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Jack White’s Private Q&A: ‘I Don’t Belong Here’


Jack White

If it looks like I am always on Jack White’s back these days, it’s because he has been very vocal lately! After writing a poem declaring music sacred, he gave a Q&A for Third Man Records members only, but of course the essential of the conversation has filtered through different websites. Consequence of Sound even posted a link of the web cache of the whole thing here… Are Jack and TMR members gonna be pleased? I don’t think so! But hey, I didn’t do it, Consequence of Sound did it!

With White, I always get the impression to be excluded from a private club I can’t belong to, or to be the outsider of a mysterious cult, I don’t want to be part of. Everyone could pay and be part of this private conversation, but who wants to read about a depressive guy’s rant. Because I guess Jack White is a depressed human being, reading this was a total bummer, all his answers are downers, and he gave this particularly sad one in response to a fan asking him what we might not know about him:

‘That I don’t belong here, and most of the time [it’s] torture trying to find reasons to stay.’

What does he mean by here? Here as the music business? Or here as the earth? Is he suicidal? You know it could be interpreted at many level, and he shouldn’t do that, let people wonder and worry!

And all the rest is on the same depressing and negative tone: His relationship with ex-White Stripes Meg White? ‘She doesn’t answer her phone,’ adding ‘that time is gone’ in response to a possible reunion.

His opinion about New York City, the most exciting city in the world? Totally blasé and pompous: ‘I only go to New York if I have to, nothing feels special there when you’re creative, everyone feels like they’ve seen and done it all, hard for me to be inspired.’

His opinion about tours and shows? Again very apathetic and negative: ‘I’d say half the shows I play I’d rather not play. Festivals for example. But I have to make the best of it and try to get inspired.’ ‘It’s hard when the people who organize festivals basically control my life … I have to book shows around their offer that I can’t refuse … it’s very expensive to tour … people think that’s how musicians make their money these days sadly, but it’s hard to on the road no matter what size you are … only seated theaters for acoustic shows for the rest of my days.’

And even in seated theaters, he starts a tantrum when he sees a few people using their cell phones, right?

Of course, he hates the media, ‘everyone always plays ‘catch the hypocrite’ with me. Probably because I often make the stupid mistake of having opinions and saying them out loud. It’s smarter for well known people to smile and keep their mouth shut.’… ‘when has there NOT been negativity about me?’

Well, when have you ever said something positive Jack? About anything or anybody? When did you smile? Of course, there are a few lighter answers, but it’s often cynical and borderline serious. For example to the question if he is a Ryan Adams fan, Jack White answers, ‘I wouldn’t want to be him bumping into me somewhere’… What does he mean? Why does he hate Ryan?

And to someone who goes back to his declaration that music is sacred, he answers, more ironic than ever: ‘You should of course kneel before music. You’re nothing without it. You’re a creature crawling through the muck’.

As much as I love music, White puts his occupation on a pedestal, which gives him, one more time, this position of an half-god half deity creature, and that’s crazy. Remember, music is fantastic but it’s one of the numerous occupations that makes humanity great, not the only one!

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