Jack White Says He's Never Owned a Cell Phone

"If you can’t just put that down for an hour and experience life in a real way – that’s sad.”

June 20, 2019
Jack White

© Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press

It’s 2019, but there are still some people out there who choose to go without a cell phone. Knowing that species exists, it’s probably not a surprise that Jack White is among them.

The old school musician says he’s never owned a cell phone, and finds it amusing to watch crowds of people all starring down at their devices.

“Maybe this is the way everything is going to be from now on,” White mused to Channel 4 News in the UK. “Maybe it’ll turn to implants, probably it’ll turn into a microchip behind our eyeball or whatever.”

Related: Jack White Encounters Jack Black at the Airport

White started banning cell phones at his concerts about a year ago and has been pleasantly surprised with the results. Instead of fans demanding their money back or booing, White has found that some people are just kind of looking for permission to put their phones away.

“I thought it was a big art project at first just to see if people would think it was funny or cool or just a new experience – almost like an escape room or something like that,” White said. “To my surprise and to everyone else’s surprise, everyone loved it… If you can’t just put that down for an hour and experience life in a real way – that’s sad.”

White has a new Raconteurs album coming out tomorrow. Help Us Stranger is the gritty rock band’s first release in more than a decade and includes the single “Help Me Stranger.” The band, which also includes Brendan Benson on vocals and guitar; Patrick Keeler on drums; and Jack Lawrence on bass, released a video for the song last month.