“Fire-breathing dragons in the flesh,” TRI STATE INDIE
Posted Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 4:20 pm
Tri State Indie [Inside Scoop]
White Mystery @ SXSW / Photo: Megan Matuzak
White Mystery is tackling their biggest project since the band’s origins in 2008: a double gatefold, half new music, half live album called Dubble Dragon. The album is a deep dive into the fantastical and exotic imagination of siblings Alex White and Francis White, two intertwined, fire-breathing dragons in the flesh.
It’s six thirty in the evening as Alex White, singer and guitar player, emerges from her bedroom cave, where she was nursing a pre-tour cold. She makes a pit stop to the bathroom to apply some bright pink lipstick, which barely stands out from her glorious locks of orange hair. Alex isn’t obsessed with appearances, rather she is suiting up to talk business.
“I was in a two piece with another gal called The Red Lights, another two piece after that, started a record label when I was 17 and started putting out 45s,” Alex listed nonchalantly. “I still put out records and I’ll be 29 next month.”
Their parents basement on the north side of Chicago has been the incubator for the Whites’ musical musings for as long as they can remember. They grew up in a creative family: their mother, who is both a seasoned and personal photographer best known for documenting the Disco Demolition in 1979, as well as a fashion designer for a younger brother and third sibling.
As teenagers they picked their instrument of choice, guitar and drums respectively, and took off running. Francis delved into the punk and psychobilly realms, while Alex planted her feet in loud, industrial, rhythm rock. They always found time to jam together, of course.
“We had a toy piano that we used to bang upon. We would jam quarters into it for no reason, it kind of turned into a piggy bank,” Francis reminisced about their first encounter with instruments as toddlers, “But it gave it such a demented sound we really liked.”
Missile X was Alex’s first enterprise, as Francis calls it. She started the label with a friend, Chris Playboy, and fellow Chicago musician. They decided to put out an album by one of their favorite bands: The Spits. The Spits like to dress up, like Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar and crew to be specific, so they released the bands album on Halloween with a custom lollipop inside.
Due to the tragic death of her label partner, Alex and Chris’ parents started a foundation, The Chris Saathoff Foundation, which was established in his memory and has raised $10,000 in the last 10 years for the foundation. Missile X fused with the White Mystery brand and the siblings have been releasing their own records annually since 2010.
“You think about nuns or monks and their vow of celibacy, we do not have a vow of celibacy, but neither of us is going to move across the country for a relationship and jeopardize the band, it’s just not allowed,” Alex seemingly quoted from the White Mystery bible. “The no-boyfriend-no-girlfriend pact technically ends on April 20, 2018, which is the 10 year anniversary of the band.”
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