How To Solve The Mystery Of Playing Solo

Whitemystery by Colleen Catania
We had a great time on Monday night during the YMTE live podcast at the Hungry Brain. Brandon, Esmeralda and Playboy.com editor Scott Smith kept us laughing with Chicago neighborhood rants, Playboy tales and crazy games of Bozo buckets.

As we chilled out on the couch in front of the stage, we were also treated to a rare live music moment courtesy of one half of the Chicago garage rock band White Mystery.

And as a little after-show special I have for you a quick Q&A with Alex White of  White Mystery who during the Hungry Brain show told us that this was the first time she had ever performed solo in front of a live audience.

Alex usually performs with her brother Francis as a duo so I thought it was a perfect time to ask her a few questions about her first live solo performance.

What was the hardest part about performing solo for the first time? Would you do it again?

Yes, performing solo as myself, or half of White Mystery, is likely to reoccur in the future. The hardest part about performing solo is song selection. My challenge is to tailor a couple favorites for the solo format from four full length albums, a dozen singles, and an archive of hundreds of songs.

What did you enjoy the most about performing solo? What was going through your mind as you were playing?

White Mystery 1The best part about playing solo is the clarity of guitar and voice. There’s no mistaking songs stripped down like that. I’m a minimalist with a two-piece band, and solo takes it to the next level. As I was playing, I thought, “The only more minimal I can be is if I weren’t here at all.”

What did you learn from playing solo and how do you think it will impact your next live show with your brother?
I learned that it’s possible to switch between a Big Muff fuzz pedal and clean state while playing guitar and drums at the same time in a room full of strangers. This will definitely lend more confidence to the next White Mystery show with my brother Francis White at the Double Door this Friday, February 26 for the Windy City Story Slam.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Playing stripped down and solo is rock’n’roll. People shout and feel the rhythm of your heart when you move their hips.

You can also see White Mystery during their record release show on March 20 at the Hideout and buy the new record directly from the band on their website.

Thanks again to Alex, the Hungry Brain and the YMTE crew for putting on a fun night! Download the live podcast here.

Were you at the Hungry Brain on Monday night?  What did you think of Alex’s performance?

Live Photo by Colleen Catania

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