The Raconteurs, Jack White’s band with Brendan Benson, just released Help Us Stranger, their first album in 11 years. In a new interview with The Irish Times, White cracked some jokes about why it took so long: “Well, when Brendan gave up alcohol, I started doing heroin, so that delayed things.” Spin reported on his comments in an article with the headline “The Raconteurs’ New Album Was Delayed Because Jack White ‘Started Doing Heroin.'” Jack White wasn’t so happy about that.
The musician made his feelings abundantly clear in a rare personal statement on social media. “Dear Spin,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’ve never done heroin or any other illegal drug in my life and anyone close to me could confirm this. If you’d actually read the article in full, you could see that I was joking. But, I supposed Spin never lets the facts get in the way of good clickbait.”
In the same post, White went on to criticize the music press at large, including Stereogum, for clickbait, stemming partially from the coverage of another recent interview he gave in which he said he’s never owned a cellphone and discussed banning phones from his concerts:
Dear Pitchfork, Stereogum, Noisey and the rest of the trash “music” cough “journalism” sites: Though I realize that you work in the business of soundbites and clickbait, and that you’re pissed Third Man Records didn’t send you a free copy of the new Raconteurs album because of how nasty you regularly are, here’s a couple other notes: I don’t hate people who own cell phones, or never allow one near me, or hate ALL technology etc. Stop painting with such a wide brush. Just because I don’t own a cell phone in an attempt to lead a healthy life doesn’t mean I hate all technology. Though you’d love for me to be the luddite that provides you with cyber laughs ’til the electric cows come home, I hate to break that myth by stating that I listen to digital music, I drive an electric car, and I typed this boring response on my computer.
Also, back in my day in the 1800s, artists weren’t punished for taking the road less traveled, or for answering questions with unpopular responses. Hell, we were even expected to rebel against the status quo if you can believe that. I encourage people to lead their own healthy lives and find ways to engage in things that inspire one another rather than bring them down. If you love music and the arts, I think your organizations should start to learn to do the same thing, or at least pretend you love music rather than looking to please your advertisers with clicks.
This isn’t the first time that White has taken issue with the press. A few years ago, his label Third Man Records posted a statement to their official Facebook page entitled “JACK WHITE CLICK BAIT BINGO EXHAUSTION” calling out the “this current 1 hour news cycle environment, pull quote, tabloid atmosphere.”