Jack White Reveals the Guitar Advice He Got From Prince in New Zane Lowe Interview

Jack White talks about getting guitar advice from Prince and gives Zane Lowe a behind-the-scenes tour of the Third Man vinyl pressing plant in Detroit in excerpts from a new Apple Music 1 interview. The full conversation will premiere today, April 6, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

In the interview, White said he got the chance to meet Prince once at a show featuring Zoë Kravitz and his ex-wife Karen Elson’s musical project, the Citizens Band. After the concert started, someone bumped White and told him that Prince was sitting behind them. 

Eventually, White and Prince began to chat, and the musician recalled: “The phrase he had said to me was like, ‘No one is going to tell you how to play your guitar, Jack.’ And he talked about the James Bond song I had just done. And he said, ‘I really like it.’ And I said, ‘Oh, that’s great. Because some people, it’s like making a song for Star Wars fans or something. You’re throwing yourself into the sea of… It’s a very divisive track.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, I thought it was real strong.’” 

(Third Man, it’s worth noting, is planning to release Prince’s fabled, unreleased 1986 album Camille after getting permission from the late musician’s estate.)

White is currently gearing up for the release of his first of two new albums this year, Fear of the Dawn, which will arrive April 8 (while touring the Third Man pressing plant, Lowe got the chance to press and trim his own personal copy of the forthcoming LP). White’s second album, Entering Heaven Alive, will arrive in July, and together they mark his fourth and fifth solo efforts over the past decade.

While White has had a prolific and steady solo career, he admitted to Lowe that being a solo artist always felt strange to him, at least until it became clear that the White Stripes were winding down. White said it was pretty clear to him around 2010 that he and Meg White wouldn’t be making any more records together for a while, and he initially abstained from making any public comments about it in case they decided to get back together. But his thinking change as he prepared to drop Blunderbuss in 2012.

“I had a feeling, maybe it’d be healthier for me and her and for the fans … Because I’m about to release a solo record and if I hear someone say, ‘Well why didn’t you just make a White Stripes record?’” White said. “I don’t want to hear that. So that was one of the reasons for the health part of it.”