My band The Black Keys released an album, TURN BLUE yesterday. Here’s a music video for the single “Fever”. We’re going on tour soon. I’m in NYC doing promo for the new album, maybe you saw us on The Colbert Report last night. Anyway, I’m here for an hour with Victoria from reddit in NYC and happy to answer your questions.

Thanks for writing. This concludes our 3 week promo trip. I'm heading to Alabama to play Hangout Festival. Then going home to play video games. I'll see you guys on tour hopefully. I hope you guys like the new album and I hope to come back.

Comments: 3431 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

gators881560 karma

I have a drumstick of yours, how do I get it back to you?

officerpatrickcarney1472 karma

You're allowed to keep it. I could not think of anything clever to write on my drumsticks, so that's what I put on it.

yontartu834 karma

do you prefer clean shaven Dan or Jesus-beard Dan?

officerpatrickcarney1023 karma

I have beard envy cuz I can't grow one. So I kind of resent beards. So the shorter the beard, the better.

Fredricus778 karma

Why is the band called The Black Keys? Does it have a meaning or is it just a catchy name?

officerpatrickcarney2106 karma

There's an artist that Dan's father and my father were friends with and helped take care of in Akron named Alfred McMoore. He was schizophrenic, and lived in a halfway house, and really liked to draw with crayons and pencil on 5 foot by 50 foot scrolls of paper, and he was constantly calling both of our houses when we were kids, asking our dads to bring him pipe tobacco, diet coke and crayons. And he would always end the message with "Don't be a black key. Don't be a B-flat." it was his way of saying that the Black Keys sounded dissonant, or insulting someone. He was totally nuts, but a really sweet guy. He used to cry constantly. He passed away in 2009, and Dan and I set up a non profit in his name in Akron that helped take care of him in that halfway house. The service that they provide takes people who have mental disabilities and it helps them pay their bills, makes sure they're insured, that the government doesn't provide services for like that.

IveGotAntsInMyPants688 karma

Is it your belief that Jack White is downvoting these questions?

[edit] Another kind stranger!! Remind me to clean out your ears with my tongue next time we meet (that's what gold users do, right?).

officerpatrickcarney537 karma


DarkGeno21627 karma

When will El Camino and Turn Blue be available to stream on Spotify?

officerpatrickcarney733 karma

Eventually, I'm sure.

alienzzzzzz621 karma

If I painted you a picture of a rooster would you put it in your room?

officerpatrickcarney1980 karma

No. Honestly, I wouldn't.

iamcornholio1495 karma

This is the first time I've made it to an AMA just as it starts (for an artist I absolutely love at that) and I have no questions. FML.

officerpatrickcarney676 karma


vaude_villain478 karma

Pat, who is your favorite muppet? this is a real important question man

officerpatrickcarney648 karma

Oh. Hm. Shit. Kermit the Frog, definitely, for sure.

JRDAY1989445 karma

Have you ever considered taking drum lessons from a true bro, YOLO SWAG musician like the Biebs?

P.S. I'm loving Turn Blue.

officerpatrickcarney794 karma

I've considered this past year taking some lesson from a jazz drummer. But I realized, well I second-guessed it, because I'm comfortable being shitty.

mnoebs408 karma

What is the most annoying thing someone has ever done at a show?

officerpatrickcarney885 karma

The most annoying thing that happened at a show was Leicester, England, and a woman jumped onstage who I'm sure had no idea who we were, I'm not sure why she was even at the show, and literally attacked Dan, but in a real aggressive way with her fingernails. Our tour manager grabbed her and took her outside. Also, throwing bottles is fucking obnoxious.

michaelhj367 karma

Hey man! I love the new album! Seriously every single song! Just wondering how was it to tour with the Arctic Monkeys? Also when you guys are writing an album do you ever throw in songs or ideas that you originally started working on a long time ago, or is it all fresh ideas?

officerpatrickcarney470 karma

Thank you. Arctic Monkeys we've known fora long time, they're really cool dudes. One of the most fun tours we've ever been on. They're extremely funny and really good at ping pong. And there's a couple of ideas that have been floating around with Dan and I musically for over a decade that we still haven't been able to correctly use. There's ideas that we've never been able to figure out how to actually make it work into a song. And whenever Dan and I run into a situation like that, we find it easier to start over. So most ideas are fresh, or what we think is fresh.

rdevadas340 karma

Hey Patrick,

Huge fan, already love your new album. My question is, I heard you and Dan bonded over the Wu-Tang -- who's your favorite member?

officerpatrickcarney553 karma

Hmm. I don't play favorites with Wu-Tang. Every single member that we've met has been awesome.

