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Jack White Discusses Gender Politics During Interview With Mike McCready: 'It's A Real Shame' [LISTEN]

by   Oct 4, 2014 16:57 PM EDT

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Jack White has a wealth of experience working with female performers in the music industry, but the same can't be said for the majority of popular rock acts.

We hadn't really heard much from White on the subject, though, until he sat down with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready to discuss gender politics in the music biz.

"It's a real shame that if a woman goes onstage with an instrument — guitar or drums or something — it's almost a novelty," White said. "Like, 'Oh, isn't that cute.' It's a shame that in 2014 that's a little bit of what's going on in the perception in the room.

"I know when we had the White Stripes, the fact that Meg [White] was female had something to do with peoples' perception of what was going on onstage. I know because I've played in two-piece bands with male drummers and not had that same kind of mentality."

White currently performs many of his "solo" shows with an all-female backing band. He remembered the moment he decided to make that set-up happen.

"It was one day in the studio," he said. "I was recording and I said, 'Well, tomorrow let's have all females play on the same song we had all the males play and see what happens.' There was a girl who came to play bass, and she was kind of upset that it was all girls there. She said, 'What's the deal with all the girls?' I said, 'I don't know what the deal is.' The drummer, Carla, said, 'Well that's funny, 'cause no one ever says when there's all guys in the room, 'What's the deal with all the guys?''

"The ultimate shame of it is girls have to try twice as hard to really prove themselves. They don't have a free ticket or something like that. But in the end, you almost get something better than any other sort of run-of-the-mill male musician, because they're really putting in to what's going on there."

The full interview will be on Pearl Jam Radio (Sirius XM) October 8, but you can listen to the preview clip below:

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