While we mostly remember him for The White Stripes and “Seven Nation Army,” Jack White has an incredibly rich career. He’s also been quite an interesting figure due to his choice of guitars, namely his super-cheap and old Kay hollowbody. However, Jack began using EVH Wolfgang guitars, which was quite a surprise for the most of shred-oriented population of guitar players. After all, you don’t often see a more laidback singer-songwriter-garage-indie-rocker kind of musician playing a virtuoso-oriented guitar model. But it seems to work like a charm for his music.
In a new interview with Total Guitar, Jack White reflected on his unconventional weapon of choice and how it all came to be. According to his words, it all started while recording his 2018 album “Boarding House Reach.” As he explains:
“We had a bit of a relationship. What happened was, when I was doing my last album, ‘Boarding House Reach,‘ I found that the songs took weeks of rehearsal, which was something new to me. I thought, ‘I want to get the easiest guitar there is to play,’ which is the opposite of what I normally do.“
“I saw an interview with Eddie Van Halen and [EVH Master Builder] Chip Ellis in which they talked about building the Wolfgang EVH guitar. Eddie talked about how he didn’t want to fight the guitar, and I thought, ‘OK, that might be the one for me.'”
“I bought one, and sure enough, it was so easy to play. It practically played itself. That’s when I got into customizing it to my liking. I took his design, and I customized it to some specs that I like – pickups, switches, material and stuff, the paint job.“
As far as having contact with Eddie himself, Jack said:
“But yes, he and I had a little bit of a relationship, talking back and forth, and he taught me a couple things. There were some texts. It was nice, although we never met in person, which is a shame.”
Although an unexpected choice, Jack is now one of EVH Wolfgang’s most famous players. In fact, the story goes that White even recorded the entire “Boarding House Reach” using this model. It’s one of those examples proving that there are no “best” guitars for a particular genre or scope of genres. If it sounds the way you want and if it feels right, then it’s a guitar that you should be using. Here’s Eddie himself sharing a few details on the model back when it came out.
Photo: Jack White at Rock Werchter 2018 1 (cropped) by Raph_PH, Van Halen-8737 (20616745266) by Abby Gillardi