“Business on the page, party on the stage,” VICE


By Nick Gazin

Photo by Diane Alexander White

White Mystery is one of my favorite bands and two of my favorite people. On the guitar and vocals is Alex White, and on the drums is her younger brother Francis. They come from Chicago, are close with their parents, and are very proud gingers.

When we’re in the same town, we have a tendency to all sleep in the same bed together, kinda like puppies. My puppy pals have released their third of three videos from their latest single, and they’re also on tour now, so now I’m sharing their videos with you so that you can know them and go see them perform so that they might get to know you. I interviewed Miss Alex White. She keeps it very business-like in interviews, but she’s a very wild woman when she performs. “Business on the page, party on the stage” is a motto I just invented for her right now.

Tell me about these three videos. Who made them, what’s the story? 
White Mystery releases new music every 4/20. This year, all three songs have a corresponding video. You’re premiering “Toxic Sugar,” the third and final installment! Big, crazy, special thanks to the creative people who made this vision into a reality:


Penelope Helen Gazin created this fanciful stop-motion animation video with a cartoon dream sequence that features redheaded White Mystery puppets in a beautiful garden world. The song, “Rapid Overdrive,” is about the colors of the rainbow, ROYGBIV, so making a sensory rich video conveying the lyrics was the goal. She executes this perfectly with a pug dragon, throwing up flowers, and monster-slaying.


This video is a psychedelic party on wheels inspired by a live television session at JBTV, where the studio audience was bused to the taping by Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago. A JBTV camera dude, Aidan Brezonick, captured this punk rock field trip around our hometown with friends who caused quite a ruckus downtown. Old Style hooked up cases of beer, which lubricated the trip in true Chicago fashion. People Power!


This is the new video, where we experimented with DIY effects, like projected patterns, wind propelled confetti, black balloons, and silly string. We met director Andrew Halliday when he invited us to perform a live song on Lazy Day Lounge. This chaos was captured in mere hours and we’re still picking stuff out of our hair. Thanks to Gregg, Cyrus, Nicole, and Luke for throwing glitter!

I like that part with the silly string going in reverse.
Thanks! I like you, and Francis likes your sister.

You mentioned to me that you’re going out on tour again. 
Yes, the upcoming White Mystery REVENGE Tour kicks off September 18th in Cleveland, includes shows with Gardens, Goner Fest in Memphis, New Orleans, Texas, then to the West Coast with a bunch of Burger Records gigs in Fullerton, LA, SF. See tour dates here!

White Mystery will play more than 150 shows in 2012, which means almost half the year is spent playing rock ‘n’ roll. It’s great to have a home in every town and experience freedom on the open road. We look forward to making a new White Mystery album with Greg Ashley in San Francisco and playing with awesome bands like Ty Segall, Turbo Fruits, Spits, and the Coachwhips. Come and rock ‘n’ roll with us, everybody!

What are you guys driving around in now? You guys crashed your car and then you were driving a matte grey thing that Scion loaned you. 
White Mystery rolls in a 2012 Scion XB that looks like a matte grey Bonnie & Clyde car. An unlicensed driver t-boned our Pontiac Vibe the day before tour kickoff with Shonen Knife, and we’re really thankful the Scion was ready to go. The car is the perfect size for a duo, and it’s awesome to have a brand new whip!

How was playing with Iggy Pop this year? Are there any other big names you guys have opened for lately?
Iggy Pop was epically awesome at Riot Fest in Chicago, where White Mystery played, along with Elvis Costello, GWAR, and Jesus & Mary Chain. Shirley Manson, our big sister, took us under her wing, and opening for Garbage has been amazing. We toured with Shonen Knife, the legendary all-girl Japanese band, and they told us stories about playing with Nirvana two decades ago. Apparently, Dave Grohl would set up their drums every night! It’s sweet sharing bills with amazing bands like Thee Oh Sees, King Tuff, Le Bucherettes, OFF!, The Men, The Gories, Mavis Staples, Turbo Fruits, and Coathangers.



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