USA Today

Work Hard, Play Hard: Life Advice from Patrick Carney of the Black Keys

By: Maura O'Malley

March 14, 2017

The Black Keys’ drummer, Patrick Carney, recently spoke with Rolling Stone about what it’s like to take a break for the first time in over a year (17 months, to be exact), ultimately giving us some sound life advice.

So, what’s on the agenda for a rocker on pause? According to Carney, “I’m just chilling, playing Battlefield One, and cutting onions.” So that pretty much translates to a whole lotta nothing. Rockstars: They’re just like us!

But “nothing” is a bold term, considering he just helped produce singer-songwriter (and Carney’s girlfriend) Michelle Branch’s new album, Hopeless Romantic, as well as some solo work from Vampire Weekend’s Chris Tomson. On top of that, he says he’ll help out on Branch’s tour by playing drums.

And even though he’s still worked a bit while on a Black Keys break, it seems like Carney has an easier time than his bandmate, Dan Auerbach, when it comes to taking off and enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Explaining the difference between him and Auerbach, Carney says, “He has a harder time appreciating the things he's earned. Do you know what people say on their death bed? They f*cking regret working too much, and Dan and I have worked our asses off. I'd like to see him take a break. The reason why [the Black Keys] are taking a break is for him to take a break.”

Still, Carney tells Rolling Stone, "This will be my first summer not working since I was in 7th grade. I mean, I wake up every day and I'm like, 'I can't believe the sh*t Dan and I accomplished.' But every day, it feels further and further away, even though it's only been a year and a half.”

He then shares a conversation he had with Arcade Fire's Win Butler and others. Carney said, “’What the f*ck, we haven't played a show in a year and a half!'” to which the others responded, “'Dude, every time we put a record out we take a year and a half off. You need to chill out.’”

Moral of the story? Word hard, but also play hard.