The Black Keys, the most famous rock band founded in the year 2001 in Akron Ohio, is actually a duo of Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The band has a few Grammy Awards to their name, along with a couple of other accolades. Here are some interesting things to know about the duo:
At the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in the year 2013, Auerbach won the Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, for his work including the band's "El Camino."
Their most famous second album "Thickfreakness," was recorded in a 14-hour straight session, in Carney's basement studio, where their recorded their first album "The Big Come Up. They reportedly recorded the second album in the same studio beacause, they spent their advance from the label on rent.
Auerbach is the cousin of guitarist Robert Quine, a "veteran of New York's avant-rock scene." He became infatuated with blues after listening to his father's old vinyl records during his childhood. He was influenced early-on by his mother's side of the family, notably his uncles who played bluegrass music.
The duo's name actually comes from an expression used by their friend, a schizophrenic artist Alfred McMoore - who used to call people he doesn't like as D Flats and Black Keys.
In 2005, Carney founded Audio Eagle Records. It signed acts such as Houseguest, Royal Bangs and his own side-project Drummer before closing down five years later.
Initially, Carney was only to help Auerbach, with recording equipment and his basement for allowing Auerbach to record a demo by recruiting other musicians. However, when none of the backing band showed up to the recording, the duo jammed and recorded a six-song demo consisting of "old blues rip-offs and words made up on the spot."
Carney first got into music at the age of 12, when he begged his father to get him a guitar. He admits that he had been one of the worst guitarists in the neighborhood, despite taking lessons regularly.
In an effort to raise money for the baseball league - the West Akron Baseball League, which they used to play in as children, the duo launched a charity t-shirt, designed by Patrick Carney’s brother Michael and sold at their shows for £15.
Carney has his own monthly radio show on SiriusXM, called "Serious Boredom." It is “a mix of standard indie rock leavened with Captain Beefheart.” The drummer has a theme for each show, centered around a different American city.
In the year 2007, the Black Keys were convinced by producer Danger Mouse, to write songs for Ike Turner's comeback album. Although they sent the demos to Turner, the band felt like the songs were more for them than the R&B legend. In the end, the tracks were used by Turner, who died before completing the album. The said songs were born as "Attack & Release."
Carney as well as Auerbach have been outspoken about their opposition to Spotify, the famous streaming service, stating it was not fair to the artist. They even refused to have their 2011 album "El Camino" featured on the platform.
In the early days of their career, the Black Keys were reportedly given just $5 a day for meals. Auerbach is said to have spent a few of that on Chinese take outs, leaving the rest to Carney.
Their most popular song "Set You Free" has been included in the soundtrack from "School of Rock." The song can be heard when Jack Black takes Joan Cusack to a bar for coffee.
After graduating from Firestone High School, the pair went to attend the University of Akron briefly, before dropping out to form the group.
With their most popular album "Brothers," the pair not only hit mainstream breakthrough, but also had a break in their relationship. It was because, at that time, Carney felt betrayed to discover Auerbach was touring a solo album, "Keep It Hid," which he claims was made without his knowledge.
The pair's first live show was at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom and Tavern on March 20, 2002, to an audience of approximately eight people.
The first DJ in the world to play their music was John Peel, for whom they recorded three sessions, including one at Peel's house, where they hung out with the family. It was reported that the duo were on the way to recorded their fourth session, when they received the news of Peel's death.
Carney's uncle Ralph Carney, played saxophone with artists like Tom Waits, The B-52’s, Elvis Costello, and They Might Be Giants.
Before their breakthrough, Carney was reportedly working in telemarketing, while Auerbach was playing music for diners during brunch at a vegetarian restaurant.
Before forming the band, Auerbach took up the job of handing out flyers to make a living. However, he was not able to last for more than 2 hours in the said job, as his boss discovered that he had thrown around 600 of the flyers in a sewer.
Carney, who has been as a part of every single Black Keys song, has never ever sang even a single word on any of them.
Auerbach is of Polish Jewish descent. His great-uncle was a Holocaust camp survivor and his grandma got out just before the Nazis closed the borders.
During their early days, the duo was reportedly offered a six-digit sum, to gain rights to use their music in a Hellman's mayonnaise advertisement. However, they declined the offer as they did not want to alienate their fan base.
Till date, Carney has never even had a drum lesson and claims that he has not bought any drum magazine, unless he is featured in it.
The most famous hit single "Tighten Up" from their album "Brothers," appeared in a Subaru ad, a video game, a Gossip Girl episode and on the soundtrack to several Hollywood films.
Their most popular single "Strange Times" from their "Attack & Release" album was featured in the video games "Grand Theft Auto IV" and "NASCAR 09." Another single from the same album "I Got Mine" was used as the theme song for Canadian police drama TV series "The Bridge."
In the year 2010, Carney's personal e-mail account was hacked and was used to sent out messages stating that he was stranded in the UK and needed money to get home.
Before the duo could afford a driver they used to drive from gig to gig in an old Chrysler van nicknamed "The Grey Ghost."
The duo reportedly sold out Madison Square Garden in just 15 minutes in 2012, which in comparison is still quicker than Jay-Z. However, it's One Direction who currently holds the record of selling out under a minute.
The music video for the hit single "Tighten Up" from the album "Brothers," which was directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, won the 2010 MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video.