Here's something that doesn't make a lot of sense: some of the most successful musicians in the world are often painfully shy, that short list starting with giants like Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Adele, Prince, Kurt Cobain, and Freddie Mercury. Even the King of Everything--that would be Elvis Presley--was often at a loss for words when it came to making small talk.
Just because you're comfortable standing in front on 12,000 people on a stage doesn't mean you're going to be the life of the dinner party.
At the beginning of his career, getting the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach to open up was a bit of a challenge--the Straight talked to the guitarist many times when the band hit town back in its club-show days. That's right, if you never saw the Black Keys at the Pic Pub, Red Room, or Richard's on Richards, you missed out big time.
But as introverted as he could be in conversation, there were signs that Auerbach and his co-conspirator, drummer Patrick Carney, were probably hilarious in their private lives. How else does one explain early videos like "10 A.M. Automatic". That's where the Keys play deadpan in the kind of rest home that somehow manages to make dying young seem appealing. As great as Auerbach's guitar solo is, it's almost overshadowed by what happens at the 2:35 mark.
As the Black Keys have graduated to one of the biggest bands on the planet, Auerbach and Carney have slowly revealed their inner comedians--the two possessing a wit that definitely on the dry side. Recall if you will the video a few weeks back for "Go", in which the two head off to a retreat for some much-needed relationship therapy.
Not done preparing there for their post-music careers, the two Black Keys have now surfaced in a "MasterCourse" video for Funny or Die. Modelled after MasterClass clips featuring the likes of deadmau5, Hans Zimmer, and Armin Van Buuren, this unofficial edition is most notable for its refreshing honesty.
Auerbach starts out by providing an invaluable window into his creative process: "“Every song on a record is trying to accomplish something. That song, in particular, was trying to trying to get me a new pool.”
From there the guitarist talks the importance of taking inspiration from one's surroundings (“I wrote that song while eating caviar with Michael Jordan in Paris”) while Carney proves brilliant insight into what makes a great drummer ( “It means a lot to be a drummer. One of the things it means is that you’re not a good guitar player –– or as good as someone else that you know who’s in your band.”)
The video is the latest promo rollout of the Black Keys new album "Let's Rock", which will bring the duo to Rogers Arena this November 24. Don't you wish you'd seen them at the Pic Pub?