Yairt331 karma

Please explain your fascination with Bruce Jenner, the Microsoft Zune, Justin Bieber, and Jello.

Edit: Holy shit did I just get gold for that? Thanks, I guess haha

officerpatrickcarney776 karma

These are the things I like.

felisrufus321 karma


Greetings from West Akron! Love your music and everything you have done to put our city in the Limelight. What's the craziest thing that happened to you guys when you finally "made it"?

edit: Thanks for the Gold kind stranger!

officerpatrickcarney959 karma

I don't really know. I mean, like when we played SNL this past week, when I find out people like Charlize Theron listen to our music, I can't actually tell if they are bullshitting me to this day. But the craziest thing that's ever happened to me? Getting into a fight with Justin Bieber, straight up. An internet argument with Justin Bieber.

FlyingCricket270 karma

What is your favourite Star Wars?

officerpatrickcarney893 karma

It's a trap.

wildwildwest2263 karma

To suck up, love the new album and loved you on The Colbert Report! What was your favorite video to do? Mine has to be "Howlin' for You".

Edit - Is it true I received gold from Patrick Carney?! Best day ever on Reddit! Thanks!

officerpatrickcarney397 karma

Thank you! Making Tighten Up was the most fun we'd ever had. But also the video shoot for 10 Am Automatic was really exciting because we were young, and we'd never met any of our heroes before really, comedy heroes, and we had gotten David Cross from Mr. Show to direct it. So we got to hang out with him.

NotMittRomney241 karma

I'm a student at Ohio State, and we're all really sick of hearing Seven Nation Army at football games. How should we go about getting "Ohio" to replace that?

Also, you guys rock!

officerpatrickcarney390 karma

I dunno what could top Seven Nation Army, I actually get a kick out of hearing it at games. I prefer it to "Hang On Sloopy" the state rock n roll song of Ohio.

quijotudo241 karma

Hey pat, what is what you miss the most from your non-celebrity days?

officerpatrickcarney991 karma

I mean, I don't consider myself a celebrity. But I miss being able to express my thoughts and not have hundreds and thousands of teenagers attack me.

gnarsesh228 karma

If you could only eat at Luigis or Swensons for the rest of your life what would you choose?

edit: thanks for the gold!

officerpatrickcarney301 karma

Luigi's. Just cuz there's more variety. I'd be dead within 2 years at either choice.

IveGotAntsInMyPants227 karma

Is your belly button an innie or an outie?

[edit] thanks for the reddit gold, stranger! I've never had this before. I didn't know it came with this weird smell...

officerpatrickcarney384 karma

I've never seen an outie except for on a baby. I've only seen a handful of belly buttons up close.

maxalley215 karma

Hey Patrick! Could you talk a little bit about why you chose to record Rubber Factory in the abandoned coal burning power plant in Akron?

officerpatrickcarney388 karma

It actually wasn't a coal burning power plant, although it's confusing because there's a photo of that on the record cover. When we were looking for a place to set up a studio, the only place that we could find where we could make music loud was an old General Tire rubber factory that was really scary. And we set up on the second floor, where the offices were. And the downstairs was a giant open factory, and there was a laboratory next door to our room. And when they tore it down a few years later, it became a giant Superfund site because it was completely toxic, it was really bad. I remember walking up the stairs in that building, and having trouble breathing the next day.

Tac35204 karma

Was John Stamos actually involved in any of the songs? I heard that rumor before.

officerpatrickcarney274 karma


officerpatrickcarney399 karma

He played the drums on this record.

RoswellSpaceman204 karma


You don't mince words when you ridicule the music industry and certain musicians that rub you the wrong way. Could you please elaborate on what you think are the biggest problems plaguing the music industry today? And what, if anything, can be done to correct them?

Thanks. The new album is great by the way.

Edit: I've gotten gold three times in this thread! There's a "Gold on the Ceiling" joke in there somewhere.

officerpatrickcarney334 karma

Yeah, I just tell people how I feel and I don't filter out. Which can be a big problem, especially for my Twitter account. But yea, I don't know. If I knew how to fix whatever problems are in the music industry, I would be doing those. Instead I'm playing the drums in the Black Keys.

darkmeansdisco195 karma

what is the best song to listen to on repeat after a friend breaks your heart and trust and you feel like crap?

officerpatrickcarney232 karma

Oh man. Like a friend, or a boyfriend / girlfriend?

darkmeansdisco152 karma

like friend..good friend..

officerpatrickcarney576 karma

Sorry buddy. Maybe listening to Will.I.Am's version of the ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT theme song will put you in a better mood. Good times are out there.

