Nardwuar vs The White Stripes - Page 2
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Nardwuar: Who are you?
Jack White: I'm Jack White.

And you are?
Meg White: Meg White.

And you are the...
J: The White Stripes

And where are The White Stripes from Jack?
J: From Detroit, Michigan.

And I thought Jack I'd make you feel at home here in Vancouver... LOOK what we have for you! (Nardwuar unveals a giant Bob Seger poster on the wall)
J: OH! Thank god.

Now tell me how cool Seger is. He is a cool guy isn't he, Meg?
M: He is awesome. The first album is amazing.
J: Early Bob Seger System.

A lot of people are dissing the Seger. But he's down with it isn't he?
J: They need to get back to the Bob Seger System. You have to find the Bob Seger System Band.

'Get down on your knees,' like the Swingin' Neckbreakers cover, do you know that one?
J: '2+2 Is On My Mind' is my favourite song.

By the Underdogs or one of those bands.
J: Yeah, yeah.

 
 

From Detroit. The history of Detroit. You're not ashamed to say you like Bob Seger are you Meg?
M: No, not at all.

So have you guys had any good milkshakes?
J: Hmmm, a couple day ago I had a really good one. Yup.

Now what's the thing about milkshakes and The White Stripes, Meg?
M: Well, it goes back a long way. We just like the milkshakes. The malts, really.
J: She likes The Milkshakes, Billy Childish's band. I like actual chocolate malts.

You like judging each town by their milkshakes don't you there Jack?
J: It kinda gets like that. Yeah.

So how have the milkshakes been on this tour?
J: They've been pretty good. I haven't had one in Vancouver yet though, so we'll see.

Now speaking of Milkshakes and Billy Childish, how the hell is he?
J: He's doing quite well. I talked to him on the phone when I was in Paris last time. Um, I think he's got it together.

And you guys were going to have him play behind you at the Top Of The Pops or something?
M: He was going to be doing a painting of us while we were playing.

And then they shot him down?
J: Yeah, they wouldn't allow that, no. So I just wrote his name on my arm instead.

Now Jack, that's much like how Courtney Love writes "Bitch" on her arm right?
J: I'm not familiar with who you're talking about.

You know what I mean though, right? Oh yes, I'm sure you ran into her the other night in L.A! I'm sure, we'll get into that later Jack White. But I was curious, Billy Childish in Europe. He's not revered too well is he? In Britain I heard he did a gig and the Von Bondies opened and the Von Bondies cancelled and then everybody left?
J: Yeah, I heard about that. That was a weird thing. I don't know what happened with that. He had, um, he likes to use his own gear and everyone who plays with him has to use that or something. And they couldn't do that or something like that.

But it really sucks. All the people left. The Von Bondies cancel and nobody sticks around for Billy in his own town!
M: I know.
J: He's really talented but he's quite popularly known as a bridge-burner. He doesn't have tolerance for a lot of things. That's the beauty of him though.

What was it like recording at Toe Rag Studios in England?
M: It was amazing.
J: It was excellent, yeah.

Did they have the same board that, like, The Beatles used?
J: Yeah, they did have a four-track there that might have been used on 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' for backwards loops and things like that.

And that's for your new album?
M: Yes indeed.

What impressed you about the studio Meg?
M: Nothing in it is past 1965.

Really. Are they totally anal about that? Do they have like 1966 quarters in their pockets and stuff like that too?
J: Yeah, yeah, exactly. All the napkins that are used are from the '60s. It was just a nice collection of old microphones and staying away from digital equipment. And things like that.

Did you get a chance to hang with John Peel this time?
M: No we didn't see him this time.

But you have seen him quite a few times. I saw you having lunch with him on the Internet!
J: Oh yeah. We're good friends.

An internet lunch!
J: (laughs)

Now has he told you any cool stories at all? I mean, c'mon, he's met everybody. There must be some little tidbit of information he gave you that must have made you really excited.
J: He was telling me about Gene Vincent a bunch and explaining working with Gene Vincent. But he did give me, as a present, he gave me the Sex Pistols 'Anarchy In The U.K.', the promo version of it . That was a really nice present to give me.

On A&M records?
J: Yep

No way! Not the $5,000 A&M Records one.
J: Wait a minute. You're thinking of' God Save The Queen' on A&M. This is 'Anarchy In The U.K.' So this is on EMI.

