“IT GOT SO BIG THAT THERE WERE ‘GARAGE ROCK’ JEANS AT THE MALL.”
JACK WHITE on the impact of The Strokes and The White Stripes:
“I think it’s the last time I’ve felt that kind of electricity in the air. People screaming outside hotel rooms. ‘Have you heard this song yet? Oh my God!’ When we played in London I couldn’t believe the crowd, like, ‘Wow! What the fuck is going on?’ People don’t remember that scene as well as grunge and you can’t blame them because those bands sold five million albums a piece and The Strokes and The White Stripes didn’t. But even if some of those bands aren’t as well known now, that scene was electric, with The Hives and The Vines and people. The White Stripes and The Strokes did shows together in Detroit and New York because the press was trying to get an Oasis/Blur thing going and we were saying, ‘No, that’s not happening. Let’s go out right now and show them this scene is really energetic and powerful.’ It’s funny because that term garage rock came from a journalist asking me, ‘What do you call your music?’ In Detroit we were always talking about these ’ 60s punk bands so I said, ‘I guess we’re garage rock.’ About six months later that term had gotten so big that there were ‘garage rock’ jeans at the mall. I thought, ‘Oh my god, what I said in that interview is now on a tag at the mall.’”
Hall of fame: The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas with White at an MTV Awards Party, New York, 2002.