The Black Keys have announced a new UK tour for spring 2015. It goes without saying that the Black Keys’ bluesy riff machine is one of the most thrilling in modern rock: eight acclaimed albums and sold-out stadium tours tell you all you need to know about that. But did you know that messrs Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are just as cool off the stage as on it? Here’s 10 reasons why.
Baseball benefactors: As reasons to love the Black Keys go, this one’s a home run: the duo continue to raise funds for the West Akron Baseball League they played in as kids, selling charity t-shirts on their tour merch stall. “Dan and I played little league when we were kids before we got into music; it was a really positive hobby that kept us from sitting around watching TV,” Patrick says.
Twitter heavyweights: Most bands returning with a new album would choose to announce their comeback via a press release. Not the Black Keys, whose eighth studio LP ‘Turn Blue’ they announced to the world through former boxer Mike Tyson’s Twitter page. Fittingly, the album was a massive knockout.
Soundbite kings: No interview’s ever the same with the Black Keys. Whether it’s Pat declaring his excitement “to become a 70-year-old man with no taste buds left who only wants to eat mustard” or claiming “rock and roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” it’s always an entertaining ride.
Auerbach’s production magic: Lana Del Rey’s last album, ‘Born To Die’, was a floaty, likeable-but-characterless listen. With the Black Keys’ Auerbach at the helm of new LP ‘Ultraviolence’, she was able to deliver a smouldering desert-rock gem.
Giant killers: They’re not afraid to hit out at rock and pop’s sacred cows. From Michael Jackson (“bullshit”) to Justin Bieber (“an irresponsible asshole”) to Jack White (again, an “asshole”), the Black Keys fear no man.
Their videos: Dancing pensioners (‘Lonely Boy’), creepy cable TV preachers (‘Fever’), playground romances (‘Tighten Up’)… Black Keys videos have them all. Why settle for a boring performance clip when you can have a little fun with your videos, eh?
They’re secret hip-hop heads: Away from the Black Keys, the pair have been known to dabble in rap. 2009 saw them start a new band called Blackroc, collaborating with Raekwon, RZA, Ludacris and more.
Radio Carney: Can’t get enough Black Keys? Pat has his own monthly radio show on SiriusXM to delve into. It’s called ‘Serious Boredom’ and is “a mix of standard indie rock leavened with Captain Beefheart.” The drummer has a theme for each show, centered around a different American city.
They’re principled: Early on they were offered a six-digit sum to put their music in a mayonnaise ad, but turned it down. O2 Priority Tickets for Black Keys’ shows will be available from 9am on Wednesday 16 July. Get Priority tickets to thousands of gigs up to 48 hours before general release, on O 2– text TICKETS to 2020.