Leah Greenblatt talks with the Raconteurs -- Jack White, Brendan Benson, and two Greenhornes members -- about their new, Jim Jarmusch-directed video

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Credit: Raconteurs: Autumn de Wilde

Call them old friends (they’ve known each other for nearly a decade), call them proud Michiganders (all hail from the Wolverine State, though they recently relocated to Nashville) — just don’t call them a supergroup. ”We hate that word!” whoops alt-pop solo artist Brendan Benson, who, with Jack White (of the White Stripes) and Greenhornes musicians Patrick Keeler (drums) and Jack Lawrence (bass), recently formed the bluesy side project the Raconteurs. Their debut, Broken Boy Soldiers, doesn’t hit stores until May 16 — but the video for the first single, the Joe Jackson-esque slow burner ”Steady, as She Goes,” is online now at the Raconteurs website (under ”Media”). The band sat down with EW’s Leah Greenblatt for a chat about the clip, for which they enlisted legendary lo-fi film director Jim Jarmusch.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jack was in Coffee and Cigarettes in 2003. The Greenhornes were all over the Broken Flowers soundtrack last year. I’m guessing you guys are all pretty big Jarmusch fans. What are your favorite films of his?
JACK WHITE That’s a tough one for me to pick a favorite, but I love working with him. Are you making one of those Entertainment Weekly boxes that go on the side of articles?

Maybe…
WHITE I hate those boxes, man. I refuse to be part of it! [Laughs]

I guess I wasn’t stealth enough to trick you. That’s okay; I’ll just say your favorite is [1999’s] Ghost Dog.
[Whole band breaks into guffaws]
PATRICK KEELER Dude, she’s not wrong.
BRENDAN BENSON [Mock seriously] I admire him for his work of special effects.
KEELEER His greenscreen work is amazing, truly. [More laughs]

Okay, seriously: It’s pretty cool you got him to do the clip. Are you guys interested in film in general? Because the White Stripes especially have worked with some pretty cool people (like director Michel Gondry).
WHITE Oh, yeah. The side benefit of getting to make music and make videos is working with those kinds of directors. We’re pretty lucky to get to be involved in both worlds. When actors or people involved in film try to switch over and make a record, it’s pretty hard for them…. The funny thing is that you can go from being Ice Cube in N.W.A to making movies for kids or whatever, but you can never go backwards. You can’t start off being Audrey Hepburn and then get a pin through your nose. But you can start off with the pin and go glamorous later.

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