Photograph by Rebecca Greenfield
The ubiquitous Jack White may have finally met his match. Though he plays frontman for his other two bands—the White Stripes and the Raconteurs—in the Dead Weather he cedes the spotlight to the sultry Alison Mosshart (of the Kills). The band, which also includes Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age and Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs, serves up a rollicking debut, Horehound, a menacing collection of dirty garage rock and psychedelic blues propelled by Mosshart's fierce vocals and White's thundering beats. Yes, in this group, he drums. Matt Hendrickson
Q: Jack, as a kid you played percussion. Do you feel you've come full circle?
JW: I do. I've put it off for 15 years. I can't imagine how long it would have taken if I was taking it easy. I prefer drumming—it's such a better place to be when making a record.
AM: Basically he sat down when we recorded our first song and never got up.
Q: What was it like making the album?
AM: Jack has two speeds: fast and faster. We were just going to do a 7-inch, but then we had five songs in 12 hours. They were just pouring out of me.
JW: A lot of that is the way I record. It's all analog. I'm disappointed in technology. I want digital recording and ProTools to be better than analog, and it's just not.
Q: Sounds like the project is filling some creative void for both of you.
AM: I'm allowing myself to be pushed. There was a lot of fist-fighting going on in the studio, but it was all passion—not anger.
JW: It's pushing me to get in touch with sides of me that I had set aside. Songs like "I Cut Like a Buffalo"—I feel like I'm finally telling the truth.
Q: So, what's next? A hard-core band?
AM: God, I would love that. My favorite band of all time is Fugazi.
JW: Um, I need to get some more sleep.