From Wondering Sound:
“Like I said to Dylan one time…” White begins in the video below, via Rolling Stone, from an interview that will premiere tonight on Rather’s The Big Picture. He goes on to observe that, from a certain point of view, musicians in the ’60s had advantages over today. He also decries the “entitlement” of the current generation and criticizes the way, as he sees it, musicians today must be increasingly marketing-savvy.
“I was talking to Bob Dylan and I said, ‘In a lot of ways, you guys had it so lucky in the ’60s,’” White continues. “All these recording techniques that had never been tried before, the Civil Rights movement was coming to a head, the Vietnam War. The whole world was changing… There was so much to sing about. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.”
He goes on to say: “Now, it’s an age that feels — I hate to label the generation now entitled, but the sense of entitlement that’s around nowadays seems to be something that bugs me enough to want to overcome it. I don’t see beauty in teenagers all sitting next to each other texting and not talking face to face. I don’t see that beauty in the way that pop music is all recorded on computers and Auto-Tune and presented in that really plastic way.”
“And I guess I just do my best in whatever I do to try to defeat those ideas and present it in something I think is at least an attempt at getting at truth and getting at beauty,” White tells Rather. “But it is a lot harder now, and I am a little bit jealous of the artists from the other decades because it seemed like you could just do your job and not worry about this periphery of stuff.”
He brings up his record label as an example of how he deals with those outside concerns. “In a lot of ways Third Man Records is a reflection of the idea that I sort of have to be a hustler now to just be a musician,” White says. “I think you could have just been a songwriter at a certain time and everyone else would do that around you. I doubt Frank Sinatra cared what was on his album cover.”