By Zachary Swickey
The Black Keys have been busy selling out arenas – like their two-night stint at New York City’s Madison Square Garden – but that isn’t stopping frontman Dan Auerbach from producing the upcoming album of LA-based garage rock by solo artist Hanni El Khatib.
Auerbach will handle production duties on the follow-up to Khatib’s 2011 effort Will the Guns Come Out after the two hit it off in France. Khatib even provided the design logo for Auerbach’s personal studio. Khatib recounted their meeting to LA Weekly, saying, “A friend owns a bar in Paris and introduced us when I was deejaying after a show. He went deep into music and started dropping knowledge about all these obscure LA bands. We ended up going back and forth deejaying all night.”
In other Black Keys-related news, the other half of the duo, Patrick Carney, has continued voicing his dissatisfaction with streaming services and specifically blasted Spotify shareholder and Napster co-founder Sean Parker, calling him an “a**hole” who “steals” royalties from artists.
Last month, Parker made comments at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, claiming that Spotify will go on to generate more income than iTunes over the next two years, which is a bold statement. Carney doesn’t exactly believe him.
“That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that’s the bottom line. You can’t really trust anybody like that,” Carney told US radio station WGRD. “The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I’m totally not against it. It’s just we won’t put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense.”
He continued: “Trust me, Dan [Auerbach, frontman] and I like to make money. If it was fair to the artist we would be involved in it. I honestly don’t want to see Sean Parker succeed in anything. I imagine if Spotify becomes something that people are willing to pay for, then I’m sure iTunes will just create their own service, and they’re actually fair to artists.”
The Black Keys got a lot of flak from indie fans upon the release of their newest effort El Camino when it was not made available on music streaming services. The band has been vocal in its opposition to the rising trend, saying it does not make much sense financially for artists.