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Black Keys Singer Dan Auerbach Talks Upcoming Documentary, Johnny Depp, Acting + More

Dan Auerbach
Will Rice/Lollapalooza

Earlier this month we sat down with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach before their headlining performance at Lollapalooza in Chicago. After completing an exhaustive world tour with the Arctic Monkeys, which included a stop in Grand Rapids in March, the Akron, OH natives have no plans to take an extended break. Auerbach shared how surreal everything has been in regards to the Black Keys success, including a recent guest spot on the Comedy Central hit Workaholics.

The Black Keys have spent the majority of 2012 on the road so far, promoting their 2011 album, El Camino. The North American trek included a gig at the historic Madison Square Garden in New York City that sold out in less than 15 minutes. Auerbach says the band’s rise to rock royalty still takes getting used to.

“Yeah, it was bizarre,” the singer says of their recent tour. “And I mean, here we are headlining Lollapalooza. A lot has changed and it’s still weird.”

The Black Keys are no strangers to Lollapalooza, but this year marked the first time they were the main act, headlining the Red Bull Soundstage on Friday night (August 3). As with their experiences at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA, the blues-rock duo have worked their way up to the top of the bill. While most would see this as the Black Keys validating their careers, Auerbach doesn’t put much stock into such thinking.

“I don’t know, man. I don’t think about it too much,” Auerbach says. “I think it’s weird to obsess about that stuff. It’s not helpful in any real way, you know?”

The Black Keys teamed up with veteran actor Johnny Depp to perform their hit “Gold On The Ceiling” at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards this past June. Auerbach admitted that they have declined requests to collaborate with celebrities before, but Depp is an actual musician and all-around nice dude.

“MTV proposed that idea and we were hesitant at first,” Auerbach explains. “We just sort of thought about it. We’re big fans of Johnny Depp. He’s made a bunch of really cool movies. We showed up to rehearsals and he’s like a really good guitar player [laughs]. He brought his own guitars and his own amps and stuff. And they were cool little ’50s amps, like stuff that I would play. He didn’t like go to Guitar Center and get an endorsement for some free garbage. He knew the songs. It was great, man. He’s a super nice guy.”

Listen to the whole interview with Dan Auerbach below, where we also discuss playing at birthday parties for foreign dictators, the types of TV shows Auerbach enjoys, his table tennis injury and more.

The Black Keys will resume touring on September 29 at Central Park in New York City. See all the dates on their official website.

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