We here at Entertainment Weekly like to think of our jobs as highly specialized. (Not just anyone can push that little voice-recorder button while simultaneously asking questions and nodding, wisely, you know.) But when the Black Keys said they wanted to be interviewed by Danny McBride, how could we refuse? After all, the platinum-selling, Grammy awards-collecting rock duo just released their eighth studio album, Turn Blue, and will be dominating festivals and headlining arena shows from Croatia to Cleveland this summer. We asked McBride, 37 — so memorable as egomaniacal pitcher Kenny Powers on HBO’s late, lamented Eastbound & Down and as himself in last year’s star-packed apocalyptic meta-comedy This Is the End — to kick off our Summer Music Preview issue by manning the tiny microphone.
The result? A free-flowing, and somewhat tequila-fueled, chat about the band’s early years, how they got blacklisted by ad agencies, and the appropriate place to keep your Grammy awards (hint: there should be crystals nearby). In addition, we got McBride to tell us what Matthew McConaughey, Don Johnson, and Emma Watson smell like, while the Keys revealed their nasal memories of Johnny Depp, Barack Obama, and Keith Richards.
McBride’s afternoon with the Black Keys is just the tip of the iceberg — the perm atop the disgraced baseball player, if you will — of our Summer Music Preview package. You can also read backstage tales from Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill, Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy, and Haim bassist Este Haim, among others. Plus? Blondie legends Debbie Harry and Chris Stein reveal the stories behind some of their best-known songs from the past 40 years, including “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture.”
Don’t like music? Well, that’s kind of weird. Regardless, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly also has plenty of film-, TV-, and book-related malarkey as well, from a sneak peek at Fox’s new Batman prequel show Gotham to a first look at the Tina Fey-starring big-screen version of the best-selling novel This Is Where I Leave You to reviews of Godzilla and Million Dollar Arm. The latter, of course, is a film about baseball which, thanks to the elliptical nature of time and space, brings us right back to our cover star Danny McBride.
Want to hear about the teenage wasteland of his first summer job, and the Black Keys’ too? Watch our exclusive video below:
For more from our Summer Music Preview, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, May 16.