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The White Stripes
Reactions to the White Stripes have never been lukewarm since the release of their album, White Blood Cells in 2001. Critical and commercial success came to them duly and saw the brother-sister duo (Jack and Meg White) catapult into the music world. It’s not everyday that you see a two-member band chart this kind of success, but the White Stripes have turned out to be the exception to every existing norm.

Detroit, home to the largest automobile industry and a slew of artists now called ‘garage bands’, also provided a home and launching ground for The White Stripes. ‘Minimalist’ and ‘rudimentary’ are two terms readily used to describe the Stripes. Despite this well-defined status, they have been lauded for their rare talent that impressively combines rootsy, blues influenced rock with a general dose of folk, bluegrass and an assortment of other styles that sprout from a more general rock stream.

Get Behind Me Satan, the Stripes fifth album meets the eye with characteristic mystery. On the cover, Jack and Meg sit back-to-back, fingers pointing at each other, dressed in clothes that would easily secure them a place in Satan’s own circus. The Stripes, on first glance already live up to their image. As if that weren’t enough, the first page of the album sleeve finds a rather rambling piece (penned by Jack White) whose elusive topic eventually concludes on an optimistic note. And you know that it’s a White Stripes album.

Here Meg White interviews Jack White in conversation about Get Behind Me Satan…

Meg: Jack are these songs about you?

Jack: No Meg, they’re about you.

Meg: I wish…

Jack: No, you don’t. You know I don’t write about myself or my friends; let alone my sister.

Meg: I thought maybe you made an exception after coming out of the closet.

Jack: (purrs)

Meg: Can you tell me a little bit about the album cover?

Jack: I don’t know Meg, can you tell me a little bit about the universe?

Meg: You want to talk quantum physics or quantum mechanics?

Jack: Shut up.

Meg: What does Blue Orchid mean to you?

Jack: The same thing pizza means to you.

Meg: Jack, why can’t you be cool?

Jack: Because you’re trying to trick me again!

Meg: Jack, the only trick I ever played on you was never tricking you at all.

Jack: You’re right.

Meg: Your voice sounds really high on this record like the old days.

Jack: I noticed that too.

You can read the rest of our feature on The White Stripes in the July 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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