The upcoming documentary American Valhalla tells the story of the collaboration between Iggy Pop and Josh Homme that yielded both the acclaimed 2016 album Post Pop Depression and the international tour that followed. In a new advance excerpt from the film, both artists reflect on what made their work together special.
“As we got to know each other, you blew my mind,” Homme tells Pop in the clip. “You really came with such an open mind and saying, ‘Yeah, I know what I’ve done but I’m here to … look forward.'”
Pop agrees, adding, “My range, in a lot of ways, expanded making this record.”
The clip also features intimate footage from the Post Pop Depression recording sessions, which took place at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California. Pop, Homme and the other musicians on the album – bassist Dean Fertita and drummer Matt Helders – read voiceover passages that evoke the sessions’ familial atmosphere and explain how the studio’s unique desert setting contributed to the process.
“Waking up and seeing Iggy do qigong, or tai chi, or whatever the fuck it is, while I wipe the sleep from my eyes, is extremely comforting,” Homme says.
“Most days we were done recording backing tracks by dinner: amazing food, a bit of red wine or tequila and then bed,” Helders recalls.
“As a group, our walks between houses, and breakfast, lunch and dinner moments are crucial moments of reflection,” Homme notes. “Five minutes of quiet where you just hear your feet crunching on the sand – that’s all you hear.”
Named after a track on Post Pop Depression, American Valhalla was co-directed by Homme and cinematographer Andreas Neumann. The documentary will come out via More2Screen and Eagle Rock Films in select Canadian theaters on Thursday; an American release will follow on July 11th. Go here for more info.
American Valhalla arrives in the midst of a busy period for Pop, which has found the 70-year-old singer collaborating with everyone from Danger Mouse to experimental producer Oneohtrix Point Never and jazz pianist Jamie Saft. Homme, meanwhile, is touring throughout the summer and fall, and he’s gearing up for the release of Queens of the Stone Age’s new album, Villains, out August 25th.