What are your names? Where are you from?
Miss Alex White, guitar.
Francis Scott Key White, drums.
Born and raised in the city of Chicago.
Tell us all about your gear this tour (instruments/pedals/amps/drum set!):
Miss Alex White:
Guitars — 1971 Gibson SG-1 and Rickenbacker 330 Fireglo
Amps – Orange Rockerverb 50
Pedal – Custom White Mystery “FIREKEEPER” Fuzz Pedal
Francis Scott Key White:
1970s Ludwig Vistalite Pattern A, Clear & Smoke
Tell us about your first show – first show ever ever and your first show as White Mystery.
Wow…after playing 1000 shows on three continents in eight years, it’s rough remembering the first White Mystery show. It was probably at a punk dive called Ronny’s in Chicago back in 2008.
The first ever White Mystery show in Detroit was at the Belmont on April 10, 2009, which you can watch here:
What is the best thing and the worst thing about being in a “family band”?
The best and worst thing about being a family band is that we’re telepathic.
What is the best thing and the worst thing about being in a duo? (How many times have you heard that you should reaaaaaally get a bassist?)
The best part about being a duo is that we travel in a hatchback and can generally find comfortable places to stay on tour, since there’s only two of us.
Ironically, our third sibling is a bass player.
Do you have any special rituals to prepare for a show?
Yes, I brush my teeth, and stretch.
White Mystery books its own tours (while also DIYing its own management, promotion, releases, etc.!!)
What is the best advice you can give to bands booking their own tour?
Respect yourself. Love your family. Question authority.
You kindly contributed the track” Best Friend” off of your new album Outta Control to the BFF Fest 3 Mixtape (thank you!). Can you share the backstory of the song with us?
Francis and I say to each other, “Dude, you’re my best friend.” It became a song.
Outta Control was self-released! What is the most important thing to keep in mind when self-releasing?
The most important thing to keep in mind when self-releasing music is to stay within your means. In other words, you should save cash as a band, and get creative within your budget to produce that release.
White Mystery has often worked with She Shreds Magazine (Alex was featured on the cover of Issue #4 (JAN 2014)) and now you’re playing BFF Fest, a festival that prioritizes the participation of those underrepresented in the music scene – namely women, people of color and LGBTQIA performers. From your own perspective, do you think that the “music scene” has evolved or not evolved when it comes to the treatment/reception/inclusion of these groups? How would you like to see the music scene change in general? How do you contribute to this change?
Punk rock and DIY is about acceptance of all people, shapes and sizes, backgrounds. Music brings us together, and keeps us together. Keep it that way, yal!
Does your gender identity/presentation influence your music? Has it presented any issues for you?
Being a front woman is empowering and exciting. It’s great to create White Mystery songs that, “flip the script” and shape an identity for a woman’s perspective in rock’n’roll.
For instance, the popular song “Hey Joe” is about shooting a woman down for being with another man.
In 2016, it’s time to change that lyrical dialogue.
What do you think about Detroit’s music scene? Who are you favorite Detroit bands?
Detroit has been a second home to White Mystery since the beginning. We’ve played at 13 shows in Detroit since forming White Mystery in 2008, at joints like the Majestic, Magic Stick, PJ’s Lager House, UFO Club, Painted Lady, The Belmont. Favorite bands include the Detroit Cobras, The Gories, The Go, Timmy’s Organism/Human Eye/Clone Defects, Dirtbombs, Screws, Druid Perfume, Terrible Twos, Amy Gore, Mexican Knives, the Sirens, Blanche, Demolition Dollrods…
What is your favorite song right now?
“No Sugar Tonight” by the Guess Who
What do you want everyone to know about White Mystery?
White Mystery is forever hauling ass, kicking ass, and getting ass.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2016?
White Mystery is performing tons of upcoming shows and festivals around America, including Meltasia with Pentagram and Sheer Mag in Catskill on Labor Day weekend, Lincoln Calling with Cloud Nothings and Screaming Females in Nebraska, Labor Day weekend back in Michigan, and more dates you see here: whitemystery.com/shows