Hear Jack White's 90-Minute BBC Maida Vale Set on Zane Lowe's Show - Rolling Stone
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Hear Jack White’s Walloping 90-Minute BBC Set

Rocker discusses writing new album ‘Lazaretto’ on the road and the seaworthy origins of his upright bass

Jack White performs

Jack White performs in Manchester, Tennessee.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

After a striking, trolling set at Glastonbury, Jack White stopped by the BBC’s Maida Vale studios to chat with DJ Zane Lowe and deliver a walloping 90-minute set, which you’ll be able to hear in its entirety until Wednesday, July 10th.

White’s setlist culled heavily from his new album Lazaretto and solo debut Blunderbuss, but also included a handful of White Stripes tracks (“The Same Boy You’ve Always Known,” “Seven Nation Army”), the Raconteurs’ “Top Yourself” and even a cover of Bob Dylan‘s “Meet Me in the Morning.”

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During his interview with Lowe, White talked about how much of Lazaretto was written while he and his band were touring behind Blunderbuss, creating a frantic, wild style that he had to tame when they reached the studio. “I wanted to try and capture as much of the energy as we could while we were just cooking on tour,” White said. “We did a lot of songs and a lot of them would be really fast live, and I had to go back and do a lot of editing to make them into something. They were full of energy on tape and that was really cool to play with. I hadn’t done that before, edited in that way and pieced new puzzle pieces of songs Frankenstein songs — together.”

White also spoke about the growing catalog and solidifying legacy of his label, Third Man Records: “I think all the great studios or record labels, places where people create, you just do what feels right. Sun Records, Chess Records, the Beatles’ Apple Records — they all did things that felt right to them at the time. And if they connect with people, it means something after a while. I just made things with the Third Man crew that we were interested in, things that we like and think are beautiful, things we think are interesting ideas. People connect with some of the ideas, and some people don’t, but over time, so many of the ideas accumulate and it stands on its own.”

And of course it wouldn’t be a Jack White interview without some bizarre nugget, like the fact that the dazzling bass and fiddle his bandmates have been using are made out of aluminum used in the 1930s to keep cruise ships from rotting. “They have their own built-in reverb tanks,” White noted.

White is wrapping up a European trek and will kick of his North American tour with a headlining slot at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky on July 19th. For more on White and Lazaretto, check out our recent cover story on the rocker, in which he divulges all you need to know about his new LP, from his love of blistering, experimental guitar solos to the challenge of communicating his ideas to his band.


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