Jack White Recalls Challenging Meg White To Write A Song With No Chorus

The White Stripes Jack White sat down for a conversation with the Broken Records Podcast and remembered the time he and his bandmate, Meg White, tried to compose a song without a chorus.

Verse and chorus are two essential elements in a basic song structure. Verses are typically longer song segments through which the composers can develop and deepen the song’s storyline. However, the chorus is generally accepted as the strongest element of a track, as it is usually the part remembered by the listener.

Composing such a section requires mastery both in terms of song structure and lyrical content because it is unlikely for a song to flow without a chorus. Since there are endless ways to create a song, some were composed outside this basic chorus-verse structure, featuring no chorus. Jack White and his bandmate Meg White once tried to write such a song.

In an interview with Broken Record Podcast, Jack White recalled how he challenged Meg to compose a song without a chorus. Jack explained that an unexpected element in a song evokes a feeling of ‘thrill,’ which is directly connected to the brain’s tendency to perceive the world through patterns.

Thus, it isn’t easy to write a song without a chorus and ensure that the listener can engage with it. This was also the challenging and enjoyable part for Jack. He said that he and Meg tried to make a song that had no chorus that people would enjoy, and they experimented with several instruments in the studio.

White remembered the time he and Meg White experimented in the studio as follows:

“The funny thing was that, at the time, I remember saying to Meg that this would be great, ‘I want a challenge for me right now, I want to write a song with no chorus and make it something people like that doesn’t have any chorus. So, that was at that moment the challenge in the studio. Very briefly, we didn’t spend much time on that song, you know, but I remembered that being like ‘Oh, this will be great. I won’t write a chorus for this, it doesn’t need one.’

Or we’ll just keep hammering this, and we’ll play off the loud quietness of, maybe the grunge era can be part of that. And there’s also slide guitar in it too, and it’s also sort of like a base. But I’m not really playing bass, I’m playing a detuned guitar. So there was like, ‘Yeah, that’s enough for things that I think are interesting.”

You can listen to the entire interview on Youtube below.