Interview with The Black Keys: The Faces Of Great Music

So everyone has to wait another whole year for the album.

Yeah. Our record label doesn’t want to release records in the fall anymore. They’re going to pretty much switch to only doing spring releases; which is good for us because it forces us to take an extra six months off, which I think is good. It’s easy to burn out.

When you schedule a time to write is there a lot of pressure to actually be ready to write that month?

No. I think when we do set aside time to make music it’s always really easy—actually making music. Sometimes it’s hard scheduling the time, which seems ridiculous, I guess. Sometimes shows will come up and we’ll start taking shows here and there and then it starts adding up. The month you set aside to do something is now taken up by 10 shows or something. When we set aside time to write we’re really just going to make demos and sketch out rough ideas, maybe half of them we’ll end up using for the record.

So you’ve never set aside time and then had terrible writer’s block?

No. Dan’s constantly writing lyrics and I think most bands have the hardest time with that. He usually has a book full of them so it’s more just coming up with music. The one thing that can happen is that it’s easy to write the same thing or the same idea over and over again. So you have to think of new ideas so all your songs don’t sound the same. That’s the trick.

How did you pick which show would be filmed for your DVD?

We didn’t actually know it would be a DVD when it was being filmed. Our friend asked if he could film it and then later it became a DVD.

So you didn’t feel any pressure not to mess up?

No. But I always mess up. Not in a way that people notice, except one time. One show we messed up so bad we had to stop. It was the only time since we became a band we had to stop playing.

When was that?

Last year. I can’t remember where exactly it was. I’ve blocked it out.

Is it hard to watch DVDs of yourself playing?

I don’t like to watch myself play.

Do you make weird faces when you drum?

Yes. And they’ve gotten weirder over the years.

Maybe the weirder the face, the better drummer you are.

I’d like to think that’s true, yes. I hope I make really weird faces because I’m a great drummer.

Do you want to plug your New York shows so that both will sell out?

Yes. Help us sell out both shows. And come to the New Jersey show.

Are you playing in New Jersey?

No. So help us sell out the New York shows.

Catch The Black Keys at the Electric Factory in Philly on Feb. 5 and at Terminal 5 in NYC on Feb. 6 and 7. For more info, visit

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