“We’d love to get the music out to as many people as possible and continue growing the White Stripes brand on a global level.”
——Ian Montone


Label Hopes to Start an Elephant Stampede With New White Stripes Longplayer
It will take a “Seven Nation Army” to hold V2 Records back from breaking cult band White Stripes wide-open this time around.

In fact, “Seven Nation Army” just happens to be the title of the first single from the Detroit duo’s eagerly anticipated Elephant, the follow-up to the group’s label debut (and fourth album overall), White Blood Cells, which has sold 750k OTC to date and is nearing platinum. The track was Most Added at PoMo radio when it went to stations last month.

Said label President Andy Gershon: “Our goal is to make sure we continue to build the band’s success in a way that maintains the integrity of the music and the group. The White Stripes have made an incredible record, and they are the perfect act to bring back to the mainstream a sense of sincerity most music is missing.”

Last January, V2 re-released White Blood Cells, which originally came out June 2001 on indie Sympathy for the Record Industry, then put out the Stripes’ first two discs, ’99’s self-titled debut and 2000’s De Stijl, six months later.

White Blood Cells spawned a pair of PoMo hits in “Fell In Love with a Girl”—whose acclaimed, stop-action Lego video earned three MTV VMAs last August—and “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.”

Manager Ian Montone structured the innovative deal for the band’s Thirdman Records label, licensing its albums to V2 in the U.S. and Japan and XL elsewhere.

“We’d love to get the music out to as many people as possible and continue growing the White Stripes brand on a global level,” he says. “But there is an artistic vision here, and its main rule is, there are no rules.”

The release date of the new album has just been moved up to April 1 to combat Internet piracy, which became a problem despite the fact that advances had gone out as a vinyl double-album in order to discourage burning. That plan was foiled after a radio station played the entire disc, which found its way onto the Web as MP3s.

On Elephant, Jack and partner Meg White (who continue to deny they’re either brother and sister or ex-husband and wife) stretch out on the country-folk roundelay “It’s True That We Love One Another, ” the winsome, Gasoline Alley blues of “I Want to be the Boy…” and a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself.” But there’s plenty here to delight garage-rock fans, including rave-ups like the blistering “Hypnotise” and the Lennonesque “There’s No Home for You Here.”

The setup includes:

...An entire week sitting in with the house band on Conan O’Brien (April 22-25).

...After returning from U.K., U.S. tour dates in Detroit (4/15-16), N.Y. (4/19), Boston (4/20), Coachella (4/27), S.F. (4/28-29) and San Diego (4/30).

...Video just shot in London for “Seven Nation Army.”

...Blender, CMJ covers.