In a new interview with Esquire UK, Jack White ripped Lady Gaga and celebrity culture, lamenting celebrities’ efforts to appear relatable, which he thinks leads to unfair expectations of normalcy. “The goal of modern celebrity is to make yourself into the lowest common denominator,” said White. “‘Hey, I’m a guy just like you. I like a beer, a football game.’ Especially in reality television, you’ll see people will go so far as to make a fool out of themselves just to prove that.”
Lady Gaga took the brunt of White’s criticism, as the rocker bashed the pop star for making insubstantial, empty music. “I don’t think she lives it because it’s all artifice,” he said. “It’s all image with no meaning behind it. You can’t sink your teeth into it. It’s a sound bite. It’s very of this age, because that’s what people want. They want a Twitter line, a jpeg, an MP3.” White particularly disparaged Twitter. “I think the only people who should have [Twitter accounts] are comedians. Because it’s all about one-liners,” he said. “You don’t want Gore Vidal telling you, ‘I’m doing my dishes right now.'”
Update: White has elaborated on what he says has become a “tabloid-esque drama” with this statement on the Third Man Records website. Full text follows below:
I’d like to address the recent tabloidesque drama baiting by the press in regards to Lady Gaga. I never said anything about her music, or questioned the authenticity of her songs in any way. I was in a conversation about the drawbacks of image for the sake of image, and that it is popular nowadays to not question an image in front of you, but only to label it as “cool” or “weird” quickly and dispose of it. I don’t like my comments about lady gaga’s presentation being changed into some sort of negative critique of her music. If you’re going to try to cause drama, at least get the quotes right. I think journalists should also be held accountable for what they say. Especially publications like the NME who put whatever words they feel like between two quotation marks and play it off as a quote. Maybe somebody with more lawyers can take them to task, but i’ll just use the Internet and Twitter instead. I also think that kind of tabloid drama encourages artists to not express their opinions in the press, and instead give polite soundbites that don’t stimulate thought about creativity and the consumption of art in its many guises.
Peace to Lady Gaga and I fully congratulate and compliment her on her championing of gay rights issues and the momentum it’s given to help create change.
Although White has been busy this year with the solo LP Blunderbuss, a tour and various doings at his Third Man Records boutique in Nashville, the guitarist said he “will always miss the White Stripes,” his band with Meg White, which broke up in 2011.