Thank you for setting me straight with my Sex...
J: Pistols.

And you are Jack...
J: (laughs) Have you seen anybody about your psychological...
M: (giggles)
J: ...problems (laughs)

And you are Jack White. And you are Meg?
M: Yes I am.

And you are Meg?
J: I'm not Meg.

And you are Jack?
M: Not today.

No you're not. But you work off each other. You could be each other because you guys seem to have such great communication on stage. The other night on the MTV Movie Awards you were so separated. What's it like when you're so separated. Usually you're so close together and I love the way you're so close on stage. It's awesome.
M: It was a little strange, a little strange. I had to peer over the symbols and try to find him down there. But it was alright.

Nobody else has that set-up do they Jack?
J: (laughs) No they don't.

And you know what's also great about The White Stripes is you guys also cover a Dylan song from 1997. From 1997! That's like covering the Steel Wheels 'Mixed Emotion' Rolling Stones thingie.
J: He's still got it. He's still got it. He still tells it like it is.

That's so amazing. Like Dylan from '97.
M: Of course.

Now speaking of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Well, not speaking, but let's bring Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada into this. Did you know there Meg White of The White Stripes that Loretta Lynn signed her first record deal in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada?
M: I did not know that.
J: That makes sense because she was living in Seattle.

She signed to Zero Records!
J: Zero Records. That's the best name for a record label ever.

And you guys like kinda customizing songs. Like you play Tallahassee and then you do-
M: 'Tallahassee Lassie.'

So you're playing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and the White Stripes will do...
J + M: [laughter]

Do you have any Canadian stuff you could do? How about TV show themes? I mean, you grew up in Detroit. Do you have any, like, Canadian TV show themes? Or favourite Canadian TV shows?
J: What was the Giant?

Mr. Dressup? The Friendly Giant?
M: Ohh! The Friendly Giant.
J: Mr. Dressup's kinda scary but The Friendly Giant was very nice.

As covered by Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet.
J: I didn't know that.

Now in Detroit are there like old Motown guys on the street and stuff? Totally destitute?
M: Not that I've noticed.

I've heard that some guys that have recorded on some important works are totally on the street?
J: Totally on the street. I've heard that as well. I haven't bumped into them though.

What's the Motown museum like?
M: It's very nice. It's in the midst of a really burnt out neighbourhood. You know, it used to be huge old houses which the motor company people lived in and stuff. It's just a nice little establishment, you know?

Worth a visit?
J: I've never been there. I'm not a fan of the Motown production.

Why?
I don't like the production of Motown records. Just the sound they're getting. They had some really good songwriting but the production I never was a fan of.

But the Detroit sound. MC5-Stooges. Have any of your parents ever seen MC5 or The Stooges? Did they ever see the MC5 or Stooges?
J: Nobody in Detroit actually ever saw them y'know.
M: No, I...

What about Mitch Ryder. Have you met Mitch Ryder at all?
J: Mitch Ryder, no.

What about Ron Asheton of The Stooges?
J: I met him, yep.

I heard he has a very young girlfriend.
J: I didn't see her. I did meet him though. I didn't see his girlfriend.

What's the importance of Ghetto Blaster Beer? Ghetto Blaster Beer?
M: 'It quenches the thirst.'
J: You've really done your research. That's a brewing company I was hooked up with. They're roommates with the guy who has a studio where we did our first album at. Everyone drinks it while they're there recording.

White Stripes Coasters

The Romantics are from Detroit too aren't they?
M: Yes.
J: (laughs) That's true.

And they wore a bit of red too.
J: I think they wore red leather on one of their album covers, yeah.

Have any Romantics ever come to your gigs?
J: Yes.

Really!? You met a Romantic?
J: Yes, we did meet a Romantic.

What was the interaction like?
J: It was romantic.
M: (laughs)

Did you kick out a Romantic cover at all?
J: No, I said that I was a big fan of the band and he goes, "Yeah, so am I" or something. He said something. I think he thought I was joking, I was being a smart-alec. He goes "I'm a big fan of myself." I dunno, he thought I was joking, making fun of him but I wasn't.

Rock stars always do that. I once saw Ringo Starr and yelled "Hey, it's Ringo!" And he went [sarcastically] "That's my name!"
J: (laughs)

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