Why We Picked This
VMP: Why this White Stripes record, out of all of them?
Andrew Winistorfer, Editorial Director + Classics A&R: The White Stripes are this garage rock band where, if you heard their debut record in ’99, there’s no way they’re gonna be one of the biggest bands on Earth. They’re this two-piece from Detroit playing bluesy garage rock in the age of boy bands and rap-rock, they’re surely not going to be the biggest band on earth. But for a brief period in 2008-09, they really were. “Seven Nation Army” is chanted at football games, which is just insane to think about: a White Stripes song became a staple at stadiums!
De Stijl turns 20 this year, and it’s my favorite White Stripes record. I listened to White Blood Cells when the video for “Fell in Love with a Girl” came out — like everyone else — then I went backward in their catalog. De Stijl is the one I personally fell in love with, and that’s the case for several members of our Music Team; I know Alex, our Head of A&R, feels the same way, too. We knew the album was turning 20 this year, and Jack White has Third Man Records (and Pressing), and they’ve been doing adventurous, advancing things for vinyl culture. We’ve been friendly with them for a while — Cam at VMP and Ben Blackwell have done vinyl panels and stuff at conferences together — and they approached us to do De Stijl, and it was an immediate yes, 100 percent. It came together really easy: Third Man’s record club The Vault is doing a De Stijl rarities collection, and we’re doing the 20th Anniversary edition of the album proper.
It was a great opportunity for us because sometimes people think different vinyl clubs are in competition with each other or something, and that’s really not the case. We all just wanna make vinyl as big as it can be, so partnering with Third Man was a huge opportunity for us to work with people we like and records we love.
And ultimately, it’s the White Stripes before they became the conquering heroes, which is a very VMP album for us to do; we always like doing the albums around the big albums everybody knows because we want to encourage people to go deeper, and not just listen to the big things, you know?
This album’s delayed because Third Man Pressing was closed down for most of April due to COVID; at press time, they’re currently pressing the record. It’s a red vinyl with black-crayon-looking splatters from the middle of the record. The pictures I’ve seen from the plant so far look incredible. We can’t wait for this to ship.