April 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM ET
Former half of The White Stripes Jack White stopped by "The Colbert Report" Thursday ostensibly to promote his new solo album, "Blunderbus," but what really he actually did was give Stephen Colbert his best verbal sparring partner since author Maurice Sendak paid the host a visit in January.
Playing the part of the reluctant rocker, White refused to join Colbert on stage and answered most of the backstage questions with deadpanned disinterest.
"You want to talk about music?" White grumped. "It's ridiculous. ... It's like dancing about architecture or singing about painting or something."
Colbert, who released a record with White last year, repeatedly teased the rocker.
"Do you hear any of my influence in your recent work?" Colbert asked. When White insisted he did not, the host shot back, "I hear it. I do – oh, yeah. It's subtle."
See just how subtle it is for yourself. After the mock-tense chat, White performed his new single "Freedom at 21."