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Jack White explains why concert crowds suck, says he was asked to work on Kanye West’s Yeezus

on May 21, 2014, 11:46am

Earlier today, we posted about Jack White’s first interview behind new album Lazaretto. The extensive 30-minute conservation with NPR’s All Songs Considered saw White talk extensively about his songwriting process and creative inspirations. Now, in a cover story interview for Rolling Stone, White touches on a few other topics, including his invitation to collaborate on Kanye West’s Yeezus, why crowds attending his concerts suck, and accusations that he has a “women problem.”

It’s no secret that White once hit the studio with Jay Z to work on a track rumored to be called “Ray-Bans”. White confirmed to Rolling Stone that he and HOV actually worked on several tracks together, but they remain unfinished. “I’m not sure he liked them,” White added.

Turns out the other half of The Throne was also interested in working with White. According to Rolling Stone, Kanye West asked him to collaborate on his latest album, Yeezus. White was interested, but sadly, Yeezy never followed up. The downside of having no cellphone?

Still, White didn’t hold back in expressing his admiration for Kanye and, more specifically, his Yeezus tour. “That might have been the greatest show I’ve seen in my life,” White said. “It was more punk, more in-your-face than anything I’ve seen.” He also called Daft Punk “amazing.”

(Read: Jack White’s “Lazaretto”: A Roundtable Review)

Something White isn’t a fan of? The crowds who attend concerts in 2014. “People can’t clap anymore, because they’ve got a fucking texting thing in their fucking hand, and probably a drink, too!” he explained. “Some musicians don’t care about this stuff, but I let the crowd tell me what to do. There’s no set list. I’m not just saying the same things I said in Cleveland last night. If they can’t give me that energy back? Maybe I’m wasting my time.” If you recall, White drew criticism back in 2012 when he walked off the stage at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall, reportedly as a result of a lackadaisical audience.

Also in 2012, White was criticized by The Atlantic’s Jessica Misener. In an article dubbed “Jack White’s Women Problem”, Misener contended White had retrograde attitudes regarding gender. Asked about the piece by Rolling Stone, White responded: “I’ve worked with more women than anyone you’ll ever meet.”

He argued there’s a difference between the narrators of his songs and his own beliefs, pointing to Lazaretto opener “Three Women” as an example. “If you know anything about me, do you think I like digital photography? No. I don’t. So obviously this song is not about fucking Jack White, so fuck you! If you’re that chick who wrote that article — and I say chick on purpose — she won’t understand that line, because she doesn’t do her research.”

Rolling Stone also says White spoke candidly about his former White Stripes bandmate Meg White in the interview, but has yet to release those quotes. Stay tuned for that.