At a surprise appearance in London last night (March 20), Jack White crashed a listening party for his debut solo album Blunderbuss, and answered a few questions from the mayor in the process.
The former White Stripes frontman, who last week dominated the SXSW festival with an incredible hits-laden performance that featured several new songs, appeared at a playback of the album at the Debating Chamber at London's County Hall.
After the album was played on vinyl for the room, the Mayor Of Lambeth, Councillor Christiana Valcarcel appeared and introduced White. While he did not perform, NME points out, he was quizzed by the Mayor and the audience in a rare interview. "You should be proud of yourself!" she told him, before commanding, "We're talking about you tonight, it's my turn to take you to task!"
White then dropped a bit of info on the creative process behind Blunderbuss, explaining that "It just happened one song at a time, like it always does, let the song be in charge and let the song tell you what you're doing and you're just a servant of the music at that point. When you think you're in control of the song then that's when you're making a mistake I think."
Jack set a hard bar for himself this time around, for the mere fact that he titled one of his new songs with a word that's been worn threatbare in music – particularly the blues: "It's hard to put love in a song because it's been used for so long, thousands of times in plays, paintings, poems and if you're going to say that word I think you have to really put a twist on it for yourself," he explained, referring to the album's first single "Love Interruption". "If you're going to use the word 'love', I wanted to provoke some kind of thought that's what I wanted it to do for me."
White also explained the spontaneity of "going solo," despite having a handful of musical projects at his disposal: "I'm still in a couple of bands so I'm not missing anything by doing this. But I didn't know I was doing it until I was doing it, four of five songs in I thought I guess this is turning into something."
While we wait for Blunderbuss to arrive on April 23, White will be touring extensively across the U.S. Find out more at Jack's official site.
Also keep an eye out for an exclusive new NME interview with White, where he reveals his full solo plans and explains why there's "absolutely no chance" of the White Stripes ever reuniting.