Jack White Rips Concert Goers: 'People Can't Clap Anymore!'

"They've got a f--king texting thing in their f--king hand, and probably a drink, too!," the musician complains.

Ultimate Guitar

Jack White recently made clear that he isn't afraid of complaining about things, and that includes today's concert crowds.

Chatting with Rolling Stone, the musician compared himself to Larry David. "Complaining about, you know, why they make shoelaces so much longer than they need to be," he said. "I'll be the only one to laugh, just to ease the tension in the room."

Focusing on concert goers, White said, "People can't clap anymore, because they've got a f--king texting thing in their f--king hand, and probably a drink, too! Some musicians don't care about this stuff, but I let the crowd tell me what to do. There's no set list. I'm not just saying the same things I said in Cleveland last night. If they can't give me that energy back? Maybe I'm wasting my time."

During the rest of the chat, Jack praised Daft Punk as "amazing," as well as Kanye West, regretting somewhat of a missed opportunity to appear on the rapper's latest effort "Yeezus."

White said about West's latest tour: "That might have been the greatest show I've seen in my life. It was more punk, more in-your-face than anything I've seen."

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bet U-G is gonna get at least 3 more articles out of this interview.
    'Jack White compares himself to Larry David' 'Jack White likes Daft Punk' 'Jack White thinks Kanye West is punk: who are your 10 favourite African-American punk artists?'
    Even though I dont like this guy,he makes a good point.If you are going to a concert have the decency to pay attention to the entertainment and give some fuc$#@ing feedback instead of your phone while your there,otherwise whats the point in paying for a ticket and going at all?
    I can't tell you how many times I've been to a show and seen people doing this exact thing. It pisses me off too. Yeah, I'll get a drink - it's atmospheric. But I came for the music, to experience the artist live! People who do anything otherwise are wasting valuable space for fans who actually give a ****.
    And it seems like you go to concerts to mind what other people are doing instead of enjoying the music. Maybe you are too wasting valuable space.
    not necessarily, if he's like me and when I'm trying to watch the band and the person in front of me blocks half the ****ing stage with an iPhone so I can't see anything, I do tend to notice.
    Do you think he really cares as long as you pay your hard-earned money for it?
    If you read the article, it looks like he does
    There is nothing more wrong than being at concert and whole front row are holding Iphones up. Like really..
    You ever get those sons of bitches with the ipads? Man theres no worse person than them
    agreed. cant even see anything through those pieces of shit. but you know whats the funniest thing? the iphone owners dont even look at the stage but at the but at the hundred times smaller version of it... on the screens of their iphones! truly, madness.
    Woh woh woh, I understand cell phone use is ridiculous while at a concert but what is wrong with drinking while watching a band?
    I think he means too many people are distracted and not giving him the energy and vibes back which help him perform.
    I guess Jack White fans can't multitask.
    In my experience, it has something to do with the fact that they tend to be hilariously stoned and probably can't see through the combination of greasy fringe and unnecessary thick glasses.
    its worse when people are filming it on their phone and therefore watching it through their phone, like seriously? you pay at least 50 bucks just to see it through your phone. and no fan participation is boring as shit
    Pretending to be retro and vintage by pretending he doesn't know what a phone is...Fuck. Me.
    I think he said in an interview that he doesn't carry a cell phone.
    Yes, he detests cell phones.
    He detests them enough to know what they are, presumably. If he was ambivalent he may not know, but if he hates them, it stands to reason that he knows what they are. Referring to them as a 'texting thing' just makes him look like a hipster jackass. Which, to be fair, as much as I dig some of his music, he is. Jackass White?
    Folks these days aren't interested in the experience. Unfortunately, we are more interested in letting people know we were there rather than actually experiencing
    wow Jack White is my hero but not sure how I feel about him supporting Kanye...one of the greatest shows he's ever seen in his life?? WTF On another note I will be clapping my as off when I see him May 30th!
    It is almost as if you and Jack White were different individuals with different tastes and opinions.
    'texting thing'? That makes him sound intelligent. I do agree with his general idea, though. If you're going to be at a concert, be at a concert. Don't be on your phone all the time.
    Kanye west?! Punk?!?!?...he just lost the little bit of respect I had for him.
    "His opinion and experience of an artist differs from mine! The horror!" I don't agree with him at all, but I don't loose respect for him just for having a different experience and therefrom opinion of Kanye. His own music still stands well, and that is what I base my respect for him on, not his personal musical opinions.
    I still respect him as a musician just not as a human being...
    It makes even less sense that he should be unworthy of respect as a human being solely for his understanding and opinion of Kanyes music. Just because someone differs in their comprehension of any type of art doesn't mean they're unworthy of respect as humans. How does that even makes sense?
