Prior to Jack White's awesome (but unexpectedly brief) Radio City Music Hall set last Saturday for Fuse Music Week, we sat down with the excessively talented rock maestro and learned about everything from his forthcoming music video for "I'm Shakin'" (originally made famous by fellow Detroit bluesman Little Willie John), why he's glad people project their own interpretations on his lyrics and what brought him to working with Insane Clown Posse on a Mozart composition. Here's what he had to say.
On His Upcoming "I'm Shakin'" Video
"I really wanted to document the fact that we have two bands on the road and two bands in the studio [White has an all-girl and an all-guy backing band]. It's sort of like me versus myself in some way, like alter egos of the two bands. Not really competing with each other but facing off in some way, showing two sides of the same story. It's strange, I don't even know if I understand it myself, but there's something interesting going on when I look at [the video]."
People Incorrectly Interpreting His Lyrics
"Once you put something out on record you're giving it away. You don't get to be in control and tell people what to think of it or how to relate to it. If a way for them to relate to it is think of some story for how it relates to me personally, it doesn't matter to me. They'll probably be wrong, but so what? It's probably more interesting than my version even if it's wrong. And I'm glad it's in their hands instead of my own. It's less for me to worry about."
Working With Insane Clown Posse on "Leck Mich Im Arsch"
It wasn't done for shock value. To me it was all about preconceptions…. Maybe people think, 'Did you make some big mistake in your head? Two asteroids collided and something like this went down?' Obviously Insane Clown Posse bring up preconceptions with people. Why does Mozart get off the hook when he's the one who wrote "lick my ass"? This is Mozart we're talking about, let's put him on trial. That's the funny thing I thought from the beginning: All those things colliding into one another can only represent an artistic view on what preconception is all about." [Incidentally, we recently chatted with ICP and found out they're not huge fans of their Jack White collabos.]
Noticing (and Ignoring) Technical Errors in His Band
"It's about being knowledgeable about everything that's happening without being controlling of it. I can be knowledgeable that the piano player is playing out of tune during a certain song without being controlling enough to go over and tell them to stop. You can let it happen and let it exist…. If you map everything out, you cause yourself to think of failure. It takes away the energy of freshness and spontaneity"
To hear White talk about "the honor and responsibility" of collaborating with pioneers like Wanda Jackson, watch the full interview above. And check out these sweet shots of White rocking Radio City in our extensive photo gallery.