10 Things We Learned From Iggy Pop and Josh Homme’s Grammy Museum Talk
“I’m always ready to take a risk. I don’t work in a bank,” Josh Homme said of Post Pop Depression, his new album with Iggy Pop, during a talk between the two collaborators Wednesday night at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. “I’m here to take a leap and see what’s out there.”
The onstage interview for an audience of 200 focused mostly on Depression, which debuted in March at Number 17 on the Billboard Top 200, the highest charting album of Pop’s career. Homme arrived in a black motorcycle jacket and jeans, while Pop slouched in a chair beside interviewer Scott Goldman, vice president of the Grammy Foundation.
Unlike most events in the series, there was no live music, though fans were shown two songs from the band’s performance in a still-unseen episode of Austin City Limits. During the interview of the Queens of the Stone Age leader and the protopunk icon, we learned some surprising details about their creative process, stretching from Iggy’s work with Bowie to the new album sessions last year in Joshua Tree, California.
1. Homme’s first Iggy record was Raw Power.
Homme first heard Iggy and the Stooges when he was barely 11 years old, after picking up Raw Power at Tower Records during a trip to San Diego with his dad. He chose the album, he says now, based on the title and Mick Rock’s striking cover photo. “I didn’t understand any of it,” Homme said of the music with a laugh. “It kind of scared me and excited me.”
“Too much record for you, boy,” cracked Pop, who called it “my noisiest record. It hits harder. It’s going for a certain thing. I think that record just barely gets there. Most of the cuts are: ‘Is it a song or is it a problem?'”
2. Iggy played Raw Power for unsuspecting school children.
During the recording of Raw Power in London with producer David Bowie, even Iggy thought the Stooges’ target audience should be schoolkids. Between sessions, he remembers playing the album-in-progress for random children. “I would take the guitar players in the Stooges and we’d look for kids in their school uniforms,” Iggy says. “We would say, ‘Come to our house. We’ve got this record we know you’re gonna love!'”
3. For Iggy, possible retirement from rock & roll doesn’t mean he’s tired.
At 69, Iggy has been talking of making Post Pop Depression a possible farewell album as he slows down his music activity and focuses on acting and voice-over work. But that doesn’t mean he’s lost his protopunk nerve. “If I want to put pedal to the metal for five minutes on a given night, look the fuck out, right? That I can do.”
4. Iggy was initially drawn to Homme’s unflashy fashion sense.
Iggy and Homme first connected at the Kerrang! Awards in 2001, where the godfather of punk was picking up a lifetime achievement honor. They also posed for a magazine cover that week with Marilyn Manson. “I was impressed with Josh,” Pop says. “He didn’t look like the others there. He was the only guy besides myself who wasn’t dressed up in some sort of satanic space outfit.”
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