    It makes perfect sense to me. Kanyes a ****ing talentless douchebag. There's absolutely nothing Artistic or punk about his "music". Its just shitty pop music created to appeal to the masses. and why the **** do you care if I have respect for White or not?
    Number #1 rule: Music is subjective. Always keep that in mind. I certainly don't enjoy Kanye West, and I actually agree with what you say about him. However, because White sees it differently, he's suddenly unworthy of respect? It's awfully shallow and selfcentered to base ones respect of others upon their personal taste. It doesn't matter what ****ing artist it is, if they like their music, there is nothing wrong with it. To give a rather controversial example: Take Lostprophets - Someone declares that they like the work Ian Watkins did together with Lostphrophets. Are they unworthy of respect? The focuspoint is that the person is underlying the enjoyment on the work, the music solely, not that he is a scumsucking child molester. Ian Watkins is in person detestable and directly wicked, but that doesn't exempt a person to be able to admire his vocal work with Lostprophets. The point of admiration is the music, not the person - Everyone is free to admire or detest Ian Watkins vocals together with Lostprophets, and there isn't any reason for that they should be unworthy of respect as people for that reason. If they admired Ian Watkins as a person however, I would be more inclined to agree with you, but that is a completely different matter than from musical taste.
    I agree with you on that music is subjective, there's no right or wrong answer, its all a matter of opinion but im not saying that white shouldn't like kanye because of who he is as a person or because of the type of music. What im saying is I don't respect his opinion of kanyes music(which i dont consider to be music at all) and his judgement of "one of the greatest shows" hes ever seen. And that's MY OPINION.
    Oh, by they way, have you heard Yeezus? You don't have to think Kanye is good, but that album was far from pop. The most experimental "mainstream" rap album I've heard in a while.
    I hate 90% of Kanye's music but I will stand behind his integrity as an artist. He's a douche, an idiot and an embarrassment, but he does not make music purely to appeal to the masses.
    He has a point. Every concert I've been to at least half the people around me had their phone in their hand and were paying more attention to IT than the band they came to see. So seriously, what is the point of even getting a ticket if you're not even going to see the band performing?
    Oh I get it. You hear with your eyes!!! If you are not staring down the band every single second they are on stage you obviously are not HEARING anything they playing and CLEARLY are not a fan of theirs
    I'm talking about people who weren't even looking at the goddamn stage you idiot. I saw more of that shit than anything else. Did you even READ my comment?
    Always disliked the guy, but could never put my finger on why. Now I know. He's arrogant as ****. He needs to get over himself and get with the times.
    Wait clapping to what? 4/4 basic rhythms, repetitive guitar lines & stupid vocals? No, thanks. Still, if I pay my ticket, I do whatever the **** I want with it, do not tell me what to do with my life.
    You'll be astounded by how many people have trouble with the easiest 4/4 rhythms..
    Alter Bridge's 'White Knuckles' is in 3/4, in the bridge they bring it down so it's just palm-muted guitar and noodling on drums. Without fail, the audience starts clapping, and without fail they choose the least obvious rhythm to clap. Pisses me off every time.
    Every comment I've seen from you so far has been immature, misinformed or just plain obnoxious. If you really hate everyone and everything that much, then perhaps the problem lies within yourself. If people like you show zero respect to musicians and artists then they're bound to get pissed off at the audience. You smell.
    Watch out, ladies and gentlemen! This guy isn't going to take it anymore, and is ready to run free!
    Careful, don't cut yourself on that edge. I'll take some of the prepubescent angst off your hands to make it easier
    They probably don't applaud because they realize that Jack White is a pretentious douche. I would like to have seen the train wreck that came from him and Kanye West working together. Those two ego-maniacs would rip each other apart.
    Jacques Nel
    That texting thing is a cellphone I think mr White. It's strange how a little money or fame can get to a guy's head. If he was still unknown and trying to make a name for himself he would be playing random shows for next to nothing just to get some attention, but now that he's received a bunch of accolades he thinks he's the mesiah of modern rock. Please...
    If he wants more energy then he should play different music to attract a different crowd. If he were playing metal this would not happen.
    I've always found that even when people do clap, they can't keep time for s&@t! It's embarrassing!
    normally because the sound reaches the other side of the arena to late, whenever you look you see the clap then a second later hear the clap.
    So the phone thing I totally understand, but why is he getting mad at people for having drinks? wtf? Every gig I go to with a nearby bar the musicians ALWAYS give a shout out to the bartender and ask us to tip them. Whether its a small local band or Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, or even Jello Biafra and the GSM.
    "Dinner with music is an insult to both the artist and the chef" Can't remember who said that to Studs Turkel (ages ago) but it was a great statement that is relevant here.