Jack White admits he struggles for musical inspiration – despite the success of his second solo album Lazaretto.
And he’s recalled the moment he told Bob Dylan he was jealous that he hadn’t been born decades earlier, when it was easier to find subjects for songs.
White tells Rolling Stone: “I was talking to Bob and I said, ‘In a way, you guys had it so lucky in the Sixties.’ All these recording techniques that had never been tried before, the Civil Rights movement was coming to a head, the Vietnam War. The whole world was changing; there was so much to sing about. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.”
He can’t find the same encouragement in the modern world. “I don’t see beauty in teenagers sitting next to each other texting and not talking face to face,” he says. “I don’t see beauty in the way that pop music is all recorded on computers and autotune, and presented in that really plastic way.
“I guess I just do my best to defeat those ideas and present something I think is at least an attempt at getting at truth and beauty.”
Third Man Records owner White says he’s saddened that he’s required to concentrate on so many factors beyond the music itself. “I have to be a hustler now just to be a musician,” he says. “You have to sell yourself all the time now. You could have just been a songwriter and everyone else would do that around you.
“I doubt Frank Sinatra cared what was on his album cover.”
White – who last week released a video for his track Would You Fight For My Love? – will play three UK dates in November.
Nov 17: Leeds Arena
Nov 18: Glasgow SSE Hydro
Nov 19: London O2 Arena