Often times, in multiple facets of the music industry, impact and potency are associated with numerical value. Whether it be the highest level of voltage on an amp, a stage containing several musicians, or the number of individuals in a crowd — the idea of larger numbers and power has grown to develop something of a definitive link.
White Mystery disproves this notion.
The local rock duo, composed of siblings Alex White and Francis Scott Key White, are able to produce an expansive and nuanced sound that is traditionally only accomplished among a group of five or six musicians – displaying the band’s natural knack for generating electrifying rock and roll.
Since White Mystery’s 2008 formation, they have self-released a myriad of records and displayed an immense dedication to live performance. Their work has been the longtime subject of critical acclaim, and rightfully so: White Mystery has showcased a consistent ability to produce a sound that encapsulates rock and roll in its purest form: skillful and authentic, yet razor-sharp and innovative.
White Mystery’s work is far more than just an impressive musical repertoire: the duo has been instrumental in revitalizing what it means to be an independent artist. The world has long witnessed the same group of musicians leaving the annual Grammy Awards with a bundle of gold under their arms and having their work aired hourly on popular radio stations. The success of White Mystery has proven it possible to make a place for independent artists within the more mainstream aspect of the industry – something that has been hugely influential on artists within the local creative community especially. Their self-released work has appeared on television (Last Call with Carson Daly and MTV’s Awkward), they have toured the world, and have shared stages with rock and roll notables such as Iggy Pop and Patti Smith.
Alex said that the band’s commitment to independence is a source of fulfillment. “Being independent has been a source of pride and motivation that has fueled by White Mystery since the beginning,” she said.
Despite White Mystery’s many independent achievements, however, it is not lost upon them that independent artists still face an overall lack of opportunity. “One aspect of contemporary music industry that I would change would be to allow more independent artists to participate in mainstream music festivals, late-night television shows, and radio play,” Alex said.
Though White Mystery has performed at numerous large, more mainstream festivals – such as SXSW and Riot Fest – Alex shares that Francis’s ideal festival involves something with a little more flair to it than merely bands on a stage. “Francis White’s dream festival would involve merging the Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix and the Gathering of the Juggalos festivals into one beautiful union.”
Throughout their career, White Mystery has displayed an impeccable commitment to performing shows. In addition to completing an abundance of shows in Chicago and the United States alike, the duo has toured Japan and performed in London, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and Denmark – to name a few. Though they have done performances aplenty, Alex shares that some of her favorite memories of White Mystery’s live performances were made amidst exercising tenacity.
“Some of my favorite memories from performing with White Mystery happened to be the ones in which we push past adversity and pull off a great show,” she said.
To flourish as a musical entity is a direct result of artistic fearlessness, which is something White Mystery wholeheartedly embodies. While upholding each and every classic element that makes a rock song sonically addictive, the band’s body of work is permeated with an ever so distinguishable edge that is entirely their own. White Mystery isn’t afraid to be exploratory and inventive with sound, something they do and do well. Their ability to musically transcend beyond the traditional stylings of modern rock makes their work a breath of fresh air amidst an industry that has come to pride itself on auditory generics.
The degree of valiance that is ever present within White Mystery’s work originates within the band’s creative process, the opportunity to exercise artistic dauntlessness something Alex cites enjoying.
“The aspect of the creative process that I find most rewarding is the opportunity to say what’s on my mind and a bold and unapologetic fashion,” she said.
White Mystery’s work is so notable duet to their immense artistic tenacity. They are always doing more: releasing more records, performing more shows, and pushing to achieve more as artists – something they evidently succeed in when looking at the sonic evolution of their recorded work. They are a two-person army single handedly revitalizing what it means to be a contemporary, independent recording artist.
After all, nothing less is to be expected from two musicians whose work represents the prime nexus of musical craftsmanship and pure innovation.
“White Mystery is innately compelled to create rock ‘n’ roll and to express artistic vision,” Alex said.