“Noel’s process is purely guitar. He’s just so in love with the chords”: Dan Auerbach on the lessons he learned from working with Noel Gallagher

“We couldn’t move on until he got that good feeling.”

Dan Auerbach (left) and Noel Gallagher (right). Both are photographed on stage. Dan is playing an electric guitar, and Noel is playing a Gibson acoustic.

Images: Jamie McCarthy (left) and Mark Holloway (right) / Getty

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The new album from The Black Keys, Ohio Players, has finally arrived, and it features Noel Gallagher on three of its tracks.

The rock duo – frontman Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney – have been sharing their excitement on the former Oasis guitarist’s contributions since they began working on the record last year. Gallagher is credited on tracks On The Game, Only Love Matters, and You’ll Pay.

Following the experience of working alongside Gallagher, who Carney has previously referred to as ‘The Chord Lord’, Auerbach continues to have only glowing feedback to report on what it’s really like to work with him.

Speaking in the new print issue of Guitar Player, Auerbach says: “We wrote those songs together in a room, and Noel had his [1963] Gretsch [6210 Chet Atkins], I had a guitar and a bass, Leon [Michels] was on keyboard and Pat was playing drums. We were in a circle – Toe Rag [Studios] is very, very small – and it was a really amazing experience to watch Noel cycle through chords. To just, like, be there. We would patiently sit back and let him do his thing, and it was amazing to watch his wheels turn in real time.”

One of Auerbach’s personal favourites on the record is On The Game, which he says was a live performance with Gallagher that “popped out very easily”. They say you should never meet your heroes, but Auerbach shares that himself and Carney have always “looked up to” Gallagher.

“We’re just so blessed to even be able to do this kind of thing, to have the agency. It’s like this is the real payoff for all the work we’ve done all these years, to be able to call people like that up and have that happen,” he says.

Auerbach later adds, “Y’know, Noel’s process is purely guitar. He’s just so in love with the chords, and he was just cycling through and through and through, and that’s how he would find his melodies. He wouldn’t stop until he was satisfied. It never sounded right to him until it did, and that’s when we would move on. But we couldn’t move on until he got that good feeling.”

Ohio Players is out now, and you can check it out below:

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