The Black Keys open up about why they haven't toured in years

The Black Keys open up about their time apart

After playing together for roughly 15 years straight, The Black Keys needed a break. The multi-Grammy Award-winning blues-rock duo comprised of vocalist and guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, stopped touring in 2015. They didn't play together for more than three years and wouldn't announce their next album for nearly five years.

In their only TV interview airing Thursday on "CBS This Morning," Carney and Auerbach open up to co-host Anthony Mason about their time apart, the pressures of touring that lead to their extended hiatus from the stage, and new album "Let's Rock."

"Us taking a break wasn't 'cause we were sick of playing music. It's just we wanted to make more music, I guess. We wanted to be home home," Auerbach said. "Feel what it's like to kind of settle in a little bit. 'Cause we hadn't done that. I mean, we'd lived in Nashville for six years or something like that. And had never really spent any time here ... It was time for that."

For Carney, the first year off was about taking stock of everything. "I spent the first year just trying to get my life in order," he said. "Like, taking like a toll of what I even … you know, what I even wanted."

"I went on tour with my wife for a summer," Carney continued. "And the reason why it doesn't feel like that long of a period of time was 'cause it was the first time in my adult life, like, after the age of 21 where I was consistent, like, for months able to, like, wake up in the same bed … a novelty that has not worn off."

The Black Keys on why they took a break from touring: "It can become 'Groundhog Day'"

Auerbach and Carney took a break from the road at the end of their "Turn Blue" world tour. They were exhausted from travel and the monotony of performing, even describing shows as so rote that a sound check wasn't necessary.

"When you're on the road, you don't get to create music. You're just performing. So, it can become 'Groundhog Day' really quickly. Yeah, I mean, we started as a recording project. You know, neither of us have this crazy desire to be in front of people all of the time. It just happened to turn to out that way. But we need to make music. It's something that we have to do," Auerbach said. "I mean, we wouldn't even soundcheck. We'd go play in front of 20,000 people and I wouldn't even soundcheck. It was just like, I know what it's gonna sound like."

Carney expressed the difficulty of turning down headlining spots after playing to empty rooms for no money for so long.

"All of these people want to see you. You can't say no to the work and the shows are a lot of fun. It's addictive. The problem is you start gradually just whittling down your psyche and what you're able to process," Carney said. "Part of the thing with touring is it's not just the time on the road, it's anticipating the travel that's about to come and adjusting to coming back off the travel that you can maybe do six months of travelling on a record. The coming and going, it makes you feel like you were gone all year. That's how we felt for 2010 through 2015."


For more of Anthony Mason's interview with Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, tune in to "CBS This Morning" on June 27 at 7 a.m. ET.