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Iggy Pop making new music with Stooges

‘It’s pretty much the way it was in high school’ says the rock icon
/ Source: Billboard

Punk icon Iggy Pop says he has been holed up in “a little cottage in the boonies on a little river” in Florida writing music with his old band the Stooges. Yes, the much-talked about reunion record is finally happening. (The Stooges released only three albums between 1969 and 1973, before Pop went on to have a solo career.)

He expects the album to come out next year on his solo-work label, Virgin Records. Steve Albini — whose numerous credits include albums by the Pixies, Nirvana and PJ Harvey — will produce, but the set also will include a package of songs produced by Jack White, frontman of the White Stripes and the Raconteurs and producer of Loretta Lynn’s “Van Lear Rose.”

The band also will plan its first full-blown reunion tour. To date, it has done only the festival circuit and one-offs. And Pop will be feted Monday  when the Florida chapter of the Recording Academy presents the Recording Academy Honors 2006.

Q: What does the Florida chapter honor mean to you?

A: It’s a peer group honor. It comes down to a nod to your work and your stature in the industry. It used to be called the Florida Heroes Awards. Wow, a Florida hero. That would be Mickey Mouse, the astronauts and me! It means a lot. I always felt guilty for not going to the Grammys more often.

Q: You moved from New York to Miami seven years ago. Do you miss New York?

A: I moved from there to an old house in Miami Beach, and things got too terribly groovy. There are birds here. I go to New York from time to time, and it’s really exciting when I go. Miami’s never been more than a spit from New York anyway.

Q: Hasn’t New York changed a lot in the past 10 years?

A: It goes through phases. It seems to be in its prosperous phase right now. A lot of pod people. It’s pure pod. Hey, that’s OK, I’ll swing a little pod.

Q: What’s it like writing with the band again?

A: All the same passions and problems are there. But the problems are in a more muted style. I’m still the showoff in the group that gets all the attention. Everyone has their role. It’s pretty much the way it was in high school.

Q: What direction are you going in musically?

A: We experimented a lot. We’re stubborn people. We could have just started out and in 10 minutes we would have sounded like us, but that would have been too easy. We experimented a lot. We’d have these get-togethers every two or three months for four or five days and bang out stuff. As time went on, it started to sound more and more like us.

Q: Why reunite now?

A: I’d sort of run out of ideas. I ran through everything, all the permutations. I got to the point on my last (solo) record, “Skull Ring” (in 2003), where I just threw it open and did a guest-oriented album. I had resisted doing a Stooges reunion, but when I was putting “Skull Ring” together, the two brothers (Stooges founding members Ron and Scott Asheton) were getting really active on the road playing Stooges songs. Suddenly they were in sight and in mind. I thought, “If I’m going to try a couple tracks with Green Day, why not get the original band?”