The ongoing feud between former White Stripes frontman Jack White and fellow blues-rockers The Black Keys grew even more interesting earlier this month when Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney said he was “embarrassed” for White after some of his personal emails, which revealed his true dislike for the Keys, were leaked.
Now, White has spoken at length about those emails, and no, he hasn’t changed his mind on The Black Keys. In his cover story for Rolling Stone, White has claimed that the duo have ripped off his sound, and that the band are a “watered-down version of the original”.
Discussing one of the leaked emails which revealed that White doesn’t want his children attending the same school as Black Keys’ frontman Dan Auerbach, White said, “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,” he continued, before pointing the blame. “Half the time, it’s the Black Keys.” White went on to explain that the rest of the time “it’s a sound-alike song because they couldn’t license one of mine.”
White also considered how people would react to his comments, saying, “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.”
To make his point, White then discussed the legacy of the late Amy Winehouse, claiming that she did something new with white soul music. “Amy Winehouse: Did she invent white soul? Wearing a beehive? No,” White said. “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.
“Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive,” he added, before comparing Winehouse’s legacy to the influence of his former band. “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.”
Jack White’s second solo studio album, Lazaretto, is set for release on 6th June. Check out the album’s title track below.
Listen: Jack White – Lazaretto