I’ve come to appreciate Jack White and the White Stripes only recently…upon a viewing of the “It Might Get Loud” DVD, which also featured Jimmy Page and U2’s the Edge. Sure I’ve heard plenty of White Stripes tunes over the years, and I liked many of them. But watching him interact with Page and the Edge and witnessing his approach to his instrument and craft piqued my curiosity.
I especially enjoyed White’s take on creativity in the film. As you hear in the clip above and in others, White is a strong believer in restriction and little (or no) usage of technology in contributing to one’s becoming more creative. This may differ from medium to medium. But what comes to mind immediately for me, at least, is the overabundance of computerized special effects in movies. In recent years, I’ve found myself unimpressed at times when watching certain action films simply because I know the CG effects made things seem too perfect and almost cartoonish.
Earlier this spring, White released his first solo album, Blunderbuss. Like the DVD, it was fun to learn in interviews that White’s approach to recording the album was different this time around. One trick included the capture of melodies that popped into his head in the middle of the night onto a recorder. In the past, White would go back to sleep and hope to remember these melodies when he awoke…most of the time, he failed to remember them. This time around, he took no chances and recorded those ideas immediately…something he says resulted in two new songs.
One other way White approaches things differently is exemplified in his latest tour…which includes two different backing bands, one all-male and the other all-female. In interviews White describes his desire to capture the different levels of energy when playing with these bands. While it does sound a bit “out-there,” I’d have to agree with him that men and women can sometimes create a different energy whether it be in a room or on a stage. I’m not sure how this translates in a performance situation, but I’ll trust White’s judgement about creating a new and different vibe.
Whether or not you’re a musician or an artist, White’s unique approach to his craft is worth considering. What if you were to approach that project at work just a little differently this time around? Could your own unique approach to your job help you achieve different (and possibly better) results? Maybe the risk is worth taking.
He’s been described as enigmatic, a feminist and/or a luddite…whoever he is, I admire him for approach to his art. And while there may be plenty of guitar players that might be more technically skilled than he is…I have a feeling Jack White wouldn’t want it any other way.
How about you…how have you approached your work or your art a little differently? What were your results? I’d love to hear about them.