When Chicago’s Q101 played a promotional copy of the White Stripes’ Icky Thump on the air, effectively leaking a bad quality version of the album on the Internet, Jack White was irate. He called the station, demanded to speak to DJ Electra and insisted she apologize for her small role in the demise of the traditional album release. It’s been a while since that incident, but White’s still seeing red when it comes to journalists, or other recipients of promotional copies, that leak albums.
“Well, this is where we find out that journalists – excuse me – are not on the same team as musicians and artists,” White told Clash Music’s Simon Harper. “Neither are the VJs or the DJs or the editors – we’re not in the same business. I thought we were all in the same business together, but sadly we’re not. Because it’s the Brazilian journalist who leaked The Shins’ album five months ahead of time. He doesn’t have any respect for The Shins’ music and he doesn’t care, so he’s not on the same team. The radio station that played [The White Stripes’] ‘Icky Thump’ weeks before it was released and gave it away to everybody – they’re not on the same team as us; they don’t care.”
As White has implied in other interviews, many of his views were shaped by the Raconteurs’ last release Consolers of the Lonely. That album was announced and released in the span of one week, with no promotional copies sent out to journalists, but a technical glitch caused a leak directly from iTunes. That sure explains White’s war on technology to me, but I digress.