5 ways Jack White impacted the music industry

5 ways Jack White impacted the music industry


Text: Rachel Chan

Image: Facebook | jackwhite

With the release of Jack White's third studio album — Boarding House Reach — coming up, we list down five ways the musician has shredded the world with his guitar

1. The birth of The White Stripes
The band fronted by White and his former wife Meg might have disbanded, but they still definitely can't hold fans back once the bass notes of 'Seven Nation Army' start playing. Coupled with The White Stripes' international success from more than a decade ago, it was White's distinct voice and distorted-sounding guitar style that brought him to prominence.

He said in an interview: "A hundred years had passed since people could sort of determine the beginning of the blues, and there was an illusion in my head that a new blues was emerging in the scene that we were from — that bands like the White Stripes and the Soledad Brothers and people like that that were bringing a new take on the blues. That was enough to compel me to keep going and going and going."

2. When he founded The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather
As a four-man band, the 42-year-old formed The Raconteurs in 2005 with artists Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler, who were also linked with other musical projects. They mentioned in an interview that they were "a new band made up of old friends", and managed to receive Grammy Awards nominations for Best Rock Album for Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers of the Lonely.

White then went on to form The Dead Weather with Lawrence in 2009, recruiting The Kills' Alison Mosshart as the lead vocals and Queens of the Stone Age's Dean Fertita as lead guitarist. He may have different projects, but White's grunge sound continued to stick to them. "It's all over the place. After going out on the road with two bands — that's a gigantic new family — my influences have just spread out even more," he said.

3. The beginnings of Third Man Records
Originally founded in 2001, the Detriot-born musician finally purchased a space for his independent record label in Nashville. Since then, it was dubbed as one of the biggest changes being brought onto the Nashville music scene due to White's popularity and the label releasing music on vinyl records, sometimes with a creative edge. From glow-in-the-dark vinyls to peach-scented ones, most fans would remember the iconic 7-inch record hidden inside a 12-inch record when The Dead Weather released their single, 'Blue Blood Blues'. The record label also signed many up-and-coming artists like Margo Price and Danny Kroha, and released a platinum-coated record for The Great Gatsby soundtrack.

4. His old school style of recording music
Besides releasing music on vinyl records, White has a preference for analogue recordings and mixing them from scratch. "I am a lost soul in this time period, with the Internet, with digital technology and so on. This is not my place to be," he said in an interview. He added: "I need to make the process very difficult so that when it sounds good at the end, I know I can be proud of it. I know it wasn't auto-tuned, and the drums weren't put on a grid and I didn't spend hours correcting 'mistakes'."

Stars such as Chris Rock and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich may have criticised him for going back to his roots, but White wasn't swayed until his upcoming album, Boarding House Reach, where he used software Pro Tools to record his tracks.

5. Reviving music with donations
In 2015, White donated a six-figure sum to the National Blues Museum's 'Mix It Up' exhibit in St. Louis, where visitors can edit and make their own music. He also donated US$142,000 to the Masonic Temple in Detroit back in 2013 to save the theatre from closing down.

Jack White's latest album, Boarding House Reach, will be released on 23 March. For last week's #ManCrushMonday, click here.