Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 2nd 2012 1:00PM by Scott Nelson
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 super-familiar with a lot of bands from L.A. It shocked me that he knew all these obscure guys that I was into."
El Khatib also brings to the table a raw edginess the Black Keys seem to have have left behind. His debut LP, Will the Guns Come Out is fully in-your-face and presents itself with two fists ready to rumble. It's a bare bones fusion of blues, garage rock, doo-wop, Motown and punk.
Continuing in the same vein, Hanni's upcoming album will lean on those same influences, but without the nostalgia.
"I want a record that makes sense today," he says.
With no release date set, he's been writing songs mainly on the road, and plans on heading straight to Auerbach's Nashville studio when the tour is over.
"I'm used to recording in home studios -- I've never actually recorded in a big studio before. And I know the kind of gear he has, so I'm really looking forward to it. We've got some really awesome people lined up for the record that I'm really stoked about."