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Be Specific: Dan Auerbach on the success of the Black Keys and the future of BlakRoc

dan auerbachDan Auerbach, one half of the Black Keys, will play a sold-out show at Constitution Hall. (James Quine)

By Allison Stewart

Rock's most prolific two-man band, the Black Keys have released two well-received discs in the past eight months, the rap-rock "BlakRoc" (a collaboration with hip-hop stars like RZA and Raekwon) and their own "Brothers," the latest entry in the Keys' increasingly impressive garage-swamp canon. Despite the fact that they really, really want to return to the studio, the Keys, who play DAR Constitution Hall on Monday, will be touring behind the disc until next year, at least. "We just take it one day at a time," singer Dan Auerbach says. "It's like being in AA."

So, "Brothers" enters the charts at No. 3. What do you do to celebrate?

Um, we didn't do anything. (Laughs.) I think we had a drink to celebrate. We went to bed early.

Will the success of "Brothers" change how you approach [your next album]? Is there a feeling of pressure now?

No. I mean, not at all. I mean, while our record is definitely successful it hasn't sold a fraction of what Eminem's sold, you know what I mean? It's all perception, I guess. We're just gonna do what we've always done, and make something that we really like.

How long after finishing "BlakRoc" did you enter the studio to do ["Brothers"]?

Um, three days?

Would "Brothers" have sounded different if "BlakRoc" never existed?

Yeah, definitely. When we started "BlakRoc" we did all the songs with bass and drums instead of guitar and drums. It had a huge effect on the overall feel of what we were doing. We liked that effect so much, we used it when we went to [record "Brothers"]. It sort of shaped the sound of the record.

(Why there probably won't be a "BlakRoc" sequel, after the jump.)

There have been rumors of a "BlakRoc, Part Two."

I don’t think so, although we do have half a record finished. We might get that out there at some point, 'cause there's some really great stuff. I don't know how….We just don't know if we want to do it, or if the world needs it. It was a project, an experiment. We did it and it was successful and that was about it….We paid for that whole project ourselves, and while we didn't lose any money, we certainly didn't make any money. It was a really fun experience. I just don't know if we want to do it again.

It seems like you guys would release albums a lot closer together if it was [up to you].

We'd probably release them a lot closer together if we didn't have to tour all the time, yeah, sure. Making records is fun for us. There's no big label on our back trying to [mold us]. We just do it because we love it.

By Allison Stewart  |  July 26, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags: Black Keys  
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