“Tonight on Carson Daly,” CMJ.com

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Q&A: WHITE MYSTERY ARE BEST FRIENDS

Since 2008, Windy City duo White Mystery has been one of the hardest working acts in low-brow show biz. Boot-stomping their trash blues through dives, juke joints, big festivals, Levis ad campaigns, and a documentary (That Was Awesome), they’ve eventually scattered out numerous singles and now have their fifth album, Outta Controlready to rumble on April 20.Tonight they’ll be seen on Last Call with Carson Daly doing “Best Friend” from the new self-released album, but we’ve got it here first, below, as well as a sizable chat from leader Miss Alex White about her brother drummer, hair eating and the endless road that is White Mystery.

You’re about to do “Best Friend” on Carson Daly tonight. If you had to pick one late night talk show host to be your best friend, which one would it be?
Fellow ginger Conan O’Brien would be the ideal choice for a late night host/best friend, though retired Letterman jogging in St. Bart’s looks like a fun dude too.Who was your best friend when you were in grade school, and are you still in touch?
Chris B. is Francis’ best friend since he was four years old. He is now a Navy Coreman for Marine Force Recon. He is the toughest guy on the planet and you can always rely on him to come through when you need him.When and how did you first start playing guitar?
The age I started playing guitar becomes fuzzier in my memory as every year passes. Pretty sure I was 13 years old when I got a Danelectro and started playing in a noise band called the Psychotic Sensations. I know for certain that it was the year 2000 when I bought that Rickenbacker that you still see today.

And when did your brother start on the drums?
Francis picked up the drums when he was fourteen years old.

Who first posed the idea of you two playing together?
We played together with toy instruments at a very young age, so we were ready to go.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of playing in a band with your brother?
Francis is my best friend. I remember when my parents brought him home from the hospital. He would cry and cry until they pushed his crib into my bedroom and we became inseparable, since 1987. Exploring the far reaches of the world while rocking peoples’ faces off is a dream come true. Would the little redheaded baby versions of ourselves on the north side of Chicago ever believe what was to come?

Do other family members ever get to weigh in on band decisions?
Our mom Diane Alexander White is the fifth Beatle, and best known for her photos of Disco Demolition.

You and your brother have all that great, long, curly red hair. Have you ever got it tangled mid-performance?
It gets stuck in my throat when I try to sing.
What’s the longest tour you ever did, and do you have a story about just hitting a wall and wanting to go home?
We played two hundred shows a year for several years in a row, and Francis has been lying in bed for about five months now because of it.That said, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you go through a whole show without sporting a wide-ass grin. 
When we are on stage together, all the aches, pains, and fears fly out the window and we remember again why we were put on this earth.

Have you really released music on April 20th ever since you formed in 2008?
Yes, here’s the list:
“That Was Awesome” (White Mystery Band, Film/Tape Cassette 2015)
“Dubble Dragon” (White Mystery Band LP/CD 2014)
“Telepathic” (White Mystery Band LP/CD 2013)
“People Power” (Perpetrator LP/CD 2012)
“Blood & Venom” (White Mystery Band LP/CD 2011)
“White Mystery” (White Mystery Band LP/CD 2010)
“Take A Walk” (Whistler Records 7″ 2009)
“Power Glove” (HoZac Hook Up Club 7″ 2009)

Your next album, Outta Control, comes this April 20, of course. Please tell us any and all about it.
It is the epic masterpiece rock’n’roll pop album you’ve all been waiting for! Don DeGrazia, our friend and author of American Skin, puts it best: “It’s the album they were to produce. Smooth and sweet like taffy candy, buoyed by that signature rolling beat, and inscrutably infectious. It’s an absolute knockout.”

Who did that boss cover art?
Marc McKenzie, aka Mac Blackout.

Any Record Store Day releases from y’all?
Yup, every year! We started releasing records on April 20 years ago, and fortunately RSD picked that weekend as a holiday years later. So now we benefit from that boost for every annual release.

Finally, give us a wrap-up of post-Outta Control release plans (tours, etc.).
Pretty stoked to play Grand Rapids on April 20 at the Pyramid Scheme, which is an amazing pinball bar. Also very stoked to perform at the Nelsonville Music Festival near Athens, Ohio, with Courtney Barnett and Charles Bradley. Also, CMJ readers, feel free to contact White Mystery directly, and remember to always respect yourself, love your family and question authority.

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