The world is still buzzing about his performance of Johnny O’Keefe’s “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” on “American Idol” last week, but Iggy Pop says “it was just a gig” to him — albeit a good one.
“I enjoyed it,” Pop tells Billboard.com. “I enjoyed the band they put together for me, and they were good to work with. It was a very specific participation, very limited, and I kind of liked it that way. I went and did my thing, basically. I don’t know what to say about it, exactly, except I didn’t know what to expect, I had a good time and actually enjoyed singing the song and enjoyed the audience.”
Video: Iggy Pop performs on “American Idol”
Pop acknowledges that he “really hated” “American Idol” when it first started but that his opinion “changed over time and I came to respect certain things about it, bit by bit. I began to see if not the good in the format at least the good in the contestants, especially some of the final contestants,” particularly, he says, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson. Pop also reveals that “Idol” executives contacted him about possibly being one of the show’s judges for its 10th season.
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“It didn’t go very far,” he recalls. “There were two phone calls…I wasn’t sure I was interested or available. They called me…I was curious and we spoke a couple times, and that was as far as that went. I don’t think I could’ve done the right job for them on that particular show. I think Steven (Tyler) does a really, really good job of it.”
It’s not like Pop isn’t otherwise occupied, of course. He continues to tour with the latest incarnation of the Stooges, with a tribute concert for late guitarist Ron Asheton — and a fundraiser for the Ron Asheton Foundation — slated for April 19 in Ann Arbor with special guests Henry Rollins and Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek. The group will also play festival dates in Europe this summer and is planning a North American west coast tour for September. Director Jim Jarmusch, meanwhile, is working on a Stooges documentary that will be “more about the group than about me,” Pop says.
Meanwhile, Pop says he and guitarist James Williamson have been working on new music, with “about eight things right now that are…sort of complete songs. Maybe some of them need to be more complete or some of them need to be forgotten. And then some of them…just flow right along.” Pop predicts that the Stooges in 2011 will sound “halfway between ‘Raw Power’ and ‘Kill City,’ ” but new music likely won’t get out until 2012.
“James is like, ‘Come on, let’s go!’ but it feels to me like we’ll try to put it together in 2012 and get it out late then or in the next year, in 2013,” Pop says. “It’s really not about the time right now. It’s about the stuff and about the group.”
Before that, Pop is planning to release a new solo album, another bilingual project following up 2009’s “Preliminaires” and also produced by that set’s Hal Cragin. “There are no rock songs,” says Pop, who’s also cut a cover of the Seeds’ “Pushin’ Too Hard” for a Sky Saxon tribute album. This time out he did “very little writing,” instead focusing on “classic tunes” including the Beatles‘ “Michelle,” Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’ ” and songs by Serge Gainsbourg and Henri Salvadore. “I’ve been doing American and French (songs), mostly ballads,” says Pop, who’s “recorded most of it but not all of it. I’d like to get it out for Christmas this year, and if it doesn’t then I reckon it will come out in January next year — but over the winter, for sure.”