SoGillT193 karma

What is the most life changing musical performance you have ever played??

officerpatrickcarney417 karma

Maybe we played a show in Oxford, Mississippi, the summer of 2002 and cleared the entire room and got offered a record soundtrack by Fat Possum that night, so it could be that. Or it could be headlining Lollapalooza in 2012, that was surreal.

syggy187 karma

a while ago someone asked you if you'd rather eat dan or get eaten by dan but you gave them a very vague answer. so, which would you rather?? (also what's the best food you had in the uk??)

officerpatrickcarney356 karma

I mean, I'd rather eat Dan, because that would imply I would get to live. And I know Dan would eat me. Usually when we're on tour in the UK we eat strictly Nando's or Wagamama.

TheFlyingPolack179 karma

Hey Patrick, What do you do most that bugs Dan?

officerpatrickcarney374 karma

Smoke. Cigarettes.

AnwynC179 karma

how do you not get bored playing the the same setlist every night during a long tour? How do you keep it interesting and not start hating the songs? (My band mates and i would love to know because we often get sick of our songs when we play them too much) I love your drumming by the way ;)

officerpatrickcarney262 karma

I've never been bored playing a concert. But mostly because I'm usually just scared, or tired. But yeah, I don't know, I don't know why I don't get bored.

javyisemu176 karma

Growing up in Akron, what did you do for fun?

officerpatrickcarney373 karma

I read comic books, I watched Terminator 2 a lot. And eventually I started playing music.

Frajer176 karma

Why is Justin Bieber such a jerk?

officerpatrickcarney1066 karma

If I was 20, and had millions of dollars and no mentoring, I'd be an asshole too.

heeldown173 karma

I remember watching one of your earlier interviews and you said you couldn't even keep a beat when you and Dan first started. How have you improved since, and where would you say you are compared to when you first started playing the drums? Moreover, do you think you can get even better?

officerpatrickcarney390 karma

I'm better. But I still have a lot to learn. See, drumming's like golfing. And I don't know why, but I just know I suck at both and am trying to get better. My grandfather golfed for 30 years, but never improved, but he always felt like he did, so maybe that's what's drumming's like.

texasradio011171 karma

My fiance and I are getting married August 9th... will you come to the wedding?

officerpatrickcarney385 karma

Congratulations. But no. I won't be able to attend.

beritasz153 karma

Favorite food for breakfast?

officerpatrickcarney434 karma

Cheeseburgers. I don't eat breakfast.


Ryno088151 karma

If you could back in time and punch one historical figure in the face, who would it be and why?

officerpatrickcarney471 karma

I mean, you kind of have to say Hitler, obviously. But I would like to punch Chester A. Arthur in the face just because he has fucked up facial hair. Just for his fucking beard, I want to punch him in the face.

Kknowsbest147 karma

If they made a movie about your life, who would play you (other than yourself)?

officerpatrickcarney344 karma

Whoever played Ralph on the Wonder Years.

Lolbusaur144 karma

Patrick, I'm a huge fan. You inspired me to get into music, so let me ask you this: what made you want to get into music?

officerpatrickcarney269 karma

My dad. Played me the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. And my best friend growing up Steve. Who got an electric guitar when we were in sixth grade, and I wanted one because he had one, I thought he was such a cool dude.

Giraffetermath114 karma

Are you still friends with Steve?

Edit: Thanks for gold, random stranger!

officerpatrickcarney237 karma

Sadly he passed away in 2004.

iToast12143 karma

what kind of sticks do you use? Also Hello!

officerpatrickcarney217 karma

I use wood-tip 5A's. And I use a brand called Vic Firth.

dk430130 karma

Love you guys, been following ya for over 10 years. What's been the craziest encounter on any of your tours? Cheers.

officerpatrickcarney192 karma

I had a really interesting encounter in a rest area in Northern California in the middle of the night once, I won't go into detail, but it was terrifying.

officerpatrickcarney349 karma

Okay in 2002 Dan, my brother Michael and I were driving on our first tour from Portland to San Francisco. And we stopped right near Eureka or something, right near the Oregon & California border, so Mike and I could go pee. We walked into the rest area, into the bathroom, and some guy was standing against the wall glaring at us, and another guy was in a stall with his pants around his ankles moaning.

We ran. We ran away.

I think there was something definitely consensual going on. That was implied. But we weren't supposed to be walking in there.

SinisterKid128 karma

I just want to say my wife and I are huge fans!

