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Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney andguitarist-vocalist Dan Auerbach are currently continuing the experimentation heard on 2008’s Attack and Release through their respective side projects. Beforeregrouping for this fall’s Blakroc project with Mos Def and RZA, Auerbach is touring in support of his solo album, Keep It Hid, and Carney is playing bass in his new side band, Drummer.
Do the extracurricular projects signal a new direction or broadening of sound? Or could it prompt them to draw back to the purer elements of the Black Keys?
“Dan and I started the Black Keys when we were very young and our first record came out when we were both 22,” says Carney. “In the past seven years we have grown a lot as musicians and have started to feel comfortable changing and doing what we want. Neither of us would ever want to feel like we need to sound a certain way to be pure.”
“I think what is truly pure is being honest and that is what we have been doing since we started playing music together.”
Drummer, a musical cabal formed by drummers from various bands, released the album Feel Good Together on September 29th. “I played the bass and helped write and arrange the songs, but keep in mind the other four guys are some of the best musicians I have ever met,“ Carney says.
Drummer’s debut merges harmonies with something akin to the layered playing of Built to Spill, but Carney is elusive when talking about the origin of the sound.
“The blues are to the Black Keys as hot dogs are to Drummer.”
A direct album title like Feel Good Together combined with the giant sundae cover art projects a positive message that dovetails with the often buoyant tone of the album. How much thought went into post recording marketing?
“I think we are all positives guys most of the time and we also like coming up with idiotic ideas and then following through,” Carney says. ” We have been talking a lot about opening a Wright Brothers themed sushi restaurant called Kitty Hawk. As I imagine you know 90% of all airplanes are filled with meat and in fact the plane was invented to carry fish meat to Dayton.”
Feel Good Together was released by Carney’s label, Audio Eagle Records. While on tour, label mates the Royal Bangs are opening for Drummer, though Carney brushes aside questions about schooling them in the ins and outs of touring.
“All my ‘road’ stories involve Marriotts and Arby’s.”
Drummer performs with the Royal Bangs at DC9 on Monday, October 12th. Tickets are $12.