Chicago rock’n’rollers Miss Alex White and Francis Scott Key White (aka WHITE MYSTERY) have teamed up with IDIOTEQ to introduce their musical project, discuss touring, local music scene and “This Was Awesome”, their first feature length movie filmed in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Georgia over the course of a three-month music tour with five different film makers. Featuring a rampaging score by the band and the the shifting mood of each film maker and location, the movie offers a chance to experience the delirium, horror, hilarity, and fear that accompanies the breakneck nomadic lifestyle of touring musicians. IDIOTEQ gives you an insight into WHITE MYSTERY’s latest production, their local environment and their thoughts on their creative process and inspirations. Check out the official soundrack to their movie and read the full interview below.
Hey guys! Thanks so much for taking some time with IDIOTEQ. How are you? How does it feel to be bac from Japan? How was your short trek around this fascinating country?
Thank you for asking!
Playing seven shows in seven days across Japan felt like a lifetime in the blink of an eye— from cities as big as Tokyo to epic Hiroshima.
We are so grateful for the amazing spiritual connections we made during this maiden White Mystery tour to a third continent.
How does it compare to your European and American tours?
The most unique part of touring Japan was traveling by bullet train, called the Shinkansen, to “live houses” (or clubs) in different cities.
What draws you to focus on touring and playing live shows so much?
There’s an innate light within WHITE MYSTERY that propels it to perform.
Considering there’s just two of you, have you ever worried about how you would perform your tracks live?
WHITE MYSTERY records its albums to play live— you’ll see in “Dubble Dragon” that we actually switch off the drums and guitar to achieve fidelity.
Very cool! Are there times when your style is too limiting, that you can’t take a track as far as you’d like to go with a full band?
Haha. Ok, so how about “That Was Awesome”. What was the purpose of creating this movie?
In 2015, after already having released records, seven-inches, and even a double album every April 20 since WHITE MYSTERY began in 2008, we released a feature-length film to further fulfill the band’s mission to “go where no band has gone before.”
“That Was Awesome” is a psychedelic dark comedy, soundtracked by the band, and narrated by our dad, Frank White. You can hear the whole film on cassette tape from Blacktop Records!
Can you tell us a little bit about the creative process of this project?
1. Francis and I scripted and storyboarded WHITE MYSTERY “That Was Awesome” while on tour for over a year.
2. We reached out to our five favorite music video directors and designated a chapter to each for the feature length film.
3. Caffeinated Studios brought its equipment to our church and we improvised the music based on loose compositions
4. Each director shot WHITE MYSTERY “That Was Awesome” scenes while the band was on a nationwide tour, in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Chicago
5. While the directors edited their segments, we mixed the album and developed the narrations for Frank White who went into a separate studio to record his vocals
6. Editor Nathan Christ stitched together the scenes, the audio was mixed for three-speaker theatre play, and we some how squirted out a film at the end.
How involved were you in the production process? Were you involved in filming and editing?
WHITE MYSTERY, aka brother-and-sister Francis & Alex White, created, directed, scored and produced the whole damn thing with an incredible team of film-makers, actors, and sound engineers.
Punk rock and rock’n’roll means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
Punk rock means respect yourself, love your family, question authority. Rock’n’roll means hauling ass, kicking ass, and getting ass.
Where did you grow up and where were you when you found out about punk and energetic rock’n’roll music?
WHITE MYSTERY grew in the city of Chicago, attended Chicago Public Schools, and discovered punk at a young age. The Fireside Bowl is a legendary all-ages venue where kids like us were exposed to SCREECHING WEASEL, THE QUEERS, MAN OR ASTROMAN!, SLEATER KINNEY, and THE DEMOLITION DOLL RODS in the mid-1990s.
Amazing! Can you give us a quick rundown of how you were involved in making music in the first place?
When I first heard THE WHO “Who’s Next” in fourth grade, I was inspired to learn guitar. Francis, my younger brother, decided to take after Keith Moon, who he shared a birthday with. Then we started practicing together in the basement and started our own respective bands, that rose to some level of acclaim. I started a record label in college, released 7-inches, then released full-length albums for WHITE MYSTERY.
You came out of a pretty vibrant punk rock scene in Chicago, but your influences sound a lot wider. What musical touchstones do you share and whatare your outside punk and rock guilty pleasures?
I chaperoned Francis to his first concert, which was INSANE CLOWN POSSE, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, and NASHVILLE PUSSY at the Riviera in the year 2000— that might sum up the answer to your question about guilty pleasures nicely.
As far as major influences go, of course there’s the MC5, TREX, THE ROLLING STONES, Tina Turner, and IRON MAIDEN.
How does it feel to be in a bands with your brother/sister? Was that a consideration at all in starting a band with your second half sharing the same parents?
WHITE MYSTERY is an entity that is bigger than just the two of us.
What is the biggest difference is between you two then?
Francis is peaceful, and Alex is hyper.
Alright, thanks so much for your time guys. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Bring WHITE MYSTERY to Poland! Visit us online and say hello!