I’m Scared of Vinyl

Jack White

Posted in Interviews by Catriona on October 25, 2009

Jack White paid a very low-key visit to Dublin last week, to give a talk at the University Philosophical Society. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to see it, which is probably most people – since the talk was on a Sunday and there was a handful of seats – here’s the transcript of the full interview.

Jack White speaking at Trinity College, Dublin. 18/10/09.

Upon receiving the honorary patrons medal:

Well I’ve been patronized in a lot of different ways, but this is the nicest.

Did you have literary heroes?

I had a lot: Shakespeare was probably the first one that was out of childhood years that spoke to me in a different sort of way and opened up a new life. Everything else was sort of children’s stories until then. It’s funny what you said [about Oscar Wilde], because there’s a quote from Oscar Wilde in the airport when we walked in this morning, saying that the only thing he had to declare was his genius at Customs.

And who did you have on your wall poster-wise as a kid?

Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare.

What was it like filming It Might Get Loud with Jimmy Page and The Edge?

It was a pretty incredible experience to work with those two guys. I liked that there was no real idea what the movie was about: it was two sentences that said ‘this is about guitars and guitar players, let’s talk to each other and see what happens.’ Some people have a huge five page summary of what they think something is going to be about: a movie, or a video, or a project or an album or whatever, and it seems to get less and less interesting as you read. And when the door is open to be creative and let things happen in the moment, that interests me, so that was incredible and of course they’re just incredible musicians.

Was Jimmy Page the first to launch into a song?

He was the first to pick up a guitar and start playing. At the time it was striking because we were caught off guard thinking ‘I didn’t expect that to happen so soon, so it was a pretty funny moment.

Did you get performance anxiety in front of Page?

I was reading in the last couple of days about the philosophy of anxiety, and it’s such an interesting notion to me, because the word seems to mean about 16 different things to me. Sometimes I think it means nervousness – I don’t really have much nervousness, I’ve always wondered why I don’t have more and maybe it’s to do with anxiety being synonymous with the word dread – I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately too, because the definition which I have of anxiety in my brain is energy which can be turned to something good, sort of like kinetic energy. (more…)