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Jack White Says New Solo Album is 'Practically Done'

Jack White and the New York musicians working on his new solo album. Image credit: Twitter / @thirdmanrecords

Jack White is working on what he describes as a “bizarre” new solo album which he aims to release early in 2018. It will follow on from the former White Stripes last solo work which was called Lazaretto and was out in 2014.

White confirmed he had been working on a new record back in July when his record company Third Man Records posted two pictures to Twitter. One image was taken in Los Angeles and the other in New York with both captioned “Jack White recording songs for his third solo album.”

News that White was working on new material first come to light in an interview the musician did with the New Yorker in March. The article noted that White was spending several hours a day in a rented Nashville apartment where he was recording on a “reel-to-reel tape recorder that he bought when he was fourteen with money he made mowing lawns.”

Jack White and the Los Angeles musicians working on his new solo album. Image credit: Twitter / @thirdmanrecords

It also explained that White had various rules he set himself. “I’m going to try to write songs where I can’t be heard by the next-door neighbor,” White said. “And I want to write like Michael Jackson would write—instead of writing parts on the instruments or humming melodies, you think of them. To do everything in my head and to do it in silence and use only one room.”

More currently in an interview with Gary Oldman for Interview magazine White reiterated that he’d been recording in LA, New York, and Nashville while also revealing a little more about the style and tone of the new record. “I’ve been recording in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville. I’ve never recorded in New York or L.A. before. I tried to go to some new places and meet musicians I’ve never met before, and see if I could get to a new place. I’m getting somewhere. I’ll send you something. It’s good gardening music or roofing music or, you know, back-alley stabbing music.”

Meg White & Jack White, of the White Stripes, play live at the Glastonbury Festival, 2002. © Jill Furmanovsky

Most recently (6 November) White revealed to Billboard that his third solo album was “practically done, just some finishing touches." He also said intriguingly that. “It's a bizarre one. I've just got to let it settle. I need to listen to it by myself. I haven't been able to listen to it by myself for awhile.”

He told the music website the update after he gave a keynote speech at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit, his hometown. Billboard noted that the as yet untitled new LP is due “during the first half of 2018.”

The White Stripes before their gig at an amphitheatre in Berkeley, San Francisco in September 2004. © Andy Willsher

Also in the keynote White talked about the success of Third Man Records, which came as a surprise to him.

“When we first opened the Third Man store in Nashville we had a buzzer on the door and... we're like, 'Well, a couple of people a week will come by and maybe we'll sell 'em a 45 or something... It was not in our minds to open a record store. We just wanted to release our vinyl and get it back in print because I'd come into ownership again. We were very incorrect about that. Hundreds of people were showing up and it hasn't stopped since. And Third Man, we only sell our own records. We don't sell Mariah Carey and Eminem records. We only sell the records we produce and for a record store to succeed with that methodology is very strange. On paper that should not work, but it has and it's helped us fund other ideas.”

You can check out Jack White talking about his label and giving a tour of the Third Man factory floor in the VICE News segment below.

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