Jack White discusses what “rock n’ roll’ needs” to win back festival line-ups

Have you noticed less rock acts on 2018's festival line-ups?

Jack White has declared that “rock n’ roll needs an injection of new blood” in order to dominate festival line-ups once again.

The former White Stripes, Dead Weather and Raconteurs frontman turned solo star was appearing on KROQ‘s The Kevin And Bean Show, when he was asked about a decline in the number of rock acts appearing on this year’s festival bills.

This comes after Louis Tomlinson led a backlash against Coachella, calling for more rock bands to be on the bill. Similar complaints were also made by some fans this morning about the Reading & Leeds 2018 line-up.


“Rock ‘n’ roll needs an injection of some new young blood to really just knock everybody dead right now,” said White. “It think it’s brewing and brewing and it’s about to happen. And I think that it’s good. Since rock ‘n’ roll’s inception, every 10, 12 years, there’s a breath of fresh air and a new injection of some sort of what you could I guess call ‘punk attitude’ or something like that, a wildness.

“Things get crazy and then they get crazy for a couple years, and then they kind of get subtle, and then you’ve gotta wait for the next wave to come through and get people really excited and screaming about it again.”

White added: “We see it at Third Man all the time, a lot of young rock ’n’ roll acts, and I can tell in the last couple years it’s definitely different than it was five years ago. So I can tell something’s about to explode again.”

Meanwhile, White is gearing up to release his third solo album ‘Boarding House Reach’ on March 23 via Third Man Records/XL Recordings. He’s preceded its release by sharing three new tracks, ‘Corporation’,  ‘Connected By Love’ and ‘Respect Commander’. He’s described the record as a mixture of ‘punk, hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll‘.

“It almost hurt my feelings to condense some of those songs, but I wanted to make it relatable in 2018,” White said of the album. “The entire record, to me, is incredibly modern. I wanted to take punk, hip-hop and rock & roll, and funnel it all into a 2018 time capsule.”


“I’ve always made it my job to push myself into uncomfortable situations. If you’re an artist, your job’s not to make life easier on yourself and make other people do your work for you. I’ve never been a fan of people who do that, and I don’t respect that sort of way of attacking music.”

Jack White on tour

White will play a trio of UK shows at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith in London from June 26-28. Tickets are available here.