Jack White has specified that his solo debut isn’t about his break-up with Karen Elson or Meg White.
White did an email interview with The A.V. Club and was asked if the many references to “treacherous women” on Blunderbuss are directed at ex-wife Karen Elson or ex-bandmate Meg White.
He writes, “I think it’s very funny that people nowadays still think if you use the word ‘I’ or ‘she’ [in a song] you are talking about yourself or your girlfriend at the time. I mean, what year is it? Didn’t they get rid of that prison in the ’60s?”
He continued to say that his relationship break-up was not necessarily a negative thing.
“People have sort of a problem trying to see an end to a situation as being positive or romantic,” he explains, “Relationships of any kind are powerful, and they always influence an artist. It’s inescapable. If you’re asking if I would be foolish enough, or insulting enough, to write about people in my life that I respect and sell it to the masses as a ‘break-up song,’ I can’t imagine doing that to people I love. How embarrassing.”
White also specified that the lyrics on ‘Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy’ – that could sound like a kiss-off to Meg (“And you’ll be watching me, girl / Taking over the world / Let the stripes unfurl”) – are actually about boy bands.
He wrote, “A melody and some lyrics I dreamed that I thought must’ve been something I saw a boy band do on MTV the day before. The story in the song is about white hipster musicianship and authenticity. The ‘stripes’ are me talking about the flag and the American dream of profiting at any cost. The boy and girl in the song are arbitrary. I could’ve said grandma and Old Joe.”
Blunderbuss debuted at number one in the US this week, and at number two in Australia.