This Friday, Iggy Pop released what may prove to be one of his last albums, the Josh Homme collaboration, Post-Pop Depression. The album was announced suddenly in January, and the hype heated up when pop and Homme performed the single “Gardenia” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Considering what Pop and Homme have both accomplished throughout their careers, the thought of them working together was naturally exciting, and when we consider what they’ve both done, they really seem like a perfect fit.
For one thing, both Pop and Homme have been all over the map as musicians. With Pop, we watched him start-out as the brutal frontman of the proto-punk Stooges, before going solo, and working with David Bowie on twin masterpieces The Idiot and Lust for Life. From then on, we’ve essentially watched Pop do whatever he wants; he embraced synthesizers on Blah Blah Blah, and later on would experiment with jazz on a collaboration with Medeski, Martin & Wood. Pop has left a legacy by defining himself as someone who will try anything once.
Homme is perhaps a bit less flexible, but he’s still done quite a bit over the years. After beginning his career with the stoner-metal legends Kyuss, he formed his most successful band Queens of the Stone Age, which kept the vibes of Kyuss, while adding a more aggressive, punk-rockier edge. While this was going on, he collaborated with Jesse Hughes on the garage rock of Eagles of Death Metal. While these acts have certainly differed in certain ways, they share a love of the spirit and ethos of rock ‘n roll — which of course, has practically defined Iggy Pop.
What would seem to unite Pop and Homme the most is that they have a mutual desire to keep the “f*ck you” attitude that made rock ‘n roll so essential in the first place, while adding new elements to keep things fresh. For Pop, it was the raw power of…Raw Power that wrote the blueprint for punk rock. At this point, Sabbath and Zeppelin had already solidified what would be known as heavy metal, but the Stooges blew their doors off by making it faster, angrier, and snottier. Homme, on the other hand, married metal and psychedelia with Kyuss, and then married them both to punk with QOTSA. Essentially, both musicians act as revivalists and innovators simultaneously. They have a similar belief in what rock ‘n roll is supposed to be, which made them a natural pairing.
Often times, their incendiary nature explodes onto the stage with them. Pop has been one of the most electrifying live performers around for decades now, and even though he’s well into his 60s, he’s still searching and destroying like no other. As for Homme, he brings an unrivaled intensity to the stage, performing with a conviction that is lacking in many of today’s more prominent rock acts. When we watch either of these men perform live, we are seeing rock ‘n roll passion at its most intense. Iggy Pop and Josh Homme are both true believers of the highest order.
What the release of “Gardenia” told us was that this collaboration would not be a mere “Stooges-meets-QOTSA” deal (although if we’re being honest, that would actually be pretty awesome). Rather, it would be the result of two musicians who spent their careers takings risks coming together and creating something new and exciting in its own right. The pair has nearly 70 years of experience between them, but they are still pushing boundaries and creating new ground. That’s why the notion of an Iggy Pop-Josh Homme collaboration was such an exciting proposition, and that’s why if this truly is the last album of Iggy Pop’s storied career, he will have gone out in a suitably explosive fashion.