Iggy Pop on finding new music: “At my age, it helps me stay curious” | Iggy Pop
I Keep reading that we’re in our 70s, so I’m trying to keep using my brain. Discovering new music opens my mind and the element of surprise keeps me connected. I feel like I’m stumbling on diamonds – and when you find diamonds, you know. when I heard Relaxing chair from wet leg I got really excited: it’s cheeky, with a sinister groove, but it’s vocals – it’s almost balanced. You can ask 100 people to sing it and it won’t sound the same.
Since I was a teenager, I got irritated when the radio turned on something tacky and satisfied when I liked something new. David Bowie introduced me to Kraftwerk. I met them and told them: “Go to sleep and listen to your music!” They went very quietly and thought I was dealing with that, but it was the highest compliment I could pay anyone. Florian Schneider had such mental balls for throwing those tunes when so much of the music was “sell, sell, sell.” I trust people to come, which is my philosophy.
In the ’90s, there was a lot of competition and conflict in music. I was unhappy with my own stuff, and really low – making a shady Hollywood movie called The Crow 2 and going through a divorce – so I stopped listening to anything but old people. Listening to Miles Davis to go to sleep brought me back.
Then Jarvis called Coker on his radio show. When it came to doing my own show, I wanted it to be contemporary. I do not want to be who – which young man. I now play 1,200 tracks a year, from all continents, so I’ll look in the dailies – Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner will conduct a murder investigation alongside yardcore’s new single – and listen to friends.
There’s almost a dogma of repetition-based music on the show — after all, I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for a while. (Someone once tried to be sarcastic and said, “How many times can he sing ‘I want to be your dog?’ I can sing it until it’s over. To be real guys. I love things that sound like now and sometimes they sound better if I play them next to something.” Sounds like then, so I’m going to play a jazz drum next to Goat Girl, and they compliment each other.
I’m sick of hearing the big boys say you shouldn’t use artificial tools. If you are rich and have a garage and a car, you can start a rock band. But there are people who use synthesizers to play guitars, trumpets, and hypnotic breaths, and that’s pretty cool. If I hear anyone say, “Things are not as good as they were before,” I tell them to listen Musa Boyd Remix Bass by Nubia Garcia. It’s fantastically sophisticated contemporary music that strikes the heart strings. from Kemet’s sons to me The comet is comingThere are a lot of good things now. At my age, it pays to remain curious.
As told to Dave Simpson