About a mile walk from the Austin Convention Center and hub of all the South by Southwest parties in downtown Austin on Sixth Street, the Apple Music/Beats 1 House had some of the more exclusive and trendy parties all week long. One of those events included a very private gathering for the Beats 1 radio show, Alligator Hour, on Wednesday night, which saw the show's host, Josh Homme, (Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Eagles of Death Metal) and the legendary Iggy Pop sit down and listen to/talk about some of their favorite songs as well as their collaboration on their new album, Post Pop Depression. The two got downright intimate over the music.
"Before we talk too much," Homme mentioned at the start of the event, "Let's just listen to music together like a bunch of stoners. So close your eyes and get in the jacuzzi with me"
During the hour, the two played some of their favorite songs, starting out with Ray Charles' "What'd I Say", which Pop was very familiar with from his days covering the song in the '60s.
"Back when I was in a high school band, The Iguanas, you'd play fraternity parties to make money, and they wanted you to play 'What'd I Say'," he said.
"I love how it starts subtly," Homme added. "A lot of songs today, they have to jump right into it, there's no setup. It's like you have to get to the chorus and the verse at once."
Other songs throughout the hour included "Charlie Brown" by The Coasters, "Cars" by Gary Numan, and "Bad Boy" by Marty Wilde.
Between each song, both commented on the little intricacies they found fascinating about each song, such as the role the saxophone plays in "Charlie Brown" or the mod-like drumming and use of the tambourine in "Cars" and how the song carried a very futuristic, thematic element to it.
The two were also very open to taking questions about their own new collaboration with each other, including their own SXSW performance a night earlier. When asked about which type of music they both listen to that still makes them feel both young at heart, which Iggy Pop had mentioned in the set the night prior, he had specific examples of what exactly does it for him.
"Generally stuff that's nasty, young and aggressive," Pop mentioned. "I actually got the phrase from a Sinatra song called "Young at Heart" that was out when I was about seven or eight, was my father's favorite song."
Of course, the two had to talk about their recent collaboration which resulted in their new album, Post Pop Depression, a project that also features Dead Weather's Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys' Matt Helders in the band. Josh was quick to answer what he thought was a very important question to answer when it comes to their new project.
"People, so much of the time, they have a defense mechanism to protect themselves. When you collaborate sometimes people are really cruel or they have an intense ego that they need to overcome or they're insecure so they lash out. If you say to them 'No this is not that way, they may not believe that because they've never been in that environment where they can take a real chance. I love collaborations where you can create an environment where the morale is extremely positive. You don't want to have someone falsely think they're safe, and say 'I'd love to put steel drum in this song!' But if you weren't protecting yourself and if you were being an honest listener, you'd realize that steel drum might be fucking awesome."
"Or they have a habitual role," Pop chimed in. "And they're only going to be cool if you let them have their traditional role of being in charge and you get this other role. You learn this stuff playing this others through trial and error, and you start to learn what goes and what doesn't when it comes to sharing your ideas."
"Roles are for the dinner table," Homme added. "You don't need roles in music in any confined way. If someone says that steel drums are stupid, well they might be onto something, but if you limit yourself from doing something for no reason just because you're insecure, it's a shame."