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24 April 2022

The Black Keys: “We Don’t Put Restrictions On Ourselves”

The Black Keys
Jim Herrington/press
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The Black Keys have spoken about their experience of making their new album, Dropout Boogie, in a new interview with Uncut magazine.

The duo – guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney – discussed their spontaneous attitude when they started making the album. “We were just making it up as we went along,” said Auerbach. Carney elaborated, discussing their open attitude to working, “That’s the cool thing about music. It’s designed to be collaborative. It’s fun to do stuff on your own occasionally, but it’s easier and more fun to do stuff with other people… All it really takes to be a good collaborator is the ability to recognise when an idea is good. That’s it. That’s all it takes.”

Carney went on to consider the reason The Black Keys have never officially expanded beyond the two-man line-up, despite their music moving beyond their initial blues rock, “We don’t put restrictions on ourselves and we’re not forcing ourselves to play as a two-piece. This is just naturally how we want to play.”

One of the collaborators on the new album is Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame. Gibbons also spoke to Uncut about the experience of working with The Black Keys, first discussing how he became a fan of the duo, “I was enamoured with the success of such an unpredictable outing – just guitars and drums. It’s been done forever, but it hadn’t really been done the way they do it. We met a while back and maintained a friendship over the years, based on our love of old guitars and classic cars.”

Gibbons went on to recall how Didn’t I Love You, the closing track of Dropout Boogie, came about, saying that he’d noticed a particularly enticing guitar in Auerbach’s collection. “Dan tells me it’s Hound Dog Taylor’s guitar! I ask if I can play it and he says, ‘Fire it up.’ So I plug in, Dan plugs in, Pat grabs his sticks and takes his place at the skins, and off we go. We’re knocking around for a bit, then Dan gives me a wink and says, ‘Hey, this sounds pretty good. Let’s keep going.'”

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