The 25 Best Dan Auerbach Quotes

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Everyone knows Dan Auerbach as the blues-rock frontman of the Grammy Award-winning Akron, Ohio-born band, The Black Keys.

The group rose to fame in the early 2000s with its brand of classic-yet-new rock songs like “Lonely Boy” and “Howlin’ For You.” The Black Keys, which formed in 2001, boast a number of stellar albums, from the lesser-known Thickfreakness to more modern releases like Brothers and El Camino.

More recently, Auerbach has been producing other artists from his Nashville studio—Musicians like Yoga and even Hank Williams Jr. But outside of music, what does the rock band’s frontman have to say about life and love, his craft, and the world around him?

Here, we will dive into the 25 best Dan Auerbach quotes.

1. “I never listen to Led Zeppelin. But, I mean, I don’t think Robert Plant or Jimmy Page listen to Led Zeppelin, either. We all probably obsessed over the same old blues records growing up.”

2. “When I learned to play music, I was listening to blues music. And all the blues music I liked was super simple and stripped down. And then all the hip hop I liked was super simple and stripped down and we always heard that connection.”

3. “Guitar solos bore the hell out of me. Only a few guitarists interest me, and it’s not about the solos they play, it’s about the grooves they create.”

4. “I’m not too picky about guitars. I love to collect them, mostly oddballs, but I’m not married to any brand or model. Whatever guitar has the best character for the song is the one I want to use, because if you’ve got a style, you’re going to sound like yourself no matter what guitar you play.”

5. “When I recorded my solo album, Keep It Hid, in 2008, I’d gotten more interested in songwriting, inspired by reading Charles Bukowski and connecting with unfancy, interesting language.”

6. “Bands from Akron have a sense of humor and don’t tend to take themselves too seriously.”

7. “A Grammy is really nice, but having lots of fans is really nice, too. I think just getting a record out is a success on its own.”

8. “I tend to name albums after one of the songs.”

9. “You know, there’s always someone in mind when I’m writing. You know, it all comes from somewhere inside.”

10. “Well, when The Black Keys make a record, I never really feel limited. To me, it seems the possibilities are always endless. The big difference has been playing live and being able to recreate every little part of the record.”

11. “Coming from a smaller place always made things feel more personal, which is really what it’s all about.”

12. “It’s not about success. Whatever happens, it doesn’t matter. I would like to not go bankrupt or get some incurable disease, but other than that, I’m just happy to keep going.”

13. “I am nice to everybody. But people really take advantage of it.”

14. “You get to bring your own sound system when you play an arena, all the lights, and visual stuff, which I think is really cool. There’s something about those old arenas, where it feels larger than life.”

15. “I started playing bluegrass with my family, so there were the G, C, and D chords. I was playing a Martin acoustic because that’s what Carter Stanley of the Stanley Brothers played. Then I got into the really raw blues of Hound Dog Taylor and started on electric guitar.”

16. “My mom bought me a white Strat, but that wasn’t what I wanted, so I went to a guitar store in Cleveland and—the guy told me it was a really good deal—made an even swap for a blue Teisco Del Ray. I loved that guitar and used it a bunch.”

17. “My mum’s family would all get together, with guitars, harmonica, mandolins, and upright bass, and play old blues and folk songs. That was normal to me.”

18. “I’m certainly not your typical front-man material. Some people love being on stage and really open up, and I’m sort of the opposite of that. I don’t crave the spotlight. I’m still not comfortable even talking on stage.”

19. “I’m definitely a guitar player, but it’s the last thing I listen to in a song, after the singer and the drums.”

20. “I used to be really nervous when I sang. Like, when I was a kid starting young, 18 and 19, and my dad really had to sort of push me to start singing in front of people. Ever since I got out there and really started doing it, the only thing I’ve ever tried to do is just sort of is be myself, you know, never put on a voice. Sing naturally.”

21. “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.”

22. “Devo and The Cramps didn’t get big until they went to New York City. Chrissie Hynde didn’t get big until she moved to London. When I was growing up, there wasn’t even a place to play—just one little bar. If we wanted to have a gig, then we had to drive 45 minutes up to Cleveland.”

23. “People will say, ‘Just one picture please.’ That is how it starts. There is just one picture and then somebody else wants another. And when I say ‘No’ I feel guilty.”

24. “Hip hop is the new rock n’ roll, you know what I mean? And anybody who doesn’t think that is just sort of living in the past. It’s all just American music, really, when you get right down to it.”

25. “The Black Keys is just a band that wants to get on stage and rock it.”

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

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