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Iggy Pop Talks Stooges, Jazzy New Solo Album, "War Child" Disc

March 11, 2009 12:09 PM ET

Iggy Pop has puked on his audience, rolled around in broken glass and exposed himself to crowds. But on his new album, the 61-year-old rocker does something that may shock people — he sings in French. The Stooges frontman shows off his multilingualism On "Autumn Leaves," a track off Préliminaires, due out May 19th. The record was inspired by French author Michel Houellebecq's 2005 novel, The Possibility of An Island. "As I read scenes in the book, I felt music in my head," says Pop, who also composed a score for the book's forthcoming film adaptation. "I wrote less and less for the movie and started writing an alternative score to the novel."

The disc — which features trombones and clarinets — lifts its sound from 1920s New Orleans. "We get dangerously near jazz," says Pop, who cut tracks in Woodstock and Miami. "At first, I thought, 'If I want to pee and I don't do it with a sign that says Progenitor of Punk, people don't want to know about it.' Luckily, at this point in my life, I don't care very much."

In other Iggy news, the rocker recently nominated saucy electro provocateur Peaches to cover his "Search and Destroy" for War Child's Heroes compilation, a charity disc for kids living in war-torn regions. "I get a big shot of pleasure every time I hear her music," Iggy says of the Canadian singer, with whom he's collaborated on several tracks in the past. "All the better since it was one of my songs."

Pop — whose longtime Stooges bandmate, guitarist Ron Asheton, died in January — also hinted at the group's future plans. "We have a large vault, and I've been fooling around with different ways to approach vocals," he says. The band is also "developing something with a dramatic filmmaker," but Iggy declined to elaborate. What about rumors that Sex Pistols' guitarist Steve Jones might join the Stooges? "I talked to Steve, and if I wanted an extra guitar, he'd be the guy to call," says Iggy. "The group still exists. I'm not gonna tell you more than that."

Related Stories:

Photo Gallery: The Stooges - Five Decades of Raw Power
The Rolling Stone Interview: Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop Remembers Stooges' Ron Asheton In First Interview Since the Guitarist's Death

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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