When I heard The Black Keys and RZA were making a song together I was skeptical but The Baddest Man Alive turned out surprisingly good. Do you have plans to collaborate with any other artists in the future, or is there someone you'd like to work with specifically?

EDIT: Also is it weird that we see you everyday?.

officerpatrickcarney163 karma

Oh that's Mr. Brainwash! That's one of my favorite posters. Mr. Brainwash did that for one of the Staples Center shows. I'm glad you like the collaboration with RZA. It's always intimidating making music with one of your heroes. There's tons of people that Dan and I would like to make music with but are afraid to ask.

clau72121 karma

Hey Patrick! I'm go to the University of Akron, and I just wanted to ask if either you or Dan have seen this sign they put up in front of Lock 3. Can't wait to see you guys play at the Q in a few months!

officerpatrickcarney159 karma

Yes! My mom works right down the street from that sign, and my dad just retired from working just across the street from that sign at the Akron Beacon Journal. It's really cool that Akron put that sign up, we've played at Lock 3 before, and at the Spider across the street we played some of our earliest shows. But I think it would be more fair if there were 2 more signs for Devo and Krissy Hynde.

Qyle121 karma

2 questions:

What can you tell a high school senior whose only aspiration in life is to be a drummer in a rock band?

Whats was it like going from two dudes making music in a basement to two dudes in one of the worlds biggest names in rock music today?

The Black Keys are my favorite band, and i look forward to seeing you at all your shows in Texas, thank you.

officerpatrickcarney193 karma

It's surreal sometimes. It's just surreal.

But my advice is just to go in the basement and play music and as long as you're having fun doing that, that's the most important thing. Dan and I ended up making a lot of decisions that I wouldn't advise other people to do, like dropping out of college. The only reason I was allowed to drop out is because my grandpa has a PhD, and he said it would be ok if I took a year out of school.

RobertJBull111 karma

Being a two piece band, do you prefer playing live or playing in a studio? Ya know, since one guy can't really play two instruments at the same time.

officerpatrickcarney173 karma

Recording records is our favorite thing to do. But touring and playing in front of an audience is something we've grown to love just as much.

kirancmbernard111 karma

Why do you only come out with good albums? All I hear is good music, which is always great

officerpatrickcarney261 karma

Thank you. We're going to change that when this ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT theme song comes out.

poke_it106 karma

Six hours. Three bands. Two musicians. Coachella 2012: the first time I ever saw you two live. I waited at the rails as three other bands came at went, with each audience member crushing me as they tried to go check out someone else. But I didn’t budge. There was no one else that I wanted to see more. You two took the stage, and, in fashion, began straightway with the set. Your foot pounded away at the bass drum as the colossal disco ball’s descent signaled “Everlasting Light”. A slight rain pattered your kit, as well as the rest of the stage, engraving that moment for the rest of my life.

Here’s my question for you:

With so many albums out, it seems that you and Dan have always been one cohesive entity, when it comes to music. I’m wondering how your relationship with him was during The Big Come Up, when he first showed up to jam? You had seen him as the popular soccer star around school, while you made a name for yourself as most unique. Was there a tension in your basement between you two, when Dan heard that none of his crew was going to make that legendary practice?

And, if you have time:

At one of your shows at the Honda Center of Anaheim, you covered the entire center of the audience section in a black tarp. The security guard said it was at the artist’s discretion and gave me complimentary tickets. Is there a specific reason you like having the center covered?

officerpatrickcarney124 karma

Dan and I have always been friends since we were kids. But we didn't hang out that much. But we both liked music. We had that in common. It's something we bonded over. There was never any tension when we played. Our relationship is very brotherly.

llarroc90 karma

When will you guys come to Norway???

officerpatrickcarney136 karma

Hopefully next year. We'll be doing another European tour in 2015.

rjgoldsborough86 karma

Why wasn't there a cover of the Entertainment Tonight song on the new album?

officerpatrickcarney131 karma

Whenever Dan, Brian and I make a record we all have to agree on what goes on the record. And I had some arguments. There's some unsettled business still. The song will be coming out though.

zangafan79 karma

What prescription are your glasses?????

officerpatrickcarney170 karma

I don't know but I have really bad eyesight.

suzycarmichael78 karma

Where did the inspiration for the song these days come from

officerpatrickcarney99 karma

We made that song in San Diego, summer of 2008, it was the first song that we recorded for the record that became Brothers, and I don't know where the lyrics came from, but I do know that we had just been on tour all summer and were extremely tired.

