Hanni El Khatib to Make Modern Rock 'n' Roll Album With Black Keys' Dan Auerbach
Sure, it might sound like a strategic move for the tattoo-clad, Los Angeles-based rocker Hanni El Khatib -- enlisting the help of Dan Auerbach for his sophomore album will surely spike record sales. After all, Auerbach is a hot commodity in the music business these days. Besides packing arenas across the continent on his current tour with the Black Keys, Auerbach is rock 'n' roll's producer-du-jour with a lot of great new music passing through his hands (Dr. John, Michael Kiwanuka, Hacienda and Jessica Lea Mayfield to name a few).
Why not jump on the wave, right? Especially when that wave is of titanic rock 'n' roll proportions. But according to Hanni it wasn't a planned thing.
"I was DJing at a late night spot in Paris," El Khatib tells Spinner, "and I met him randomly at the bar just hanging out. We stayed in touch and started talking about going into his studio to use his gear. It was more like us talking for a bit about music and then it dawned on us: 'Fuck it, let's just do the record together!' And that was it."
A first generation American with Palestinian and Filipino roots, 2011 was a breakout year for El Khatib. His debut album dropped in the fall, his songs were nabbed up by Nike and Sports Illustrated, and Florence and the Machine took him on their North American tour.
More importantly, while it might not have been a strategic move on anyone's part, it makes perfect sense that he and Auerbach would find each other. Both men are music buffs who share a deep appreciation for their early American musical influences.
"It turned out he knew a lot of music that I really liked," El Khatib says. "He was also