May 31, 2014 12:44pm PT by Mitchell Peters, Billboard
Jack White Apologizes for Comments About Black Keys and Meg White
Jack White posted a lengthy note on his website Saturday to apologize for comments he made in a recent Rolling Stone cover story about the Black Keys ripping off his sound and past creative frustrations with ex-White Stripes bandmate Meg White.
“It seems like it’s becoming obvious that to continue the activities I have planned for the rest of my year as a musician, and not be hounded by nonsense throughout those experiences, I should make a statement to clear up a lot of the negativity surrounding things I’ve said or written, despite the fact that I loathe to bring more attention to these things,” wrote White, whose second solo album, Lazaretto, drops June 10 via Third Man.
As previously reported, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney remarked to Rolling Stone that White "obviously sounds like an asshole," in reference to emails TMZ leaked from the rocker last year. White had accused the Black Keys of copying him and has tried to have his children removed from classes at the same Nashville private school attended by the kids of Keys' frontman Dan Auerbach.
In the current issue of Rolling Stone, White added fuel to the fire, sticking to his stance about his fellow bluesmen.
"There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don't know what to do, and there are musicians like that, too. I'll hear TV commercials where the music's ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it's me. Half the time, it's the Black Keys," White said. "The other half, it's a sound-alike song because they couldn't license one of mine. There's a whole world that's totally fine with the watered-down version of the original."
White continued: "Some people will hear that and say 'Oh, Jack White thinks he's the first person to play the blues.' But certain acts open up a market for a certain style. Amy Winehouse: Did she invent white soul? Wearing a beehive? No. But she did something brand new and fresh, altogether as a package, and you see who's in her wake, from the Duffys to the Lana Del Reys," he says. "Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive. The White Stripes did the same thing, and in our absence, you're gonna find someone to fill that. And you get a band like the Black Keys, who said they never heard of the White Stripes? Sure."
In the same interview, White noted that he almost never speaks with former bandmate Meg White anymore and expressed his past frustration about working with her.
"She's one of those people who won't high-five me when I get the touchdown," he said. "She viewed me that way of 'Oh, big deal, you did it, so what?' Almost every single moment of the White Stripes was like that. We'd be working in the studio and something amazing would happen: I'm like, 'Damn, we just broke into a new world right there!' And Meg's sitting in silence."
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.