pauler9469 karma

Currently listening to Turn Blue, and it has become my favorite Black Keys album! What inspired the change in sound and what did you do differently in the studio to achieve that sound? Will there be a new Drummer album? What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

officerpatrickcarney123 karma

Mint chocolate chip. Everybody in Drummer lives in a different city now, so probably now. And every time we make a record, we make it in a completely different way. Early on we made our records in my basement, and each record sounded different even then because we were constantly getting new equipment cuz my equipment kept breaking. And this record we recorded the same way we've recorded the last few records, just slightly different microphones. You can hear the sound of a really classic room on this record more than any other record we've ever made. Sunset sound, studio 2.

willdarbanville64 karma

whats your favorite film?

officerpatrickcarney149 karma

Das Boot, or Major League.

js112559 karma

Hi Patrick,

Big fan of your Sirius show. First, thanks for playing so much Pavement. My question - if you could choose one artist to have a devoted station (a la Pearl Jam, Billy Joel, etc.) who would it be?

officerpatrickcarney114 karma

That's a good question. I mean, it's shocking the Beatles don't have their own station. I tried to play a whole show of Beatles music, but for some reason Sirius doesn't have the licensing to allow that. I don't listen to any of the stations that are exclusively devoted to one artist, I find them obnoxious.

FromHellTheyCame755 karma

Will you guys plan to play in Akron anytime in the near/distant future?

officerpatrickcarney104 karma

So we have no plans to play there cuz we're playing Cleveland in September. But yeah, hopefully we get to play some sort of show in Akron. I'm back there all the time visiting my family, I love it there.

zangafan49 karma


officerpatrickcarney192 karma

Dan's the internet denier.

It's his birthday.

TheQuietOne2547 karma

When you go to Swenson's, do you have a go to burger or meal?

officerpatrickcarney66 karma

2 cheeseburgers with everything and fried zucchini with ranch.

VonDeath44 karma

If you could only have one snare, which would you choose?

officerpatrickcarney92 karma

A Ludwig Black Beauty.

Slapton43 karma

Hey Patrick! What was it like fighting RZA kung-fu style?

officerpatrickcarney75 karma

Actually, that video was one of the more fun videos to make. Forgot about it.

frogginfish39 karma

What is your favorite cereal?

officerpatrickcarney68 karma

Smurfs cereal was my favorite cereal growing up.

Giselle-s37 karma

Any chance of a return to Argentina or South America with the new tour?

officerpatrickcarney58 karma


noegipegdims37 karma

fav jello+meat combo?

officerpatrickcarney55 karma

Honestly, my mind is blown by most. What's yours?

MrSheepSam29 karma

Which of your albums is your favourite?

officerpatrickcarney66 karma

I mean, I don't have favorites. They all were fun to make and they're also all fun to not listen to once we make the next record.

Kevin542228 karma

What is your favorite type of Aspic?

officerpatrickcarney43 karma

I was just in Germany, and they had Aspic on the menu. My favorite meat jello is lime jello with shrimp, tuna salad on the top, and a crown of pineapple.

kevinmc515027 karma

what's your favorite non-musical activity?

officerpatrickcarney84 karma

I really enjoy playing video games. I have 250 Nintendo games. And a couple times a year I will sit down and test my patience, but I usually play Xbox.

kevinmc515022 karma

what is your preferred brand of toothpaste?

officerpatrickcarney34 karma

No preference.

officerpatrickcarney83 karma

When I was a kid, I really liked Aquafresh. I just liked the colors. But do you remember when they made Bubble gum toothpaste when you were a kid? Yeah, I used to eat that, it was fucking delicious, but don't eat it. That goes right along with something that someone just brought up, Norway, and toothpaste, and half the food they eat in Norway comes in tubes.

sstizzle13 karma

Who wins in a fight: Bruce Jenner or turkey jello? Love Turn Blue, it's one of my favorites!

officerpatrickcarney33 karma

Turkey Jello and Bruce Jenner are both nonviolent. Everyone wins!

brandosphoto12 karma

I have a friend that thinks you guys are a "New" band. Should I punch him in the face, buy him all your old stuff, or stop being his friend?

officerpatrickcarney48 karma

I remember hearing Nirvana for the first time in 1992, and through that, being introduced to Sonic Youth when their record Dirty came out, and I thought they were a new band then, and they'd been around for a decade. So if someone punched me in the face when I was 12 for just discovering Sonic Youth, I might not be in the band the Black Keys today.

Mobius1310 karma

What was the biggest obstacle in your path to becoming a renowned Jello aficionado?

officerpatrickcarney20 karma

The biggest obstacle, here's what it is: reaching a point of pure boredom. It took a long time for me to finally search Jello Meat. And once I crossed that threshold, I became an aficionado.