It's not exactly breaking news to report that White Stripes/ Dead Weather/ Raconteurs frontman Jack White is a very busy man — as he puts it, "I've got like five things on my plate right now, it's a big plate" — but it's what he's working on these days (and what he's not) that is making headlines.
But first things first: Earlier this month, reports emerged that White was all set to record with '50s rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson on a project similar to his 2004 collaboration with country legend Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose. So when we spoke to him and his Dead Weather brethren backstage at the taping of the 2009 mtvU Woodie Awards, where the band is performing (the show airs on December 4), we had to ask him about it.
Turns out, the sessions are already done — and they were thoroughly "wild."
"I just finished recording with Wanda Jackson in Nashville. It was just supposed to be a seven-inch [single], but we did a lot more songs, so maybe it will be something bigger," White said. "There was a lot of good stuff. It's a wild record."
And then there's the matter of a new Dead Weather album and, of course, a new White Stripes disc, too — both of which seem to be happening, albeit at their own pace.
"It's gonna take as long as it takes ... if it takes three months to do a Dead Weather record, we'll take that long," White said. "The White Stripes record is going to be these two guys [Dead Weather bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist/ keyboardist Dean Fertita] dressed as me and Meg, so we'll see if something interesting comes out of that."
However, there's the project that won't be happening: White's rumored contribution to former Guns N' Roses axeman Slash's solo record, which — if reports are to be believed — White turned down an opportunity to sing on.
"I don't even remember that request, but I love Slash — Appetite [for Destruction] is one of the best rock albums of the past 20-30 years," White said. "I don't remember exactly what that request was, but, you know, I don't really like those albums where every song is a different person — that Santana thing, that's not interesting to me. But I think he's a really interesting guitar player."
Like he said, he's got lots on his plate. Sometimes too much.
"It's like one of those army trays with the compartments," he laughed. "You don't want the potatoes to get mixed in with the peas."
Don't miss the 2009 mtvU Woodie Awards, airing on December 4 at 10 p.m. on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU!