Jack White On His Own, Tells Other People's Stories | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Jack White On His Own, Tells Other People's Stories

Play associated audio

Blunderbuss, Jack White's first solo album, is not just about him. It's about characters, he says.

"The 'hes' and 'shes' and 'Is' are sort of all arbitrary," White tellsGuy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "Some of them fall in the blues context of just 'man versus the world' or 'man versus woman,' or something like that, but they don't really have anything to do with male or female."

White says the stories in his songs come to him partially formed. When he started writing "I Guess I Should Go to Sleep," from Blunderbuss, he played a chord and that sentence was the first line that popped into his head.

"It becomes my problem," he says. "Now I have to find a reason why this person should go to sleep. What's wrong?"

White would rather, he says, invent.

"I get to become a director. I get to become a playwright. I get to become a producer, and an actor. All at the same time."

When White is done writing, he asks for another perspective on his work.

"When it's finished I have to listen to it a few times, and it's best to listen to it with someone else in the room or in the car," he says. "Usually a girl, for me. It always feels like there's some kind of honesty that comes out."

Listening then, he knows he can be proud if he hears something different.

"Even if it was only for a few seconds in each song," he says, "I got someplace new that I haven't been before."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Centenarian Poet Was A Fearless Guide To 'The Country Of Old Age'

Poet and author Margaret Howe Freydburg died last week at 107; she wrote and published well past her 100th birthday. Her friend Nancy Slonim Aronie has an appreciation of a remarkable woman.
NPR

Margaret Hamburg Ends Six-Year Run As FDA Commissioner

Margaret Hamburg ended her run this week as one of the longest serving Food and Drug Administration commissioners in recent decades.
NPR

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Sen. Menendez of New Jersey has been indicted on corruption charges. These are the first criminal charges brought against a sitting U.S. Senator in seven years.
NPR

U.S. Creates First Sanctions Program Against Cybercriminals

President Obama signed a new executive order that will allow the administration to freeze the assets of any individual or group involved in "malicious" cyberattacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.