By now, Jack White's distaste for the Black Keys — and vice versa — shouldn't come as a shock. Both bands currently reside in Nashville, where White reportedly once blocked Dan Auerbach from entering an event at his studio. And in August, a strongly worded private e-mail leaked in which White begged his ex-wife Karen Elson to take his kids out of the same class as Auerbach's daughter. (He also accused the Keys of ripping him off.)
It's also not surprising that Keys drummer Patrick Carney, fresh off a new round of feuds with Justin Bieber and the folks behind Michael Jackson's Xscape album, would come to Auerbach's defense. In the current issue of Rolling Stone, he does just that, saying White "sounds like an asshole." But he also admits he has sympathy for his latest foe. Especially since the quotes slamming the Keys that flamed this feud were lifted from private e-mails.
"I actually feel embarassed for him," Carney tells RS writer Patrick Doyle. "I don't hold grudges, man. I really don't. We've all said fucked-up shit in private, and divorce is hard."
For his part, Auerbach refused to enter the fray – "I don't know him, so it's extra-unexpected," was the extent of his take – but Carney had plenty more to say on the subject. But not about White, but the (very lucrative) business of making private matters public.
"I really think personal things are personal things. Like, TMZ? Honestly, they should be fucking ashamed of themselves, that they make a living dragging poor souls that have nothing, that aren't famous, into this world," Carney says. "Everybody should be scrutinized? I don't believe that. I think that if you come off with a strong platform or moral agenda, then, yeah, maybe you should be scrutinized if there's a conflict there. Like, if you're a TV evangelist who's doing something awful.
"But you're a fucking rock musician, you're a fucking actor, you're a fucking model or whatever. It's your job, you know what I mean?" he continues. "No one's doing anything illegal, it's just that people are living lives that get complicated."
Ultimately, Carney believes he and Auerbach (and the rest of us) never should have known about White's private feelings about the Keys. " Those e-mails that Jack White wrote that got leaked, as fucked up as that shit is, that was a private conversation, and it doesn't register to me. You know how horrifying it would be if all of our private shit was aired? And people go sniffing around looking for this shit. And ultimately it's no one's business."