Early history[ edit ] As a senior in high school, Jack Gillis as he was then known ,  met Meg White at the Memphis Smoke—the restaurant where she worked and where he would read his poetry at " open mic " nights. In Jack's words, "When she started to play drums with me, just on a lark, it felt liberating and refreshing. There was something in it that opened me up. Meg loves peppermints, and we were going to call ourselves The Peppermints.
But since our last name was White, we decided to call it "The White Stripes". It revolved around this childish idea, the ideas kids have—because they are so much better than adult ideas, right? Looking back on their debut during a interview with Guitar Player , Jack said, "I still feel we've never topped our first album. It's the most raw, the most powerful, and the most Detroit-sounding record we've made.
Meg White balances out the fretwork and the fretting with methodical, spare, and booming cymbal , bass drum , and snare The record is currently—like the majority of vinyl records by The White Stripes— out of print and difficult to find. De Stijl [ edit ] Main article: De Stijl eventually reached number 38 on Billboard Magazine's Independent Albums chart in , around the time The White Stripes' popularity began establishing itself.
One New York Times critic at the time said that the Stripes typified "what many hip rock fans consider real music. It reached number 55 in the United Kingdom,[ citation needed ] being bolstered in both countries by the single " Fell in Love with a Girl " and its accompanying Lego - animation music video directed by Michel Gondry.
Its release was suppressed by the band's management, however, after they discovered that Roca had been showing it at the Seattle Film Festival without permission.
Elephant "We had no business being in the mainstream. We assumed the music we were making was private, in a way. We were from the scenario where there are fifty people in every town. Something about us was beyond our control, though. Now it's five hundred people, now it's a second night, what is going on?
Is everybody out of their minds? Darker and more difficult than White Blood Cells. NME referred to the album as the pinnacle of the White Stripes' time as a band and one of Jack White's best works of his career.
The song was at the top of the rock charts on Billboard. The album's third single was the successful " The Hardest Button to Button ".
Get Behind Me Satan [ edit ] Main article: Jack has said it has a double meaning: Receiving more Grammy nominations as well as making them one of the must see acts of the decade. Three singles were released from the album, the first being " Blue Orchid ", a popular song on satellite radio and some FM stations. The White Stripes postponed the Japanese leg of their world tour after Jack strained his vocal cords, with doctors recommending that Jack not sing or talk for two weeks. The song was later released in December as the Walking with a Ghost EP featuring four other live tracks.
In October , it was announced on the official White Stripes website that there would be an album of avant-garde orchestral recordings consisting of past music written by Jack called Aluminium. The album was made available for pre-order on November 6, to great demand from the band's fans; the LP version of the project sold out in a little under a day. Before the album went out of print, it was available exclusively through the Aluminium website in a numbered limited edition of 3, CDs with LPs.
As of March 8, , the album has sold , copies in the US. Following the well-received Get Behind Me Satan, Icky Thump marked a return to the punk, garage rock and blues influences for which the band is known. It would also be their first album with a title track.
The album's release came on the heels of a series of concerts in Europe and one in North America at Bonnaroo. NME described the tracks as "an experimental, heavy sounding 70s riff," "a strong, melodic love song" and "an unexpected mix of big guitars and a bold horn section," respectively. On April 25, , the duo announced that they would embark on a tour of Canada performing in all 10 provinces, plus Yukon , Nunavut and Northwest Territories. In the words of Jack: We want to take this tour to the far reaches of the Canadian landscape.
From the ocean to the permafrost. The best way for us to do that is ensure that we perform in every province and territory in the country, from the Yukon to Prince Edward Island. The Canadian tour was also marked by concerts in small markets,  such as Glace Bay , Whitehorse and Iqaluit , as well as by frequent "secret shows" publicized mainly by posts on The Little Room, a White Stripes fan messageboard.
They played a full show later that night at the Mile One Centre in downtown St. After the conclusion of the Canadian dates, they embarked on a brief U.
