In the opening scene of the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud, Jack White, dressed like a 19th century undertaker on a farm porch, hammers nails into a dirty old block of wood. An empty glass coke bottle that sits where the pickups would be on a normal guitar provides bend to the single string he's wound on the nails. He plugs an amp into the instrument's makeshift electronics, plays a little wailing slide guitar and then quips, "Who says you need to buy a guitar?" This was the established mythos of Jack White in 2008.
"The easy way out would be to cater to the person who just wants me to record 'Fell in Love With a Girl' or 'Lazaretto' over and over again, and then keep writing 55 songs with heavy riffs in them. That's just boring to me. I just don't have the patience to numb my brain that much."
Jack White said that in a 2018 interview with Exclaim! about his experimental third solo album, Boarding House Reach.
Since he founded his record label and pressing plant Third Man Records, Jack White has been a loyal ambassador of bringing new and vintage sounds to the masses. But his solo career, which started with 2012's Blunderbuss, has progressively turned more challenging and forward-thinking. And though no one can deny he's a stickler for a good, bluesy riff, the former White Stripes leader has opted to maintain that tricky balance, if not topple it altogether.
Jack White just can't sit still. Blessed with a formidable work ethic - even as a pre-fame carpenter, he'd whittle out a half dozen chairs in a day to his own remarkable designs - he moves between multiple roles. There's the label boss, heading up Third Man's release schedule; he's also running a vinyl pressing plant, while (rightly) urging major label bosses to up their game.