Punk icon Iggy Pop hailed the ease with which new technologies allow musicians to get paid quickly while expressing skepticism about its effect on creativity.
Speaking in Cannes ahead of the premiere of a new Stooges documentary, he said: “The digital age has made raising money so incredibly efficient. When we started our band, we didn’t know what editing was. Now you can push a button and get rich quick.
Still, he went on to caution against the direction that such innovation could lead. “It could get to the point where it’s going to grab everybody by the shoulders and shake us, then knock us down and get rid of us.”
As he likened analog technology to “throwing an amp in the mind of man”, he winced as he mimicked a techno beat. “It’s like, woah, you know! Why don’t I die now.
Iggy recalled being on a beach recently when “a big yob from Serbia” approached to praise his music while saying how much he loved “new techno and electronica”. .
“You’re gonna be polite,” Iggy said, remembering his response, “but when the guy walks away, you’re gonna say, ‘Oh fuck you, Igor. “”
Gimme Danger is screened out of competition at the festival: this is the musician’s third collaboration with director Jim Jarmusch, after starring in Coffee and Cigarettes and Dead Man.
Watching the film, he said, made him realize that he was “a product of my time”, as well as the fact that he had been on acid for much of it. Today, however, he said it doesn’t get any stronger than alcohol and urged the wider population to take a similar approach. “I don’t do drugs anymore,” he said. “Everyone should drop this shit, simple as that. For me, the best is really good wine – but weed is fine for most people. However, he warned that smoking meant switching to harder drugs was more likely. “It doesn’t take much before you hear, ‘I’ve got this mescaline.'”
The musician said he still considered defying his manager’s order not to go shirtless on the red carpet, and at 69, he couldn’t quite credit his continued good health. “For some reason, I seem to have been able to regenerate myself from the different things I put into myself. Just trying to relax or go to bed early.
He concluded by saying he hoped society as a whole would follow suit. “Things get too wired. In my lifetime I’ve seen lakes and rivers clog up to the point where you can’t drink the water, then you can’t drink it from the tap and you finally have to buy it. Everything has become a business.
“If everyone could calm down a bit, that would be good. There is a stimulation today that is really intense.