On January 8, 2011 — nearly a decade after they first started kicking around in Akron, Ohio — the Black Keys made their first appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” Needless to say, it was a pretty big moment for Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, who had spent no small portion of the past 10 years grinding out miles (and shows) in their van.
On January 14, 2012 — nearly six months after she first became a much-debated blog curio — Lana Del Rey performed on the same “SNL” stage . It was a pretty big moment, too, though mostly for her critics and those who enjoy deriding the current state of popular music. After all, they argue, it’s debatable whether Del Rey has ever seen the inside of a van, let alone toured in one.
So when MTV News sat down with the Black Keys in Berlin — for an exclusive interview you can watch tonight (February 6) on MTV.com, following the MTV premiere of the duo’s new “Gold on the Ceiling” video at 7:54 p.m. ET — we had to ask them for their thoughts on Del Rey’s overnight success, and what it meant for bands trying to make a living in 2012.
“On some level, we’ve seen that Lana Del Rey thing since we first started, like, all of a sudden this new band would be headlining festivals, and we’re like, ‘Wait, how did they get that? We’ve been here for two, three, four, five years and we’re still working our way up,’ ” Auerbach said. “But then they’re gone. Just as quickly as they get up there, they disappear.”
“It’s different for everybody. It took us a really long time to get on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and it took her a shorter amount of time,” Carney added. “But I honestly feel bad for a lot of bands that are starting out with the way things are. … The trends kind of flip over so fast — something’s cool and not cool and it all happens within two to three months.”
Of course, it bears mention that the same outlets that have criticized Del Rey for her perceived lack of authenticity and quick rise to a major-label deal are the very same outlets that have largely ignored (or largely ripped) the Black Keys, a band that has spent a decade making the slow climb to the top. And when it came to that point, well, the Keys didn’t exactly hide their displeasure.
“Yeah, [it's] ’cause they’re pricks,” Carney snorted. “It’s like, ‘What the f— are you talking about, motherf—er?’ ”
And though you’ll hear more of their thoughts on the media during our full interview, you can reasonably assume that the Black Keys don’t take criticisms kindly. In fact, they’ve been taking mental notes, and someday they’ll even the score.
Don’t miss the premiere of the Black Keys’ “Gold on the Ceiling” video tonight at 7:54 p.m. ET on MTV, followed by an in-depth chat with the band on MTV.com.