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Sally Conducts The Raconteurs' Dream Interview
INTERVIEW & ART DIRECTION: SALLY A. EDWARDS
PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH J. EDWARDS
LOCATION: KNIGHTSBRIDGE, LONDON
When Sally A. Edwards was presented with a list of questions to avoid ahead of meeting The Raconteurs, she created a hilarious, odyssey into the quick witted minds of Jack White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler and Jack ‘Little Jack’ Lawrence using the BLAG Word Game. In what ended up being the band’s dream interview, subjects range from good deeds and dance moves, first impressions, insight, art and tea, faucets, hygiene and an ad-lib story inspired by consequences. The original story was first published in BLAG Vol. 2 Nø 7 print edition in 2006. Read an exclusive excerpt here
ART & TEA
Sally: Alright, do you want to pick another card?
Jack: Brendan, can you describe in your words quickly, the art of making a cup of tea?
Brendan: The art of making a cup of tea…
Jack [clicking his fingers at Brendan]: Quickly, the art of making a cup of tea.
Brendan: Ok, ok, ok, ok.
Patrick: What do you need first?
Brendan: You need tea and you need water. You need a very… You need to um…
Jack [raising his voice]: Well, tell them how you would do it in a perfect scenario? What kind of tea would you use?
Brendan: I mean if we’re just doing a quick cup of tea, not a pot of tea or anything, Tetley or PG Tips or something. You’d have to get it here in England – you can’t buy it in the States, because it’s different. You boil some water and then you let it settle for 15 seconds say, and you might want to warm your cup up first. Then you pour the water over the tea bag and you leave it undisturbed – unlike I’m doing now (Straining off tea bag and setting aside.) for four minutes and then there you have it.
Brendan: Strong? Like a mug of tea, not this?
Sally: Yes, and then do you put milk in it?
Brendan: Yes, I put milk in it. Sugar, I don’t think you should put sugar in it, but the milk should be low fat.
Jack: I have a follow-up comment to this…
Brendan: Not skimmed, it should be like 2%.
Sally: How would you order that really quickly in the morning, on the way to work, with a big queue of people behind you?
Brendan: Oh God. You see, that’s my nightmare… No, I’m just kidding.
Jack: I think that I’d like to make a possible controversial statement here… I think that England and all of the countries in the English Commonwealth do not own the ability to make a good cuppa. I think they all think they own it. The proof is in the pudding, because if you go to New Zealand or Australia or some island that was once in the English Colony, they all make it differently and they all say, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing. I’m English, I can make a cup of tea,’ but they all make it differently. So if there was one proper way of making an English cuppa, everyone would do it the same, but they don’t. It’s like me saying ‘I’m from Detroit, so I can build you a car from scratch.’
Sarah: You can’t?
Jack [In English accent]: No I can’t! [Laughs] Was that controversial?
Sally: Not really, it’s fighting talk.
Sarah: Some would say you need to put the milk in first.
Brendan: Tea making has become so bastardised and I mean it’s quick. I mean even in England you go to a café, you know a ‘caff’ and you get tea that’s been stewing. Some people say you put it all in at once, and this is all to be quick. I mean, if you went to visit the Queen and you got tea, it would be served to you properly. (Update: Sarah and I can confirm that this is, in fact true.)
Jack: Yeah, but…Ok. If you went and saw the Prime Minister of New Zealand it would be served to you differently.
Brendan: I don’t think so. Also, a big misconception: Never squeeze your bag…Which I just did.
Jack: Why are you doing it then?
Brendan: I want a quick cup of tea and I want it now.
Jack: Is that why they have the most horrible, hot scolding water coming out of English faucets?
Patrick: Is it just so you can have tea? [Laughs]
Sally: We can just handle it hotter.
Jack: Why don’t you make them come out of the same spout? It’s scolding hot! 170 degrees of hot water coming out of the left pipe and then ice cold coming out of the right.
Sally: Oh, you’re talking about taps now.
Jack: So if you want to wash your hands, you’ve got to like, touch it and run to the cold tap.
Sally: You know we have mixer taps?
Jack: You actually have like a three second window to wash your hands in England.
Brendan: You know what they say, you’re supposed to fill the sink up, but it’s kind of unhygienic.
Little Jack: Yeah, it’s dirty.
Brendan: It’s gross. You know like if you go into a public restroom, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to fill it up? People have been spitting in there…
Little Jack: I always spit in them.
Brendan: Yeah, me too.
Jack: You know what I like to do? I like to put about three tea bags in, run scolding hot water and wash my hands in that.
Little Jack: Do you add milk?
Jack: After I’m done washing my hands.
Patrick: What do you think? I’m barbarian?
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Original Story © BLAG 2006
Edit © BLAG 2018
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