The pair began working on the album last January in secret and without a record label. It’s now slated to be released via Loma Vista. “We paid for whatever ourselves,” Pop said. “But it was made to be heard — not to be some quirky thing that we did with our own money.”
The Stooges singer said Homme “took me to a place I’d never been,” while the Queens of the Stone Age mastermind added: “This was to go where neither of us had gone before. That was the agreement. And to go all the way.”
While Homme has been busy with Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, Post Pop Depression marks Pop’s first record since his 2013 effort with the Stooges, Ready to Die. The punk pioneer had been living a quiet life in Miami when he reached out to Homme by text and asked if he was interested in writing some songs. For Homme, it was a huge offer; the rocker had decided to dissolve his first group, Kyuss, in part because he felt he could not achieve what Pop did on Lust for Life and The Idiot, his seminal solo LPs with David Bowie.
The pair spoke on the phone, after which Pop sent Homme a package filled with potential lyrics, other writings and, per Homme’s request, notes about his Berlin days with Bowie. After three months, Homme sent Pop some in-progress poems and songs of his own, and the pair agreed to hit the studio.
Pop explained that Post Pop Depression deals with questions of usefulness and legacy as one’s career nears its end. “In American life, because it’s so hypercompetitive, what happens when you’re finally useless to everyone except hopefully not yourself?” he said. “What happens then? And can you continue to be of use to yourself? I had a kind of character in mind. It was sort of a cross between myself and a military veteran.”
The nine-track Post Pop Depression was recorded at Homme’s home studio in Joshua Tree, as well as his Burbank space called Pink Duck. Their backing band included Dean Fertita of QOTSA and Dead Weather on guitar and keyboards, and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders; those two will join Pop and Homme on tour, along with Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar and Matt Sweeney on bass.
“He is the last one of the one-of-a-kinds,” Homme said of Pop. “This is a much deserved victory lap for a man who’s not sure if he won. But he did. He may have tunneled underground for lots of that, but he still got to the destination.”