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But then the former lead singer and guitarist with the White Stripes is a man who thrives on contradictions, all the more so in his new life as a solo artist.
Nowhere is that more obvious than in his pride and joy, the headquarters of Third Man Records. Its a low rise building in a Nashville side street, grittily functional from the outside. Inside, it is a dream sequence from a David Lynch film, minus dwarves.
For this interview, we are not allowed to shoot in “the lounge”, which is a shame as it seems designed as a film set. The ceiling is made of shiny tin, the floor is a bright yellow, and the space in between the two is artfully filled with animal heads and old turn-tables.