Black Keys (Sort Of) Retract Nickelback Dis

'There's much worse bands than Nickelback. Maybe,' drummer Patrick Carney said.

The Black Keys are very good at a number of things: rocking, filling arenas with fans and killer music,

writing incredible modern blues anthems and, occasionally, talking mad smack about other bands. But we may have finally found their one weakness: apologies.

Perhaps you recall a time not too long ago when Keys drummer Patrick Carney used the occasion of the duo's first Rolling Stone magazine cover story to take a swipe at Canadian rock juggernaut Nickelback

, branding the "Bottoms Up"

act as "watered-down, post-grunge crap," among other unkind four-letter put-downs.

Well, the boys have had a change of heart, and in a recent interview with MTV Canada, they apologized to the Alberta-bred rockers ... kind of. "I didn't mean to single them out actually," explained a laughing Carney. "It just came out. There's much worse bands than Nickelback ... maybe ... That was the worst apology."

"That was terrible, man," singer Dan Auerbach told his pal about his quarter-hearted mea culpa.

Asked if perhaps they were just music snobs, Carney said no, but Auerbach admitted that perhaps he was. "I think I am probably, a little bit ... I bet I am," he said. "I don't like bad music, but look, I've got a lot of friends and not one of them has a Nickelback record," added Carney. "I'm not a small minority."

What was that he said about the worst apology ever?

It got better, though. Without naming names this time, Carney elaborated that, "there are certain bands that make me embarrassed to be ..." to which Auerbach chimed in, "human?"

"On Earth," Carney clarified. "Like, they make me actually want to take a spaceship away. I want to get that far away from them."

Carney realized his "apology" might not wash, so when the interviewer asked whether it might get awkward if the Keys run into Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger at an industry awards show or other official function, he said, "He'd probably punch us in the face. I wouldn't talk to him."