black Keys can only release like 12 songs every 18 months because of the way everything is structured. So if you figure we spent like a month on the last record that leaves a lot of time making music and sometimes it gets released.
Your own solo music making is very different to The Black Keys. The limited tracks on your MySpace site are very spare, hip hop related, and all I can think is that you will score a soundtrack to a major movie one day. Is that a possibility, the Spiegelman project after all is a start down that track?
I would love to do that. Who knows.
What bands should fans keep an ear out for that might be coming out of Audio Eagle Records in the next year or so?
The next release is a record by a group called Other Girls which comes out June 9th. They are from Cleveland and are a pretty classic indie rock/pop band. I am really excited about it.
The Royal Bangs, they have already released a record on Audio Eagle which I licensed to City Slang in Europe which has just this past week gotten four star reviews in the Sun and Uncut. Their next record comes out on Audio Eagle and City Slang and hopefully in Australia in September.
I am also doing the Drummer record which should be out in the Fall.
What’s the biggest compliment a Black Keys fan can pay the band?
Just coming to a show.
Thanks for your time.
Thanks for running the site. It is pretty amazing…it’s a huge compliment!
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