“Interview with White Mystery,” Delayed Graffitification

The Empty Bottle, a legendary Chicago venue, has a lounge for bands that is easy to get to if you’re good at looking important. After I saw Video perform a spitfire,visceral set at Hozac Blackout Fest this year, I followed Daniel Fried down to the lounge to tell him that he rocked. Downstairs reeked of sweat and tobacco. There were a bunch of people that I personally had never encountered who looked as though they all knew each other. I later found out that most of the people were Puerto Rico’s Davila 666, though I also ended up meeting the guys from Fungi Girls, who eventually introduced me to White Mystery.
Throughout my summer of concert hopping, I ran into Francis and Alex White of White Mystery at different events, such as Royal Headache’s show with the OBN III’s and Football at the Burlington. It was really great to see how they welcomed me as I only recently had moved up from Durham, NC and had been trying to get to know the lay of the land in Chicago.
Aside from my personal experience with these two fantastic people, White Mystery creates some awesome music. With three records out, including a most recent 7” on Hozac Records, the band has a wealth of music. They’re garage rock in the traditional sense. As I listen to them, I am reminded most clearly of Mr. Airplane Man, a small band on the now defunct Sympathy for the Record Industry label, as that band had only two members as well. Though to categorize White Mystery under anything would be a mistake. There is definitely rock n’ roll. But there’s also a little bit of the weird in their music too – just check out their videos.
White Mystery on the Cover of their Blood & Venom Record
They put on a great show and are playing tonight at the Fireside Bowl, which is sure to please any and all rock fanatics.
Here are some links for checking them out!
This is the link to check out the show that they’re playing tonight
Jordan: When did you guys know that you wanted to start a group together? Did you all have like music lessons together when you were growing up or how did you become interested in making music?
White Mystery: White Mystery formally started on April 20, 2008 after years of jamming together, basement recordings, and playing in other groups. Our mom took us to piano lessons together as kids, but we took different paths to develop musically as adolescents.
J: How did you figure out the kind of music that you write, record and perform? Anything draw you in particular to the style you play?
WM: Songs start with a hooky riff, and explode with collaboration.
Francis & Alex White
J: Were you in other bands before deciding to be in one with your sibling? What is it like being in a band with a sibling? Does it make it easier or harder?
WM: Miss Alex White is known for her work in the Hot Machines and Miss Alex White & the Red Orchestra, traveling the world playing rock’n’roll, releasing records on labels like In The Red, Cass, and Dusty Medical. Francis White played in a psychobilly band called the Nuke Mutes.
Sibling bands share a quiet understanding, sympathy, and love…at least White Mystery does.
J: Have you always been located in Chicago? What parts of the city do you live in? Does any particular group of people or musicians in Chicago have more to do with the music you make and the things you like to do?
WM: Yes, we were born and raised on the North side of the city of Chicago. There are endless DIY and amazing shows to see, record stores, and opportunities for people to grow in the musical community here.
J: I was watching the “birthday” video and it seemed like you guys really have a good time together. What do you all like to do when you aren’t doing music?
White Mystery Live
WM: MTV named the “Birthday” video a Top 5 Weird Video Premiere of 2011, which is pretty sweet for a totally DIY band like White Mystery. All we do is play music, tour, release records, make merch, and make rock’n’roll a full-time endeavor.
J: You all have a show coming up at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago on tuesday, in addition to a bunch of shows slated for this fall, including one at Riot fest. Are you touring for anything in particular? What can an audience expect from these shows?
WM: We are touring to stay alive until 2018. Scion loaned White Mystery an XB car to accomplish this goal, which is exciting.
J: What’s next on the agenda for White Mystery in terms of releases and material?
WM: Every April 20, White Mystery releases a new record along with videos and a crazy release party, like a Rock’n’Roll Circus in NYC this year. We’re excited to share new songs with everyone. Check out WM music online here.
J: Do you all feel that being redheaded makes you a better person/musician? How does that affect everything?
WM: Natural redheads are 4% of the global population so it’s definitely a special trait that is cool to share among siblings.
Posted by at 6:44 AM

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