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When Iggy Pop Talks… But Not With Us, With Jarvis Cocker


The Guardian has published a very enjoyable conversation between two idiosyncratic characters: Iggy Pop interviewed by Jarvis Cocker…isn’t it intriguing? And so what did I learn?

I learnt that Iggy Pop likes to be aware of the new stuff and he does it through the New York Times, the Guardian, the University of Miami college radio playlists, and a Miami record store called Sweat Records. Plus there is YouTube!

‘That’s the other place – I find a lot of things by accident on YouTube. I’m of that generation – I’m not real fluent with the computer, so sometimes I press one button to go to point A and I end up at point Z. I ended up at this Joey Bada$$ video and here are these dangerous-looking teens stomping up and down in a garbage-strewn lot in the dark New York City. I thought they looked so thin, they looked thinner than the traditional uber-he-men rappers. And then, in a typical rap cliche, they were lit by the headlights of their SUVs, but instead of having Porsche or Ferrari or anything, their SUVs were all Chevrolet. I thought, well, this is righteous, this is really how it is when somebody really gets their first little bit of money in the US. That’s what you do. You go out and buy a new Chevrolet.’

They also talked about French writer Michel Houellebecq who collaborated with Iggy over his sci-fi book ‘The Possibility of an island’

‘That whole record was like a ticket out of the music business for me. It just came about because a documentary film-maker was looking for people to contribute music to a doc about Michel and, it so happened, that book. I subsequently got his others; he’s one of my favorite writers. He’s witty, too, he’s funny, he’s a good read, he’s a page turner. So I started writing music that I thought fit his character and, one by one, the other possible participants sloughed off and they were just left with me. I said: “Well, I’d like to write a whole album about you and your book, about scenes that moved me, in your book.”

I like Houellebecq too, although he is a very weird persona, but I understand Iggy’s interest. Iggy is a great writer too, remember this John Peel Lecture? And in this lecture, there was question of the burning question effort and money. ‘When it comes to art, money is an unimportant detail’ said Iggy!

And this is what Jarvis had to add:’ Generally speaking, the more money a band has, the worse their records get …’ Well, this is true’ agrees Iggy. Nothing truer has ever been spoken.

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