The Black Keys

Jack White might live in the same city as the Black Keys, but that doesn’t mean he has to like them. White has reportedly refused to let Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach into an event at his Nashville Third Man compound, and last year, when White’s ex-wife Karen Elson filed a restraining order against him, we learned the extent of his Auerbach dislike. White didn’t want his kids in the same class as Auerbach’s, and in an email used in court, this was his rationale: “that’s a possible twelve fucking years i’mg going to be sitting in kids chairs next to that asshole with other people trying to lump us in together. he gets another freee reign to follow me around and copy me and push himself into my world.” The Black Keys have now responded, and they’re not clapping back quite as forcefully as you might think.

Talking to Rolling Stone, Auerbach is generally quiet on the whole episode: “I don’t know him, so it’s extra-unexpected.” But his bandmate Patrick Carney, who has never been shy about popping shit in the press, says that White “sounds like an asshole” and adds, “I actually feel embarrassed for him.”

For the most part, though, Carney isn’t mad at White. He’s mad at the gossip-industrial complex that brought White’s private emails into the public eye in the first place: “I don’t hold grudges, man. I really don’t. We’ve all said fucked-up shit in private, and divorce is hard… I really think personal things are personal things. Like, TMZ? Honestly, they should be fucking ashamed of themselves, that they make a living dragging poor souls that have nothing, that aren’t famous, into this world… You’re a fucking rock musician, you’re a fucking actor, you’re a fucking model or whatever. It’s your job, you know what I mean? No one’s doing anything illegal, it’s just that people are living lives that get complicated… Those emails that Jack White wrote that got leaked, as fucked up as that shit is, that was a private conversation, and it doesn’t register to me. You know how horrifying it would be if all of our private shit was aired? And people go sniffing around looking for this shit. And ultimately it’s no one’s business.”

Comments (28)
  1. “And people go sniffing around looking for this shit. And ultimately it’s no one’s business.”

    On Stereogum’s regular feature Where’s The Beef.

  2. Patrick Carney to Rolling Stone on 5/20: “I don’t hold grudges, man.”

    Patrick Carney to Rolling Stone on 5/9: Spends entire interview ripping on Justin Beiber (sp?… eh, who cares) for dumb, childish, Twitter bullshit.

    Kind of an aside point, but with all his RS interviews and Twitter feuds, Patrick Carney kind of seems like he’s an enabler of the kind of crap that TMZ likes to draw light.

    • I disagree, I think he just made a comment on the Bieber thing because he was asked and that was it, hardly a grudge. He said his opinion of it and thats really it, it’s not like he’s taken to twitter to keep firing shots. I think the interviewer and publication are to blame for drudging it up and I highly doubt it took up their whole interview, but the editorial decisions are made to drive traffic, so they emphasized it.

    • FWIW, this is all from one interview that RS is turning into multiple posts.

  3. I think to touch on my latter point, if Patrick Carney knows (and he should) that the controversial stuff in interviews will be highlighted through the editing process, then he’s still knowingly proving himself to be a target for outlets such as TMZ.

  4. Why do people feel the need to defend Carney? Every comment I’ve ever heard from him is shit-talking or just something negative. He’s not a great drummer (I’d say the Black Keys’ talent is 90% Auerbach). Why do people even like this guy?

    • “I’d say the Black Keys’ talent is 90% Auerbach”

      Agreed. Coincidentally, it’s kind of reminiscent of the Jack/Meg ratio with the White Stripes.

  5. This situation isn’t as Black and White as it’s made out to be.

  6. I’m not sure Jack White even lives on the same planet as the Black Keys.

  7. Beef aside, the Keys haven’t, and probably will never create a record as brilliant as De Stijl, White Blood Cells, Elephant, or Get Behind Me Satan. s’all I’m sayin. Jack might seem a bit wacky, but that shit was a private email. Besides, something about that Carney guy is starting to rub me the wrong way….

    • I see their talents as very different. White may be more ‘brilliant’ if inconsistent, after all, I don’t think he’s ever going to create something as brilliant as those records again either. The Black Keys are much more consistent, and do a great job of solid songwriting throughout their career. I think people neglect jus how long of a buildup this band had, they’re not some band that was manufactured for fame and success, they built it over years of consistent good songwriting and performance.

      • Black Keys more consistent than Jack White? I’ll agree to disagree. I don’t even think the Keys have made a record on the same level as Blunderbuss. and I really don’t dislike them, they have some really nice tunes here and there, but White kills them on a record to record basis. :kanyeshrug:

        • I’ll take The Big Come Up and Rubber Factory of Blunderbuss. And especially over any Raconteurs. But I’ll agree, Jack White’s best is better than Black Keys best.

  8. Time to settle this feud once and for all. On Family Feud. OWWWOOOOOOOOOO!

  9. Uggh I am sick of the Black Keys’ album promotion cycle.

  10. People need to lighten up on Pat Carney. And media outlets like Stereogum need to stop giving his opinions attention. That’s really the problem here. He’s just another American expressing his opinions like we like to do so much. All of us are doing it by commenting on this. And in this case it wasn’t even his own initiative. He was asked those questions by Rolling Stone and he answered them honestly as himself. I actually met Carney in person once and he was a nice, down-to-earth, kinda awkward dude.

    • And on the Jack White vs. The Black Keys debate, I love them both. Jack is definitely the more talented musician, but like many great musicians, he can be an egotistical asshole. I don’t hold it against him. People (including Jack White) need to stop accusing the Black Keys of ripping off The White Stripes. Throughout the history of the blues, every musician has borrowed ideas from others, including Jack White. There was actually a band from Columbus called The Bassholes that was doing the whole two-man, guitar-and-drums blues-rock thing long before the White Stripes or Black Keys even existed. Look’em up.

      • And comparing Black Keys with White stripes because they’re both vaguely blues two-pieces, is like trying to claim all 4 piece punk bands are the same.

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