He asked if she meant of the tour, but she responded, "No. I think this is the last show, period. At O'Brien's request, the band came out of hiatus to perform. It was notable because Meg was not playing a percussion instrument.
It would also prove to be the band's final live performance. In he reported that the White Stripes were working on their seventh album. Meg had come from a dead-halt for a year and went right back into that madness. Meg is a very shy girl, a very quiet and shy person. To go full-speed from a dead-halt is overwhelming, and we had to take a break.
The film was directed by a friend of the duo, Emmett Malloy. In an interview with Self Titled, Jack alluded to the creation of a White Stripes film to be released later in A Tribute To Loretta Lynn. He said, "We thought we'd do a lot of things that we'd never done: Now that we've gotten a lot of that out of our system, Meg and I can get back in the studio and start fresh.
The announcement specifically denied any artistic differences or health issues, but cited "a myriad of reasons We'd be working in the studio and something amazing would happen: I'm like, 'Damn, we just broke into a new world right there! Jack has stated on numerous occasions that the blues is the dominant influence on his songwriting and the roots of the band's music, stating that he feels it is so sacred that playing it does not do it justice.
The "guitar" was built out of a plank of wood, two nails, a glass Coke bottle , a guitar string, and a pickup. He ends the demonstration with the memorable quote, "Who says you need to buy a guitar?
The White Stripes were notable for having only two musicians, limiting the instruments they could play live. Everything was vocals, guitar and drums or vocals, piano and drums. In a New York Times concert reviews, Ann Powers noted that Jack's "ingenious" playing was "constrained by [Meg's] deliberately undeveloped approach," and that "he created more challenges by playing an acoustic guitar with paper taped over the hole and a less-than-high-quality solid body electric. He also used a Boss TU-2 tuner pedal.
He plugged this setup into a s Fender Twin Reverb, and two Watt Sears Silvertone amplifiers paired with two 6x10 Silvertone cabinets. White also played other instruments such as a black F-Style Gibson mandolin , Rhodes bass keys, and a Steinway piano. Meg White Meg's minimalistic drumming style was a prominent part of the band's sound. Meg never had formal drum lessons. She played Ludwig Drums with Paiste cymbals, and says her pre-show warm-up consisted of " whiskey and Red Bull.
When people critique hip hop , they're scared to open up, for fear of being called racist. But they're not scared to open up on female musicians, out of pure sexism. Meg is the best part of this band. It never would have worked with anybody else, because it would have been too complicated It was my doorway to playing the blues. I get [criticism] sometimes, and I go through periods where it really bothers me. But then I think about it, and I realize that this is what is really needed for this band.
And I just try to have as much fun with it as possible I just know the way [Jack] plays so well at this point that I always know kind of what he's going to do. I can always sense where he's going with things just by the mood he's in or the attitude or how the song is going. Once in a while, he throws me for a loop, but I can usually keep him where I want him.
For live shows, The White Stripes were known for Jack's employment of heavy distortion , as well as audio feedback and overdrive. The duo performed considerably more recklessly and unstructured live, never preparing set lists for their shows, believing that planning too closely would ruin the spontaneity of their performances. McGregor heard the orchestral versions and decided to create a ballet using the music. Talbot re-orchestrated the music for the Royal Opera House orchestra, also writing three additional pieces of his own composition.
Aesthetics and presentation[ edit ] The White Stripes had a carefully constructed image built around lore they created for themselves and visual motifs. Early in their history, they turned down a potential deal with Chicago label Bobsled, because the label wanted to put its green logo on the CD. Early in their career, the band provided various descriptions of their relationship.
Jack claimed that he and Meg were siblings , the youngest two of ten. It came from peppermint candy. I also think they are the most powerful color combination of all time, from a Coca-Cola can to a Nazi banner. Those colors strike chords with people. In Japan, they are honorable colors.