Akron, Ohio-based rock duo the Black Keys have been playing to sold-out audiences on their in-progress North American tour, but they’re in front of a different kind of crowd in the video for their new single, “10 A.M. Automatic.”
In the clip, conceived and directed by comedian/actor David Cross, the Keys are seen performing on a mock public access television show. “We start playing in front of an audience of about 10 elderly people,” Black Keys vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach tells Billboard.com with a chuckle. “One of the old ladies gets up in the middle of the song, star struck, and wants to come and touch us, but two giant bouncers come carry her away.”
“10 A.M. Automatic” is drawn from the pair’s third album, “Rubber Factory,” which debuted last month at No. 5 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Although it has been accepted by MTV2, the video has yet to receive airplay, according to Auerbach, but can be seen on the Keys’ official Web site. “I’m actually kind of surprised they accepted it, because it’s the ‘anti-video,'” he says. “There are lots of slow cuts and really dry humor. It’s pretty unlike anything else.”
The group has been so busy with touring that what was supposed to be an off-day yesterday (Oct. 4) in New York quickly became saturated with activities, including a performance on NPR’s “World Cafe” and a two-song set at an ACLU benefit at New York’s Lincoln Center.
“We’re playing 14 shows in 13 days to finish this tour,” Auerbach says, en-route to tonight’s show in Philadelphia. “We have tentative plans to do another video but I can’t imagine when we’ll have time to do it.” A European swing begins Oct. 26 in London, and Auerbach says the group will be in Australia for New Year’s Eve, followed in early 2005 by a tour of the Southeastern United States and a full Australian tour in March.
And even though “Rubber Factory” is barely a month old, Auerbach is already daydreaming about returning to the studio to get busy on new material. “I’m already ready,” he admits. “The day we were finished [with ‘Rubber Factory’], I was ready to make another. I’m not prepared, but then again, we never really are.”