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On the Road: Playing Table Tennis with the Black Keys

How Patrick Carney, Carly Rae Jepsen and more kill time backstage

The Black Keys

The Black Keys

Kevin Nixon/Classic Rock Magazine via Getty Images

Backstage used to be all about bourbon, blow and other dudes’ girlfriends. But these days – at least according to RS‘s informal survey – bands are keeping it a lot more wholesome. Here are some of our favorite acts’ rec-room-ready (chess? check!) ways to kill time between soundcheck and the show.

The Black Keys: Table Tennis
“I’m not very good, but I like to play,” says Patrick Carney of the Keys’ fave backstage sport. “I enjoy watching people get really competitive over a silly game. Also, it’s the only sport that four people can play in a hallway.”

Stevie Nicks: Drawing
“I probably have 40 to 50 pieces I work on continually,” says Nicks. “If I am a complete nervous wreck and I sit down with one of my drawings for five minutes, I will see something change in the drawing and I will love it.”

The Avett Brothers: FIFA Soccer for PlayStation 3
“We’re big on FIFA,” says singer-guitarist Seth Avett. “I’m always France. My brother Scott’s always England, and our sound guy is always Brazil. It’s a good gear-changer for us; it’s a way to turn into a zombie for 15 minutes -a straight dose of entertainment.”

Carly Rae Jepsen: Chess
“I always bring a chessboard on the road,” says Jepsen. “My stepfather used to teach it – at breakfast, he’d put out a chess problem for me to solve. And in high school, I had a big crush on a boy who played chess, and I thought, ‘This is going to be useful.’ I’m a really competitive player.”

This story is from the September 13th, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.


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