EVERY LOSER

Iggy Pop

EVERY LOSER

For his 19th solo album, punk godfather and infamous Stooges vocalist Iggy Pop teamed up with superproducer Andrew Watt and an all-star band. Featuring appearances from Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker—among others—the songs on EVERY LOSER are essentially played by famous musicians who grew up listening to Iggy Pop. “Andrew is very all-star-oriented in general,” Iggy says of the young producer. “It's like a fetish with him. Amusingly, he has an incredible collection of mint-condition rock star T-shirts. Once we started working together, he started wearing Iggy Pop T-shirts. Every day I got to see a new one.” Lyrically, EVERY LOSER sees Iggy seesawing from stream-of-consciousness bitch-fests (“Modern Day Ripoff,” “All the Way Down”) and love songs to Miami (“New Atlantis”) to reading the classifieds as a way to honor a decades-old suggestion from Andy Warhol (“The News for Andy”). The title of the album comes from a line in the social-media-inspired track “Comments” in which Pop says, “Every loser needs a bit of joy.” “Andrew suggested that whole line as the title,” he tells Apple Music. “If I was Pink Floyd, maybe I could get away with that. But I’m not, so I came back with EVERY LOSER.” Below, he discusses each track. “Frenzy” “There’s some name-calling there, but it’s just one particular dick and prick who gave me the ammo for those lines. No, you can’t ask who it is—but I’m sure he knows. It’s not a total rant, but it’s in the tradition of ‘Leader of the Pack’ or something like that. There’s some aggro there, but once it’s in motion you’re thinking about all sorts of things—the sharks in the sea that are out get you—but you’re also thinking about, ‘Shut up and love me, will you?’ Many things are ping-ponging in your mind. It’s a very tough little three minutes of rock music.” “Strung Out Johnny” “Andrew is a producer who’s also a top-flight musician and a good writer. When he sent me this song, he put a little provisional title on it—‘Strung Out Johnny.’ I thought, ‘I know something about that subject. I could sing on that.’ So we kept the title. I’m singing it to the archetypal Johnny, the universal young man. I wanted to sing to him about how it goes—step one, step two, step three, and then you’re fucked. But I wanted to put myself in there too, so the song would be a little warmer and more sincere.” “New Atlantis” “It's a love song to Miami and an homage to Donovan, who had a song called ‘Atlantis.’ Things are sinking here in Miami. I’ve experienced it because I’ve been here 24 years. But I do love this place. I’ve had the best years of my life here. I remember talking to Andrew about the song while he was on a boat in the Bahamas. I said, ‘You know Atlantis, the lost civilization, is right under you? Have you heard the song by Donovan?’ I don’t think he had. So he started blasting it out all over the sea on the boat speaker system.” “Modern Day Ripoff” “This came at a point in the record when I was starting to get cranky because I’m like 45 years older than Andrew and his energy doesn’t stop. I told him, ‘In The Stooges, we’d just do seven songs and an instrumental. Isn’t that enough?’ But no, he said we needed more, more, more. So, for the last three songs—starting with this one—I started writing bitchy lyrics. It’s just a standard middle-aged-white-guy-complaining song, but tongue-in-cheek. At one point it says, ‘Why can’t I do blow anymore? I can’t smoke a joint because I’m too paranoid? What the fuck?’” “Morning Show” “Andrew asked me if I was interested in doing a ballad, and I said yes. This was something he already had in his pocket. It’s like a Stones-type ballad. I never talked to him about it, but I’m guessing that was the inspiration. But I approached it more like a mature country singer would. A lot of people imagine it might be about, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to wake up and be Iggy Pop again,’ but it’s nothing to do with that. It’s just about feeling down and depressed but putting as good a face on it as you can. Kinda like ‘Tears of a Clown’ by Smokey Robinson.” “The News for Andy (Interlude)” “When I was making Funhouse with The Stooges, we shared a motel with Andy Warhol and his entourage, who were making the film Heat at the time. At one point, Andy suggested to me, ‘Why don’t you just read the newspaper and let that be the vocal of the song?’ I never did anything about it, but I told the story to Andrew and he was dying. He said we should do it. So what I’m saying here is from three different advertisements that were in the free handout paper that was laying around the studio that day. You know, the local spreadsheet that’s sponsored by strip bars and usually run by leftists.” “Neo Punk” “Travis Barker is playing on this, and I guess he walked right into that one. But he plays so well on it. The way he plays on the choruses sounds like he listened to ‘I Got a Right’ by The Stooges. I’ve been fascinated for a long time with the way that punk started out as one music and then became many musics and then ultimately seeped into the fashion world, into ethics, sexual orientations, all sorts of things. And suddenly people are making very quick, very large money out of doing things in a punky way. That’s kind of what it’s about.” “All the Way Down” “This is another one of the songs where I was getting crankier during the sessions. The guitarist in my band had posted a little footage of me from our last tour. I was dismantling the mic stand and she titled it ‘Full beast mode.’ I was quite proud that I could still manage the full beast mode. So, the song is basically saying, ‘I’m gonna go full on, and then complain a little bit.’ Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam plays on this one. I opened some shows for them many years ago, and their fans weren’t interested. They just wanna see Pearl Jam.” “Comments” “The music has a beautiful, lonely vibe to it, but then the chorus is so happy. What makes me happy these days is getting a giant check for doing something easy. And the loneliness part, that comes from Zuckerberg and Musk. I will look at the comments [on social media] until I get a general picture, but then I just sort of feel like I’m going to puke. Even if they’re positive—because it’s just one after the next after the next. And it’s always ‘You’re great!’ or ‘You’re a piece of shit!’ There’s not much in the middle, generally.” “My Animus (Interlude)” “What I'm trying to say there is that I have a certain pride in the idea that my front, when I want to put it forward, is not dependent on being some kind of multimillionaire, or chart-topper, or stadium king, or any of that. It comes from me, and it comes from what I think is just a healthy ability I have—and I've maintained—to be able to seek out the important pleasures in life. That’s how I’d put it.” “The Regency” “There’s a very interesting relationship between the parking business, the banks, and the stadium business. The real money is in that parking lot. It’s a really big business. That’s sort of what this song is talking about. And Taylor Hawkins played on this and ‘Comments.’ He really makes them come alive. I had met Taylor when I opened for the Foo Fighters, and then he played me in the CBGB movie. His abs were the movie poster, presumably as my abs.”

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