Jack White admits a lot of heavy metal music goes “over his head” if it doesn’t have a blues element.
The former White Stripes and Raconteurs frontman is a huge fan of heavy metal guitarists Richie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin because they are “blues-based”, but if he’s listening to pure metal he “loses” his “connection to the music”.
Speaking to the new issue of Guitar Player magazine, Jack said: “Blackmore’s great.
“See, like Jimmy Page and Tony Iommi, Blackmore was still blues-based, y’know?
“A lot of the later players who were more heavy metal go over my head – or maybe I should say under it – because, without the strong blues element in there, I begin to lose my connection to the music.
“But Page, Iommi and Blackmore are really just the heaviest blues that existed at the time, coming out of the English blues boom of the ’60s and expanding into this heavier sort of territory.”
Meanwhile, the ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’ hitmaker revealed how playing all of the instruments on much of his new music – including recent solo LP ‘Fear of the Dawn’ and July’s ‘Entering Heaven Alive’ – made it possible for him to experiment further with the structure of the songs.
When the interviewer suggested he’s not much of a shredder, the 46-year-old star responded: “I like to use speed in short bursts.
“I try to choose my moments.
“Like anything, if you use too much of it, it can lose what makes it interesting in the first place.
“I also played all of the instruments, including drums, on many of these songs, and that kind of led me to begin structuring the songs in my head before I ever even picked up a guitar.
“Instead of the space for a solo either showing up naturally in a band arrangement or not, I could be very deliberate about it, because I was structuring from the drums up.
“Like, okay, I’m going to open with something impressive on the guitar and kind of knock the listener on the head, and then I’ll sing a bit, and then come back and do it again.”