You probably know drummer Patrick Carney as half of the Black Keys, the acclaimed Akron, Ohio, duo he formed in 2001 with guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach. But Carney has been equally prolific with his own ventures, including Audio Eagle (his record label and recording studio) and now Drummer (a band featuring four other Ohio skinsmen that just released Feel Good Together). Carney, the nephew of multi-instrumentalist Ralph Carney (Tom Waits, They Might Be Giants), always seems to have a lot going on, including Blakroc (a Black Keys project with rappers such as Jim Jones, Mos Def, Q-Tip, RZA and Ludacris with an album due next month) and a Black Keys New Year’s Eve show in Chicago. Carney will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our 2005 Black Keys feature.
Drummer’s “Feel Good Together” (download):
MAGNET: Drummer started playing together about the time Dan’s solo record (2008’s Keep It Hid) came out. Did one have to do with the other?
Carney: Yeah. He put out his solo record, and I had about five months with nothing to do. So I started a band with the intention of making a record and playing some shows.
How did you pick which drummer from Drummer would get to drum in the band? Is it because Greg (Boyd) can’t play any other instruments?
Well, no one wanted to drum except Greg, so he became to the drummer of Drummer. I really wanted to play guitar, but Jamie (Stillman) wanted in the band, so I switched to bass since he’s a much better guitar player.
How does Drummer compare to other “supergroups” that formed around its members playing the same instrument, such as GTR (Steve Hackett and Steve Howe) and Freebass (Peter Hook, Andy Rourke and Mani)?
I’ve never listened to these horrendous-sounding projects, but we are probably similar.
Would you guys win in a fight with them since you guys are drummers?
We would win in a fight. I can’t fight, but Jon (Finley) and Steve (Clements) probably can. Greg and I could probably start a fight pretty good, though.
Now that you have a record out and have toured, do you see Drummer continuing as an ongoing endeavor? Or will it be more a one-off thing?
I would like to do another record and some more shows, but the next year is going to be really busy for me. So we’ll see when it actually happens.
Who is the best drummer to ever come out of Ohio?
Best drummer from Ohio? I don’t actually know. There are lots of great drummers from Ohio. Just because I’m from Akron, I’m going to say Alan Myers of Devo.
What is your favorite drummer joke?
I don’t really get drummer jokes.
What can you tell us about Blakroc?
It’s awesome. Buy it when it comes out.
What’s upcoming on your Audio Eagle label?
Another Other Girls record next year and probably some seven-inches and lots of other cool shit, provided I make my money back off the last three releases. Honestly, everyone needs to buy the new Royal Bangs record. It’s amazing.
—Eric T. Miller