a Q&A with White Mystery’s Alex White

White Mystery, the redheaded, Chicago, IL-based, sibling duo of Alex and Francis White is probably one of the hardest-working bands in indie rock music today. As the very lovely and talented Alex White mentions in this Q&A, the band played over 200 shows across North America, alone. And early this year, the Whites will bring their balls-to-the-wall brand of rock overseas to Europe, where I suspect that they’ll win over new fans with their frenetic live show.  Personally, they’re among my favorite live acts to catch live – their inherent sweet-naturedness shines through. 

They’ll continue their constant tour schedule but this time they’ll be touring to support their forthcoming release, Telepathic which will drop on April 20, 2013. In this Q&A, with White Mystery’s Alex White, we speak a bit about the new album, how it’s like to tour with your sibling, and more. 

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WRH: How did you get into music?

AW: Hearing [The Who’s] “Who’s Next” as a kid was a lightning bolt moment that connected my soul with rock’n’roll.

WRH: From what I understand, your mother is a fairly renowned photographer in your hometown of Chicago, so I have the sense that you’ve grown up in a fairly artistic home. Do you think that has inspired you in some way? 

AW: Diane Alexander White is our mom and Disco Demolition photographer who shot the Comiskey Park riot in 1979. Needless to say, White Mystery had a liberal upbringing in the city of Chicago. 

WRH: How would you describe your sound?

AW: Balls-to-the-wall-red-hot-rock’n’roll.

WRH: Who are your influences?

AW: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who, art of Jasper Johns, The Cramps, Iron Maiden, underground punk.

WRH: Who are you listening to right now?

AW: “Time has come today” by the Chambers Brothers 

WRH: If I’m not mistaken, Telepathic will be the band’s third full-length release. How does the new album differ from your previous albums? 

AW: Telepathic is the third White Mystery album, recorded in San Francisco, with a lot more speed and heat. 

WRH: Alex, you were in a band before you teamed up with your younger brother. How did that come about? Are there any differences between playing, writing and recording alongside your brother than say a band of random people? How does the songwriting process work with your brother vs. being in a band with others?

AW: I’ve been in half a dozen bands and released countless records since young teenagehood. Yes, there are differences playing with your brother as you can imagine— it’s an honest and merciful relationship that is committed to the ends of the earth. 

WRH: You guys are constantly on the road. In fact, I think you guys are probably on the road more than most artists these days. How is it like to be on the road so much with your sibling? 

AW: White Mystery played 200 shows in North America this year, which is definitely more time on the road than at home, and it’s great to share that between best friends bound in blood.

WRH: What’s your favorite place to play on tour and why? You’ve also played with a tremendous amount of bands throughout your tours – who was your favorite to play with? 

AW: Your favorite place on tour is where you are, at that moment. It was awesome playing with Iggy & the Stooges, Garbage, and Thee Oh Sees in 2012.

WRH: The two of you are building up quite a buzz over the past year or two. What advice would you give to indie rock bands trying to make it? 

AW: KEEP GOING.


For more on White Mystery on the interwebs, check out the following:

Home page: http://www.whitemysteryband.com

Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/whitemysteryband

Videos: http://www.whitemysteryband.com/videos

Photos: http://www.whitemysteryband.com/photos

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/missalexwhite