White Mystery, a gritty rock and roll duo made up of fiery, red-headed White siblings, is stirring things up in the local music scene by breaking into the movie business.
Though the band has released an album every year on April 20, this time they’re releasing a full-length film comprised of five different stories with two main protagonists, other characters from the underground music scene and a multitude of sets they stumbled across on tour.
By this point, that’s almost everywhere. Formed in 2007, the band has traveled to almost every corner of the world, relentlessly playing hundreds of shows to all different sizes of audiences, including shows with legendary bands The Stooges and Weezer.
It’s not a typical band documentary. In fact, it’s not a documentary at all. Instead, it’s a fictional tale of two characters based off of Alex and Francis Scott Key White, members of White Mystery. The concept of “That Was Awesome” lingered in the sibling’s mind for the last few years, but it didn’t come to life until last year.
“I’m a full-time musician where my brother and I tour in White Mystery several times a year, all around the world,” Alex White, who graduated from DePaul University in 2007, said. “On all these adventures, from Switzerland to San Francisco to Mexico, we have a lot of time to kind of daydream. You know on these travels you get inspired by what you see and the people you meet.” Thus, the idea for the “psychedelic dark comedy” was born.
The film took a quick six months to create. Five different filmmakers joined the project, each filming a selection of the movie and then editing, allowing the process to be swift. Each filmmaker has a different style, one chapter even being an animation. Despite how it was filmed and edited, every event that takes place is a fairy tale, some being light hearted and others a nightmare.
“One of the stories is called ‘Orange Psycho’ and that takes place in the desert,” White said. “We did shooting while we were on tour and there’s monsters and villains as well. It’s not a typical band documentary; there’s an actual plot line. It features the two members of White Mystery, but it’s very much a fairytale. We daydreamed and conceptualized while we were on tour and it was kind of like a side project we could flesh out on these long drives.”
Besides the film’s April 20 premiere at the Logan Square Theatre, fans and those interested in seeing the film can view it online after the showing. White said the film is one that’s “meant to be shared between human beings,” instead of gathering dust.
“It’s motivated by music and music is a national language,” White said. “We’re in this era of people accusing each other of pirating and stuff and we think we’re picking that apart by creating something that is supposed to be shared.”
The film also boasts cameos from other Chicago bands.
“The film is going to be incredible for the scene. No one has done anything like this at all,” Brandon Reed, who appears in the film and is a member of The Holy Motors, said. “They’re ahead of the curve. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it and have heard some of the music featured in the film and its badass, funny, quirky and just a good time.”
Reed, in addition to being good friends with the duo, now works for the band in various ways. Along with other bands like White Mystery, he has become close with such as The Stalkers (NYC) and Timmy Vulgar (Detroit), which play significant roles throughout the film.
White Mystery is bringing a new media element to the scene, combining their musings and music together to create a full-length film featuring monsters, villains, heroes and two characters based off of the siblings themselves.
“I said it before, if it doesn’t get you going then you need to see a doctor,” Reed said.