The ex-White Stripes frontman chats about running a label and spreading the gospel of vinyl

By Leah Greenblatt
April 08, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Now that the White Stripes are done, what are your priorities?
Jack White: The Dead Weather and the Raconteurs are alive and well. You don’t have a job where you work 9 to 5 at a factory because you’re an artist? Well, okay then, you better make some art. At Third Man, we’re on our 95th record that we’ve produced in two years.

You’ve also helmed albums for Loretta Lynn and rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson. Are you checking off a dream list of lady icons?
White: [Laughs] No, I can’t look at it that way, or do it just to make myself happy. I have to be able to contribute, and make something new.

You’ve always been a champion of analog. What do you love about it?
White: It’s not to be retro or cute or cool; it just sounds better. But when it comes down to producing or writing or performing, every moment is a matter of taste.

Third Man now has the Rolling Record Store, a mobile shop. What’s your plan for it?
White: We want to take it to festivals, hot-rod shows, carnivals, state fairs. I want to put records in front of kids. Vinyl is a tangible format that has lasted this long for a reason — there’s a romance to it. When you put the needle down, you feel connected.

Since you moved from Detroit to Nashville, you’ve really set up kind of an empire down there.
White: We have a live venue, the only one in the world where you can record on analog tape in front of an audience, and it comes out on vinyl four weeks later.

You seem ridiculously busy. Do you have time to see your wife and kids?
White: I’ve met them, yes — they’re very nice. [Laughs]

Read the full interview at EW’s Music Mix blog.