Aidin Vaziri | We asked Jack White and Brendan Benson of the Raconteurs to talk about the ups and downs of the festival circuit, including the particular challenge of persuading fans of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” to dig into the far-out sounds of their current band’s second album, “Consolers of the Lonely.” And yes, they insist, it really is a band.
Jack White’s Raconteurs Talk Festivals
WHITE: It seems as if there are 50 more festivals now than there were a couple of years ago or something.
BENSON: Most of them are so huge and corporate, not unlike a Wal-Mart type of vibe of everything under one tent. It doesn’t seem they give much thought to the bills anymore either, like what works and what doesn’t. It’s just something to do for a lot of people. Like, “Hey, let’s go to Lollapalooza.” When I first went to Lollapalooza, it was all music fans who couldn’t believe what was happening.
WHITE: That’s why you can’t do what you really want to do in a festival set. You really have to change it up, which is OK. I like that challenge.
BENSON: It definitely has its own set of challenges.
WHITE: When you’re in front of any crowd, you’re challenged. If you don’t take it as a challenge, then you really need to re-evaluate yourself as a performer. Every night should be a challenge. That’s the way I look at it. Like, you know, if you’re playing an old-folks home, I don’t think you start the set with “My Generation” or something. You have to read the room. Continue reading.