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The White Stripes Get Redd

Steve McDonald gives the Detroit rockers some bottom end

The White Stripes have expanded their lineup to include a bass
player . . . sort of. Steve McDonald — best known for his years
with hardcore-turned-power-pop funsters Redd Kross — made a
unilateral decision to join the duo by posting some freshly dubbed
MP3s that combine his bass playing with pre-existing White Stripes
recordings on his Web site [www.reddkross.com]. To seal
the deal, McDonald superimposed himself clad in de rigeur
red and white togs next to guitarist Jack White and drummer Meg
White onto the cover of White Blood Cells, which he
re-titled “Redd Blood Cells” for the occasion.

“It’s not as if I wanted to take a shot at a band that dared
make my instrument irrelevant,” says McDonald. “I really love their
approach, so I just see this as taking being a fan to another
dimension.”

McDonald initially conceived the project as a sort of rock scene
in-joke, but once enough friends bought into the notion, he decided
to spring into action –only to find himself suffering from a rare
case of stage (or home studio) fright.

“When I sat down to actually record these things, I began to
feel pressure, which I thought was kind of weird, since I’d played
guitar with Courtney Love and never had that feeling then,” he
says. “I ended up working about an hour on each track, which is
probably a lot less spontaneous than Jack and Meg were when they
recorded the songs in the first place.”

McDonald isn’t devoting all of his time to becoming the third
Stripe, though. He’s done some sessions (Tenacious D being the best
known) and is once again testing the waters of the L.A. rock scene
with a new combo called, sensibly enough, the Steve McDonald
Group.

As for making the White Stripes a trio, McDonald might be one
step closer to that goal. “I just went to see the White Stripes in
L.A. and I met Jack, and he gave us his blessing 100 percent,” he
says. “He said he thought it was a much better idea than the White
Strokes, which I guess is some English novelty track.”

In This Article: The White Stripes

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