We never rehearse or practice before we go into the studio," says Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. "We just get in there and see what happens." In January, the band hit the vintage-gear-packed Keyclub Recording Co. in the industrial city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, to work on its follow-up to 2011's Grammy-dominating El Camino. "We didn't leave the studio for 10 days," says drummer Patrick Carney. How did they wind up in Michigan? "Our friends in the Kills told us about it," says Carney. "They have this really cool mixing console that used to belong to Sly Stone." Up next: more recording with longtime collaborator Danger Mouse. Adds Carney, "We've got to keep rolling the dice."
This story is from the May 23rd, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.