The Black Keys might be #1 artists now — Turn Blue is killing it — but did you know that they’re also pretty prolific producers?
You may already how that lead signer Dan Auerbach won a Grammy for Producer of the Year in 2013 — or that he worked on Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence — but did you know that he also produced for the likes of JEFF The Brotherhood and Ray LaMontagne? Or that Patrick Carney worked with Tennis and The Black Lips?
In honor of the band’s recent #1 hit, we’ve compiled a playlist of acts the duo has produced in the past, as well as three of the most important lessons learned by said acts.
1). Try New Tech
“We never used Pro Tools before. We were always pretty strict about doing everything analog and never really would give it a chance. Patrick wanted to use that. He was just like, ’Yeah, trust me, it’s fine.’ We ended up really liking it a lot. We’ll still do analog, but now we’re not totally opposed to that idea.” – Jared Swilley, The Black Lips
2). Keep It Simple
“Patrick Carney has a way of reducing a song to its simplest, most concentrated form. For us, he is a genius at creating power through simplicity. His approach to recording feels like an exercise in objectivity. Privileging the song over its parts keeps us focused, and keeps us from taking the easy way out. If a song isn’t right, we work on it until it’s right. Sometimes it’s painful to look at your work in such a clear-eyed, exacting way, but that’s exactly what we need out of a producer.” – Tennis
3). Trust Your Gut
“Beyond the endless amount of nerdy gear knowledge, working with Dan taught me a lot about trusting your gut and just recording what feels good. If it’s not working or it feels like too much of a struggle it’s ok to move on. It’s only music, anyway.” – Hanni El Khatib