The Black Keys have come a long way since their formation over 10 years ago. The duo have released #1 records, performed on late night TV shows like Saturday Night Live, graced the cover of Rolling Stone, played in venues around the world and everything else you and I can only dream of. I had the chance to talk to frontman Dan Auerbach about the band's overdue success, their new album El Camino and his stance about the so-called death of rock music.

The Akron, OH natives are ready to embark on the biggest tour of their careers so far, hitting up arenas across North America with Arctic Monkeys as support. The Black Keys will fill up Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids on March 18. Just because they're playing in bigger venues, don't expect an elaborate production. The focus has always been on the music and that's not changing.

"We just do our thing, man," Auerbach simply states. "People come to see a rock and roll show. They come to see The Black Keys. We're not going to be like Cirque du Soleil on stage. I think that's why people like us because there's no phoney boloney-ness. It's just us playing music."

The debate about the relevance of rock and roll has been going on for the past several years now. Critics argue that there have been no acts to emerge and revitalize the scene, unlike those like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and others who ushered in the grunge era during the early 90's. The flip side of that same argument is that great bands have always been there. Guys like Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl have said that people just aren't discovering them. Auerbach believes the whole debate is pointless.

"I think that it's so lame of an argument, it seems so stupid," the singer says bluntly. "It's like the press needs something to talk about. Being 16 years old and getting an electric guitar is never going to get old. There's always going to be kids making music. There's always going to be kids in bands."

Auerbach continues: "Everything is cyclical. It'll come back around and be popular. The Foo Fighters are like the biggest band in the world. They play stadiums.  How is rock dead?"

That is a very good question. You can listen to the entire interview below.

Tickets to see GRD present The Black Keys, with special guest Arctic Monkeys, March 18 at Van Andel Arena, are on sale at the venue box office,, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

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