As a fan of both acts but being semi-biased I have chosen to ignore this subject matter for quite a while but now it feels pertinent to post this here. The first thing we should all know is that all three of these musicians are very opinionated people who like to open their mouths a lot and say things even if they shouldn’t and that is okay.
On one hand we have Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys who had started a beef with Justin Bieber which was earned on the Beebs part but that isn’t what this is about but it doesn’t make it less hilarious. Jack White though on the other hand thinks that he is bigger than most musicians and to an extent he is, if you look at his discography on Wikipedia.
White had recently said in a previous interview that, while going through a divorce with his wife Karen Elson, that he had attempted to have his kids removed from the same school that Auerbach’s children went to calling him an asshole and saying that he is tired of people lumping the two groups together. While they really have a slight similarity in terms of instrumentation they couldn’t sound any more different.
White goes on by saying in an interview, “There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don’t know what to do, and there are musicians like that, too. I’ll hear TV commercials where the music’s ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it’s me. Half the time, it’s the Black Keys,” White says. “The other half, it’s a sound-alike song because they couldn’t license one of mine. There’s a whole world that’s totally fine with the watered-down version of the original. “Some people will hear that and say ‘Oh, Jack White thinks he’s the first person to play the blues.’ But certain acts open up a market for a certain style. Amy Winehouse: Did she invent white soul? Wearing a beehive? No. But she did something brand new and fresh, altogether as a package, and you see who’s in her wake, from the Duffys to the Lana Del Reys,” he says. “Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive. The White Stripes did the same thing, and in our absence, you’re gonna find someone to fill that. And you get a band like the Black Keys, who said they never heard of the White Stripes? Sure.”
Now White has apologized for his comments not just about the Keys but also about his comments about his hermit of an ex-wife as well as female pop musicians. On his website the other day he posted:
It seems like it’s becoming obvious that to continue the activities I have planned for the rest of my year as a musician, and not be hounded by nonsense throughout those experiences, I should make a statement to clear up a lot of the negativity surrounding things I’ve said or written, despite the fact that I loathe to bring more attention to these things.
There are a lot of things that only people around me can know about or understand, but despite all of that I want to say this: I wish the band the Black Keys all the success that they can get. I hope the best for their record label Nonesuch who has such a proud history in music, and in their efforts to bring the Black Keys songs to the world. I hope for massive success also for their producer and songwriter Danger Mouse and for the other musicians that their band employs. Lord knows that I can tell you myself how hard it is to get people to pay attention to a two piece band with a plastic guitar, so any attention that the Black Keys can get in this world I wish it for them, and I hope their record stays in the top ten for many months and they have many more successful albums in their career.
I wish no slight to the talents of Winehouse, Duffy, Lana Del Rey, and Adele. All of whom are wonderful performers with amazing voices. I have their records and I hope for more success for them all as the years go on. They deserve all they’ve gotten. And, I also would love to state that I personally find it inspiring to have powerful, positive female voices speaking out and creating at all times in the mainstream, and all of those singers do just that, so I thank them.
Meg White, who I also talked about to Rolling Stone about our working conversations, or lack thereof, is, of course, a musician I’ve personally championed for 15 years. She is a strong female presence in rock and roll, and I was not intending to slight her either, only to explain how hard it was for us to communicate with our very different personalities. This got blown out of proportion and made into headlines, and somehow I looked like I was picking on her. I would never publicly do that to someone I love so dearly. And, there are mountains of interviews where my words are very clear on how important I think she is to me and to music.
Anyone who can get people to pay attention for more than a second with musical notes in this age, or any age for that matter, deserves credit and applause. Thank you for reading all of this and I hope that the nonsense started by lawyers and strangers to me and perpetuated by tabloid journalism can be left behind, and all of the musicians can move forward in positivity. So, God bless the Black Keys, Danger Mouse, Adele, Meg White, and anyone else I’ve spoken about, and thank you for understanding. Good fortune to all of them, and I’m sorry for my statements hurting anyone.
I would like to chalk this whole thing up to being a publicity stunt for White to help promote his upcoming album also while trying to not help out the Black Keys.