He is the guitar player producer and sound creator of the last years. Jack White seems to wave across rock and roll from the 60 to date without looking a stranger in none of that periods in none of the genres he evoques. He’s both a radical always-emerging artist and a real classic at the same time. And he’s under 45.
After an insanely successful of audience and critic career with the White stripes .-and following solo and alternate band project (the raconteurs, dead weather) the guy slowed the pace, funded a label specialized in vinyls (“not because of fashion, but because it’s the only growing business in recorded music) and some month ago he released Boarding house, an album where he melted rock funk hip hop jazz rock blues an even open world. He also moved from analog to digital (you can check out his thing with analog instruments and recording devices in the It might get loud documentary). He comments about this special landmark in his career in this interview with Nolan Gawron for Monster Children.
Here’s an excerpt.
White in a still from It might get loud, the documentary that portrays his figure along with legends jimmy Page and The Edge.
-This record seems to be the biggest departure from the sounds of your previous projects. What ideas did you bring into the studio? Did you have a sound in mind or a set of parameters? -What I usually do when I’m making a record is make a couple of restrictions for myself, just so that I know not to stray off too far. One of them was to just try writing melodies in my head to start and see what that would be like. I’ve never really done that before. I thought I would also like to play with strangers that are from that hip-hop live world—musicians that play behind Jay Z, Kanye or Kendrick, who can recreate live what’s on those records without samples and digital production. I got lucky and a lot of them were up for the idea. I recorded the whole thing on tape and then edited the entire thing on computer with Pro Tools, which I have never done. I’ve edited a few songs here and there on ProTools, but I’ve never done a whole album like that. So that was a totally different way of finishing a song. And that’s the most important part really—the mixing and the editing.
-Did you go in with a blueprint and orchestrate how things happened or did the songs just work themselves out live? – don’t like to plan too much about what a song is supposed to be. That’s not what I like to do. I like to set up a scenario where those types of songs can take place. The songs are whatever the songs want to be. If they want to be punk, or bluesy or funky or whatever, it’s not my job to tell them no, you don’t get to be on my record. -Did this record pose some obstacles to your love of analogue recording? Was it a necessary evil to go digital or was it something you were ready to experiment with? -I know what you mean. I’ve always edited on tape. To record something in Nashville, and then record it in New York with six musicians and then take that tape to LA and record it again with six more musicians, I would have needed a lot more tracks, and to be able to edit that it would have been absolutely impossible to do it all on tape. -You’ve recorded and released records for bands and musicians from a wide variety of genres. Are there bands out there you’ve denied recording because you don’t respect their music? -[Laughs] There aren’t any people I don’t want to work with off the top of my head. I also think that people are naturally attracted to each other and I feel that there’s always some common ground.