Jack White Talks Greta Van Fleet, “Old Town Road,” & Woodstock 50

Naturally, Jack White likes Greta Van Fleet. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, White praises the young band, who won a Grammy earlier this year for Best Rock Album.

“They’re three Polish brothers from Frankenmuth, Michigan — I thought that was a joke!” he said during the interview in response to a question about the criticisms the band has received about copying older music. “But it’s exciting to see young people play rock & roll, no doubt about it. That guy has a very cool voice. The more he makes it his own, the better. People used to say, when I first came out, ‘He sounds like Robert Plant.’ If you keep pushing forward, that shit goes away.”

Elsewhere in the interview, White talks about what new music inspires him: “All the rock & roll albums coming out this year. The Hives, the Black Keys … It’s also great that people still appreciate a band that writes songs like Vampire Weekend and Twenty One Pilots. It’s just really great songwriting.”

It’s notable that he mentions the Black Keys, because as of a few years ago they were still feuding. White tries to clear that up:

I respect all rock & rollers. I think [the beef] was some lawyers trying to screw me over and trying to take something out of context. Patrick Carney stopped by while we were recording this Raconteurs album and let me borrow a microphone. That was cool of him.

White also weighs in on “Old Town Road,” which is holding on to the #1 song in the country going on 15 weeks now: ‘It’s beautiful. The song is only a minute and 47 seconds long or something — that’s how long ‘Fell in Love With a Girl’ was. People said, ‘They’re not going to play that on radio.’ But it worked, and it’s great that it’s happening again.”

He also sidesteps whether or not he’s playing the epic shitshow that is Woodstock 50:

I don’t really understand it myself. Someone told me they didn’t have the right size permit or something. I didn’t really understand it. All I know is whenever I hear about things like that, all I can think is, “I’m so glad I’m not a producer for a festival because it sounds like a nightmare.” Every time you pull into one, you’re like, “Wow, I don’t want any part in organizing this thing, man. Jeez oh mighty.” Just the bathrooms alone could just be complicated enough.

Check out the full interview here.