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Black Keys' Patrick Carney Clarifies Band's Stand on Spotify

'If it was fair to the artist, we would be involved in it'

March 27, 2012 1:21 PM ET
patrick carney black keys
Patrick Carney of The Black Keys performs in London.
Jim Dyson/Getty Images

In an interview with WGRD 97.9 after a show in Grand Rapids, Michigan last week, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney – in typical Patrick Carney fashion – expressed his continued frustration with the popular music streaming service Spotify.

"If it was fair to the artist, we would be involved in it," Carney told the station. "I imagine if Spotify becomes something that people are willing to pay for, then I'm sure iTunes will just create their own service, and they're actually fair to artists."

When asked about Napster founder and current Spotify board member Sean Parker's claim that within two years Spotify will be generating more revenue for the music industry than iTunes, Carney put it quite bluntly: "He's an asshole. That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that's the bottom line. You can't really trust anybody like that. The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I'm not totally against it. It's just we won't put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense."

Carney's statement should come as no surprise to Black Keys fans who looked to streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and MOG to hear the duo's latest album, El Camino, and found it missing. It was a planned move by Carney and bandmate Dan Auerbach, who withheld the record from such services for financial reasons, with Carney telling VH1 Spotify is "set up to be a little more fair for the labels than the artists."

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