USA Today

Jack White Talks Writing Style and Pre-Show Ritual

By: Maura O'Malley

March 9, 2017

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Jack White opened up about not just the new music he’s working on but also his pre-show ritual—and I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty wild.

“I’m drinking a Red Bull, a shot of whiskey,” he told The New Yorker. “I’m backstage with a baseball bat breaking things. You have to work yourself up into a frenzy.” As if he weren’t already interesting enough. Check him out mid-frenzy at 2014’s Glastonbury below.

Another interesting thing we can learn from The New Yorker article is that he played cheap guitars in the White Stripes just to prove that the instrument isn’t what matters. I can respect that.

As for new music? Now that Third Man Pressing’s officially open for business, White will hole himself up in a nondescript, sparsely decorated Nashville apartment to write presumably his third solo album. We’re stoked, considering the last we heard from him was the incredible Lazaretto back in 2014.

His writing process sounds like it requires some serious self-discipline. White pointed to an old reel-to-reel tape recorder and told The New Yorker, “Four tracks,” before going on to say, “with computers you can use three hundred and ten tracks if you want to, but it’s too much freedom. I always have my own rules, and I can bend them if I want. I can see the confines I’m working in, but nobody else knows I’m doing it.”

He then explains, “I’m going to try to write songs where I can’t be heard by the next-door neighbor, and I want to write like Michael Jackson could write—instead of writing parts on the instruments or humming melodies, you think of them. To do everything in my head and to do it in silence and use only one room.”

Right, on Jack. I mean, write on.