The Black Keys dismiss rumors they hated each other: "You just need the space"

Black Keys deny rumors they hated each other

Six-time Grammy winning indie rock band The Black Keys are releasing a new album, "Let's Rock," tomorrow – for the first time in five years.

The band took a break in 2015 after growing tired of touring. As the break dragged on, rumors spread that it was actually a break up -- and that members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney hate each other. But in their only TV interview, the pair told "CBS This Morning" co-host Anthony Mason that the rumors are overblown.

Auerbach said that the two didn't get sick of each other in "any legitimate kind of way" – "just the kind of sick of somebody -- you get sick of anybody if you're stuck on a boat with them for 15 years."

"My brothers and I, we used to beat the crap out of each other. Dan and I were more passive aggressive about it," Carney said. "But at some point, yeah, we definitely were like -- it's not that we were sick of each other. It's just that we just -- you just need space."

"It's not that we hate each other. We're just sick of each other's faces," Auerbach added.

"You can't stand the way each other smell. You know? The fragrances," Carney said. 

The pair makes light of the rumors in their new video, "Go," when a therapist sends them to a spiritual retreat. In reality, Auerbach spent the past few years recording a solo album and producing other acts. Carney married and toured with singer Michelle Branch, and had a son.

"It was the first time in my adult life, like after the age of 21, where I was consistent, like for months, able to wake up in the same bed," Carney said.

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


Auerbach and Carney had not performed together in three years when they reunited at Easy Eye Sound in Nashville last fall. When they arrived to start recording, Auerbach said, they had "nothing."

"All we had was a Ouija board," Carney added with a laugh.

But the simple approach has always worked for The Black Keys, who are known for the raw rock sound of songs like "Lonely Boy" and "Gold on the Ceiling." On their new album, "Let's Rock," the songs were typically recorded on just the second or third take.

"It feels like every time we work on something for too long, we just lose it, it just gets worse" Auerbach said.

"What is it you lose?" Mason asked.

"The magic," Auerbach responded. "The thing that you don't have to think about to get."

The pair first started making music together as teenagers in Akron, Ohio. At that time, "Pat was just learning how to play the drums. I was learning how to play guitar. But for some reason we were able to make things that sounded like music," Auerbach said. At their first show, he added, Carney's drums "exploded."

"There were like washers flying off, nuts, wingnuts," Carney said. "I was chasing drums around."

"I was singing, watching him. Watching everything just move away from his body," Auerbach said with a laugh.

The pair recorded one of their early albums, "Rubber Factory," in an abandoned tire plant.

"We could look through the floor. There was a hole in the floor that you could see down to like the main building. And there were like stacks of tires … " Carney said. "It was like, everyone just died of cancer one day. And then like the real estate agent was like, 'Come on in.'"

The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney open up about their time apart

"There was always some weird sentient cloud strolling around the second floor," Auerbach said.

"I smoked back then," Carney said. "I think the smoke actually cleaned the air."

The Black Keys broke through in 2010 with their album "Brothers," which won them three Grammys. Their next album, "El Camino," won them three more. Suddenly, the indie band was filling arenas. 

"Was there a point where The Black Keys got kind of too big?" Mason asked.

"It didn't get too big. It's just we toured too much. And we toured too hard," Auerbach said. "And the reason that we did that was because we spent so long making absolutely no money."

"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."

Now that their break is over, The Black Keys go back on tour in the fall. But Auerbach and Carney say their days of epic touring are over.  

"We won't do that again," Auerbach said.

"Well, we might. It depends if... the price is right," Carney said.

"If they pay us enough we'll do it," Auerbach added.

"Yeah, everything's up for negotiation," Carney said with a laugh.