When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, “Oh, I see…” When they’re brother and sister, you go, “Oh, that’s interesting.” You care more about the music, not the relationship — whether they’re trying to save their relationship by being in a band. You don’t think about that with a brother and sister. They’re mated for life. That’s what family is like.
The duo is formed, drawing influence from the garage rock and punk genres as well as Jack White’s passion for American folk music. The band members’ mysterious relationship is often mentioned in reference with the group. White describes his reasoning for forming a duo:
I could see that it was impossible to get your ideas across, with all the people — the soundman, lighting people, producers — you had to go through. I suppose that put me in the direction of a two-piece band.
She viewed me that way of ‘Oh, big deal, you did it, so what?’ Almost every single moment of the White Stripes was like that. We’d be working in the studio and something amazing would happen: I’m like, ‘Damn, we just broke into a new world right there!’ And Meg’s sitting in silence.”
After Jack White and Meg White’s divorce, the band releases its second album, again on Sympathy for the Record Industry. The album title is Dutch for “the style.” The band again tours with Sleater-Kinney after the record’s release. Jack says:
The first LP’s really angry, you know. This LP we tried to get a little cleaner. Maybe we changed from anger to bitterness.
A report of the Whites’ former marriage appears in the New York Times in a blurb about the White Stripes. The rumor is previously reported in Entertainment Weekly, while a New Yorker issue from the same period still refers to the pair as siblings.
The band wins 2 Grammys at the 2004 awards. The band’s album Elephant wins Best Alternative Music Album, while single Seven Nation Army wins for Best Rock Song.
Get Behind Me Satan wins for Best Alternative Music Album. My Doorbell is also nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal.
The band cancels its UK tour due to Meg’s acute anxiety problems. The tour is planned as their largest UK tour yet, starting in Glasgow on October 24 and ending in London on November 2.
We hate to let people down and are very sorry.