Hear the Black Keys Prank Call Their Record Label

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney plead with a Nonesuch rep to check out their new-age band Quartzazium

May 2, 2014 1:51 PM ET
Dan Auerbach The Black Keys prank call
Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Taking advantage of what seems to be copious downtime before the release of their next album, Turn Blue, the Black Keys have released a five-minute video in which they prank call the A&R departments at Nonesuch and Atlantic Records. Stifling their laughs as they call back repeatedly, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney plead with the suits to listen to their new-age band, Quartzazium. They ask one man to take a helicopter to Newport News at one point – "It'll be our last gig until the spring solstice," one Key said, blithely unaware that no such astronomical event exists – and at another juncture tell a man they're bringing their PA and lighting rig to the label's office.

How the Black Keys Found a Deep New Groove on Psychedelic 'Turn Blue'

The ribbing follows the duo's preacher-themed video for the Turn Blue track "Fever," which came out earlier this week. Directed by Theo Wenner, the video captures Auerbach getting sweaty as he proselytizes a crowd of the faithful and Carney nods along in the background. In one scene, Rolling Stone's David Fricke pledges $300 to Auerbach's faith.

Turn Blue is set to come out on May 13th, a few days after they appear as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live. The pair recorded the album in Los Angeles, Michigan and Nashville with co-producer Danger Mouse. "We were sort of making a headphone record," Auerbach told Rolling Stone in April. Drummer Patrick Carney added, "It pays off to listen more than once."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »