Patrick Carney of Black Keys sets Music Biz on fire on the Joe Rogan podcast – Variety

Patrick Carney of the Black Keys was rarely one who kept his tongue when it comes to music, and the flamboyant gadfly of rock did not disappoint when the duo appeared in an episode of the Joe Rogan podcast that is becoming viral in the Industry circles. The three-hour interview gave him plenty of time to tackle the Grammys, streaming services like Spotify and Tidal and even a friendly focus on SiriusXM (where both members host programs) and the record company of the group.

The cohort Dan Auerbach also took part in the interview, but Carney spoke almost for both. The interview slightly preceded the controversial Black Keys move to get Ticketmaster to close the entrance for resale tickets on the first night of their tour, so this was not addressed … but the types of music fascinated by the whiteness of Carney would certainly be welcome that and other topics grew if the duo ever got a part 2 with Rogan.

Some highlights:

Bundling: The practice of grouping – or including a digital download in the sale of a concert ticket, a t-shirt or a product – is just a way to make rankings, Carney insisted, explaining that the band's motivation to refuse Warner's grouping offer The records were a matter of dollars and meaning. Carney said that Warner, which distributes their label, Nonesuch, "asked if we were interested in a package, which is when you include your record with a ticket and five dollars from each ticket to Warner Brothers and then you'll get a record sale. It makes no sense to me and Dan. But we are told, "It's the only way to get a record number 1. … So, in other words, we would pay $ 10 for sale on Nielsen SoundScan. Returning the money we sold to Warner Bros. tickets, to a record label. F – that. If Dan and I were just our record label, we could give us five dollars per ticket … And it's all based on fear. Do you want to be relevant? "

Woodstock: When it comes to music festivals, "I think we're one of the few bands with a battery" that is still playing them, Carney said. Being the first band to come out of Woodstock, long before his problems became obvious to everyone, Carney admitted that he had less to do with the aforementioned programming conflicts than other problems. "It was more money than we had ever been paid for a show. Our agent was like" What …? Are you sure you want to do this? "I was like," Cancel. "It took four days for him to check in:" Are you sure? "We are like," Cancel. A, it won't be nice. B, I don't want to play it as our first show "(after four and a half years away from the tour). It's like," Well, there's a good chance it will be canceled, and if you cancel it, you will not be paid. "I was like, why should we want to call a festival that is canceled?" … I don't feel comfortable taking money like that. "

The Grammys: Recalling a time when the Black Keys were invited to perform on the awards show in 2013, Carney admits that she was in conflict over the appearance. "Playing music on stage with all this pop stuff that has nothing to do with what we do," Carney said. "But we couldn't say no; we couldn't knock until we tried. But first we had seen the Grammy show and it was atrocious. I mean, it's really so alienating."

In the end, Carney said they would come back on demand, but to hear the drummer say it, there's not much reward at the end of the line. As Carney told Rogan: "None of my favorite bands has a Grammy. The fight doesn't have a fucking Grammy. … What is a fucking Grammy? How, so it's this sh–? We're just having fun and congratulating ourselves. Does anyone look at this sh– that really cares about us? I do not believe. "

He also said that Warner Records told the group when they were in the running for the "Lonely Boy" record of the year that if they won, there was a plan to go through the song to the top 40 radios – which he is grateful that it did not happen. "If we had won that Grammy, it could have made our whole band grow. I've seen it happen with many bands. Become a school level. We would not have changed, but the fact is that you begin to acquire a fan base that is more fickle and perhaps more annoying. "

Spotify goes to bed with labels: Carney says that after "being quoted in Rolling Stone talking about Sean Parker and Spotify", he received a conciliatory e-mail from Daniel Ek, who is "a good boy, very intelligent", which led to constructive conversations. But, Carney added, "Basically, without explaining it directly, he was saying that he is paying our label to get our music. What they do with money, he can't control. At that moment, I realized, oh yes, there are some titles in circulation in these companies, which were – billions of dollars worth of shares were sent. "Warner Records, he said," gave us about two hundred thousand billion dollars. They paid us as he does. label: they paid as an artist's royalty and took all these deductions, and it was an invented number. "

Spotify royalty rates: Carney's biggest complaint with Spotify remains that "they treat almost all streams the same way. There is a royalty rate if you pay for Spotify and a royalty rate if you're listening to the free service." But he thinks that the rights of the author should be adequate for listeners like him who choose quality rather than quantity. "What they have to do, in my opinion, is to say:" This boy Joe has good taste for music. Follows 500 bands, which means that there is no way to listen to all 500 bands even over a period of six months – but when he chooses to listen to a song, it's worth 10 times, against this person who listens to "Old Town Road "a thousand times a day. Because in reality Joe is engaging with our things, not just streaming a song for free, like a Pavlov (dog), greeting his mouth every time he hears "Old Town Road".

"I look at my Spotify. I'm listening to 100 songs, that's all, because I have so many ways to listen to music. And I think the way to do it really is right that you take my 10 dollars … and you get those 100 songs and you give everyone 10 cents. But that's not how they do it. They're like, "We pay .0005-.0006-.0007 cents per flow … They're keeping all this money, but they keep it on the stack, and at the end of the day, they're just satiating the check from $ 100 million of Rihanna receiving each year. I know many artists who get checks for an amount of $ 2.50 for a whole year on a record that would normally sell as 5,000 or 6,000 copies. But it is not necessary (for fans to buy the album) because in practice you have to be an idiot to buy a CD today, because it is a digital file that you can eventually download from Spotify and have it on your phone forever. "

Tidal: "I pay for everyone (digital services). I have YouTube, Apple, whatever. I don't have Tidal, but it's because they gave the property to 12 artists and they're like "F— you." What the hell is it? Keep the property and pay a higher sovereignty, fucking c-suckers. "Honestly."

SiriusXM: Carney pointed out that he and Auerbach both have satellite service programs, which didn't stop him from going. "It's difficult because I think they are part of the problem, actually," he said. "Like the way they program the four or five rock channels – c & # 39; is a channel called Spectrum; Dan has a show there, and it's like the AAA channel, which would be KCRW here or & # 39; Morning Becomes Eclectic. & # 39; … This should be a format that highlights the current music, which is coming out, and they were playing a couple of U2 songs there the other day. I'm like "This is a band that plays the Rose Bowl; why are you playing them on the AAA, fucking asshole? "I look at the alternative station and the alternative station really plays pop music."

He also found himself limited in his ability to ask for favors, even as a long-standing SiriusXM host. "Friend, I did a show with that company for five years. I do it for free; I am not paid – five years, every month. I had only one artist I worked with that I was like "I really think you should consider this for something you could put in a playlist." This is not shit to pay – it's been five years! They were like, "He doesn't have the social media numbers we're looking for." Do you know what? This means that what you are adding is just a fool who is good at social media. I mean, if this is what qualifies you to receive the radio (satellite), then we are all f "ed."

Main labels, in particular Warner: The major labels as an institution receive not a little abuse, but Warner Music, with which both Carney and his wife, singer Michelle Branch, were affiliated, is chosen. The branch was actually signed in Maverick between the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, which at the time was distributed by Warner Bros. Records, while the Black Keys recently concluded their contract with the subsidiary Warner Nonesuch.

"I'm married to a woman who has sold millions and millions of records (containing) songs she wrote," says Carney. "And when he recorded an American record, Warner Bros. gave her such confusion. They filed a record that cost $ 800,000, because they said it had no success, so they were charged and dropped. They never released – that's how they do this sh–. Their archives are full of shit that has been set aside. "

To the question of Rogan if the musicians can work within a system of important labels, Carney said: "If you can integrate with the sector from the outside, it is the best. We have received offers from the majors soon" , remember. "But we kept getting stuck, especially because their contract wouldn't show up:" It'll be there in a week. "It doesn't show up. & # 39; It will be next week. & # 39; It was not. At 22, we realized: "If we sign this sh- and can't get a contract with us in six weeks, if we make a record we'll be so logjammed." So we took a risk and signed with a small indie, and later when we went to a major, actually a subsidiary of a major (Nonesuch) with a truly supportive president, we were out, again. We have never had an A&R to tell us to speed up or anything. "

While Carney has positive words for Nonesuch, he slammed unnamed executives to Warner, apparently for their non-response to an album by an artist he was working with. "For the past five years, Dan has probably produced 15 albums for other artists, I've made a handful, he has a label," says Carney. "The craziest thing is this: we sold millions of records, we made over 60 albums and the last time I finished a record I'm really proud of and sent to Warner Bros. , they didn't even respond to the mail. When this happens, you know what you want to do? They'd f – themselves. And now we're in a situation where our contract is concluded. "

Rogan intervened: "Do you need an important label?" "F— no," replied Carney. "It is so exasperating to have been in this business for 20 years and to be treated like a dog -." He then weighed an unnamed executive, presumably from Warner, because he has positive words for Nonesuch's boss. "We had this guy who was president of the label who took the credit for our success and wasn't even on the label (at the moment). I'm really proud of that band's success, because the "I did it simply by standing out of the way." He would not even sign a check for tour support. He is taking credit for not having invented it! "


CREDIT: Mark Humphrey / AP / Shutterstock

Data and discover algorithms: "I think it is harmful to the music industry to pay too much attention to certain metrics," said Carney, who praises members of the "old guard" as Lenny Waronker or Seymour Stein. "The whole system right now with the majors is signing s – which has the most interaction with social media and the most streaming. And you know what, when I was 9, I bought" Ice Ice Baby "by Vanilla Ice and I listened to that shit like 250 times in a week like a f-king idiot. That's who listens to this shit and gets a billion streams in a month. He's like a 9-year-old idiot. "

Carney talked about the session with independent producer John Vanderslice recently and the list of recommendations that Spotify made for further listening, based on their previous listening habits. "And every single thing was something I had already listened to, with the exception of an artist who didn't even interest me. With all the technology, with all the ways to listen to all the millions of songs on Spotify, they haven't yet figured out how to satisfy the desire of someone listening to new music … I think they got their ass so much in metrics and statistics that they stopped any kind of real care using taste. And the only way to get something useful is through the taste. "

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