The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach creates soundtrack for comic book

He says it's "shorter than a double LP and longer than eight minutes"

The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach is writing a soundtrack for an indie comic book named ‘Murder Ballads’, which will be released in autumn 2016 via Z2 Comics.

According to the publisher, Murder Ballads is a “rock’n’roll noir story about the music industry and redemption”, following a hard-pushed record label owner called Nate Theodore.

Theodore makes a long journey through wintry conditions to escape his troubles when he encounters Donny and Marvell Frontweathers, who play “a raucous brand of doom-laden country blues”.

Comics writer and music journalist Gabe Soria will write, and Paul Reinwand will illustrate. The accompanying soundtrack will be created by Auerbach, who has brought on board musicians including the Dirtbombs’ Mick Collins.

He says the soundtrack is “shorter than a double LP and longer than eight minutes.” Discussing the brief he received from Soria, he says, “The music that he was talking about seemed—well, I could wrap my mind around it. He knew I was really big into northern Mississippi music, so I understood the reference points when he was talking to me about it.”

Auerbach added that he would not be listening to his soundtrack at the same time as reading the comics. “I can’t personally listen to music that has lyrics and read at the same time. That’s like doing two yo-yos at once. Absolute insanity. So I know how I’m gonna enjoy it: I’ll do them separately, but they’ll be connected in my mind.”

Auerbach recently hit headlines earlier this month after his Black Keys side-project, The Arcs, released a song inspired by hit Netflix series Making A Murderer.

The recently-aired documentary series was filmed over the past decade and focuses on the trial and conviction of two men in Manitowoc, Wisconsin: Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Both men are currently serving life sentences, having been convicted in 2007, with Making A Murderer paying particular attention to perceived injustices in the case.

The Arcs shared a new track titled ‘Lake Superior’, inspired by the story of Avery and Dassey. Proceeds from the song will go to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organisation that helps those seen to be wrongly convicted.

The band say in a statement along with the release: “It’s like Billy Childish says, ‘We live in troubled times’. Last week, we got a sneak peek at what goes on behind the curtains of our criminal justice system. A few sleepless nights later we gathered in the studio and wrote this song.”