High Hopes: White Miles – Pole dancing. Broken noses. Revenge.

The rock band White Miles

Traditionally, it falls to the rock hack to invent tenuous sub-genres of music. But White Miles are ready with a suggestion. “We’re dirty pole-dance stoner blues-rock,” says their drummer Hansjörg ‘Lofi’ Loferer. “We like pole dancing, blues and rock. So we thought, these are our influences, and this is what our music will be called.”

“Don’t you like pole-dancing too?” asks livewire singer and guitarist Medina Rekic. “It’s wonderful.”

White Miles are an odd couple in the grand tradition. “Lofi is full of energy on stage, and when he gets drunk he gets funny too,” says Rekic. “But during the day he’s slow. He sleeps a lot.”

“Medina is totally crazy,” says Lofi. “Sometimes she hurts herself. We were on tour, stood outside the tour bus. Everybody was smashed, alright, and we started to do martial arts. And Medina, because she always gets so hyped when she’s drunk, did this double-kick and broke her nose with her own knee.”

Loferer and Rekis hooked up in 2011, both inspired by the brittle, abrasive, arty rock of artists such as PJ Harvey, The Pixies and The Dead Weather, and keen to break beyond their native Austria. “Lofi called me in the middle of the night,” Rekic recalls, “and asked: ‘We’ve been friends forever, so why aren’t we playing together?’”

“So we played an acoustic show,” Lofi continues, “but with our instruments turned up really loud. We loved playing together. When we play live, Medina and me, the energy on stage and the way that we play with each other, it’s like a duel – in a positive way. It’s not like a bad fight, it’s a good one. Our sound is pretty much right in your face. It’s a lot of pure energy. It’s both of us really playing the hell out of our souls and bodies. We move constantly. We never stop.”

White Miles’ second album, The Duel, catches the sparks between the two of them. On the sleeve, Lofi and Rekic are pictured screaming into each other’s face. The music has attitude, too, whether it’s the swaggering, punky chord stabs of In The Mirror, the rootsy, acoustic-driven Coke On A Jetplane or the spoken-word attack on an old friend on Don’t You Know Him. “But it’s not a friend, really,” Lofi says, “because he’s a fucking dick, y’know? That track is like a memo. It’s what I thought of him.”

These days, White Miles have friends in high places. They’ve opened for Courtney Love and Eagles Of Death Metal, and say that it takes those bigger stages to contain them. “I always get nervous when there’s a small stage,” says Rekic. “I need space on stage.”

“And if Medina does not get the space she needs on stage she just jumps down into the audience,” Lofi says, with amused exasperation. “Sometimes I look around on stage and Medina’s not there, so I know she must be in the crowd!”

FOR FANS OF: Sea Of Cowards, by The Dead Weather

“The Dead Weather’s Sea Of Cowards is the album that really influenced us,” says Lofi. “We like how Alison Mosshart sings and she’s totally crazy on stage. It’s experimental, and I love the drumming because it’s so full of rhythm and groove. That album is always varied. There’s a lot of smooth parts and a lot of attack too.”

Classic Rock 224: News & Regulars

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.