Josh Homme on Iggy Pop: Lemmy is gone. Bowie is gone. He’s the last of the one-and-onlys
At 68, the punk icon has recorded a new album with the Queens Of The Stone Age frontman. In a frank conversation, the pair discuss sex, death and David Bowie
Who would have guessed, when David Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop were reinventing rocknroll in their own image, that it would be the guy rolling around in broken glass bare chested whod be the last one standing?
Yet here he is, stalking into a New York hotel suite, fresh from practising serene Chinese exercise Qigong: grizzled beard, bleached hair, skin of melted leather. Iggy has scoliosis, one leg an inch-and-a-half shorter than the other and stands only 5ft 6in, but hes still twice as commanding as the next guy. Even when the next guy is the towering Queens Of The Stone Age frontman (and drummer for Eagles Of Death Metal) Josh Homme, here recast as adoring fanboy.
Now 68, Iggy realised he might only have one last shot at making a real album as great as those incendiary first three Stooges efforts, or his pair of peerless Bowie-produced Berlin records. He sent word to Homme, who in turn recruited Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and regular QOTSA sideman Dean Fertita. Together, they went to the desert and came back with Post Pop Depression, an eerie, sinuous album record mixing sex and death with gallows humour; Iggys baritone underscored by Hommes desert blues.
What did they learn? Ive taken lessons about longevity from him, especially knowing that I can do whatever I want now and still bounce back, says Helders. Well, maybe but could anyone without Iggys lizard DNA live as hes done and survive?
Yet theres always been more to Iggy than the self-destructive caricature. Hes a punk with a poets heart, Walt Whitman in leather trousers. He sits down with Homme in New York to discuss the new album that could be his swansong.
How did you two first meet?
Iggy We met at the Kerrang! awards in 1912, or whenever it was. I was getting a lifetime achievement award. Did you get anything?
Josh I got drunk, thats about it.
Iggy, what made you contact Josh to make Post Pop Depression?
Iggy I was looking to make high-quality, non-band solo work, where you really put both feet into it. Id been skirting around it: doing an album in French, or a soundtrack, or a reunion band album. I wanted to find the best and hes the best. I sent him a dossier on me by FedEx: written form, no email. I sent him three essays Id written on my sex life about specific people. I also sent him an interview I did with an eminent critic here in New York about his concerns about my career. I sent him some poetry about
Iggy I was pretty much homeless a lot of my life. I now have dwellings, and I like chairs. In this one particular dwelling I had 34. I have African chairs. I have Norman chairs. I have Louis XVI chairs. I have French club chairs from the 30s. I wrote about wondering whats going to happen to my favourite chair when Im gone.