“Maybe working at Beck’s house was something we needed to do to remind ourselves that touring is only one component of what we do,” White says. “Taking a break from shows isn’t going to stop it.
“If it came to a point where Meg said, ‘I don’t want to be in this band anymore, it doesn’t fulfill me in any way,’ then it would be a different story. But she’s not saying that.”
At this point, White can’t predict how long the Stripes’ break will be or whether it will ever end. “I don’t know. It’s a good question,” he says. “I guess it’s up to her. . . . She seems to be lively. She was really invigorating working together on this ‘Conquest’ record. I was wondering if she was interested, and she was completely — very, very involved. And it was nice of Beck to give us that forum, help us re-understand what it is we’re doing.”
Icky Thump has only sold 645,000 so far—Elephant, by contrast, has sold two million. The “Conquest” single, with three newly recorded bonus tracks (“It’s My Fault for Being Famous,” “Cash Grab Complications on the Matter” and “Honey, We Can’t Afford to Look This Cheap”), is due December 18. Merry Christmas.
Previously: New White Stripes video for “Conquest”