Last year, Iggy and the Stooges released "Ready to Die," an album of fresh, snarling studio cuts that many regard as a powerful comeback for the band.
After "Ready to Die" came out, though, Iggy Pop decided to take a year off, Stooges guitarist James Williamson told Rolling Stone. That didn't stop the rest of the Stooges from continuing without him, however. They're working on a new album called "Re-Licked," and it will feature several "Raw Power"-era tracks that the band has performed only on stage so far (these songs have circulated widely on bootlegs). The tracks will be belted out by a number of guest vocalists including Ariel Pink, Mark Lanegan, Jello Biafra, the Orwells' Mario Cuomo, blues singer Carolyn Wonderland and Le Butcherettes' Teri Gender Bender.
Meanwhile, on Record Store Day, which is April 19, Williamson will release a 7-inch featuring "Open Up and Bleed" with the flipside "Gimme Some Skin," both sung by Wonderland.
Williamson, Mike Watt, Steve Mackay and Toby Dammit recorded most of "Ready to Die" at Dave Grohl's 606 Studios. An Iggy Pop spokesperson told Rolling Stone that he was never offered the opportunity to participate.
But Williamson told Rolling Stone:
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"He gave me his blessing and wished me success. But it's a hard pill to swallow when someone is doing all your songs with your band and you're not on it. I think he's cool with it so far. We'll see how things progress…I hope he maintains his positive attitude."
Later, Pop released a statement to the magazine:
"I don't have a problem with anything, I don't oppose anything. This statement about the 'hard pill' sounds kind of passive aggressive to me. The guys in the touring group have been phoning and emailing me and my rep before, during and after the recordings, wondering how I felt about this. These guys are my friends and we've all worked together many years. I am glad someone is paying them; they are working musicians and they need to play. I want to thank all the wonderful singers on this record for covering my songs."
"Ready to Die" will feature versions of "She Creatures of The Hollywood Hills" (sung by Pink), "Wild Love" (Lanegan), "Sick of You" (Cuomo), "Head On" (Biafra), "Till the End of the Night" (Teri Gender Bender), "I Got a Right" and "Heavy Liquid."
Perhaps it's a good thing the Stooges aren't planning to tour behind the new album, but Williamson does indeed acknowledge that the band (with Iggy as frontman) -- a group whose raucous proto-punk influenced the Ramones, the Dead Boys and a host of other gnarly music makers -- are planning to hit the road again in 2015.