For those who enjoy The Stooges, but have long wished that Iggy Pop would sit out a round and maybe give Ariel Pink a shot, the band has just the album for you. Guitarist James Williamson tells Rolling Stone that The Stooges—a group in which only he and saxophone player Steve Mackay can be considered “original” members—will continue its long tradition of just playing with whomever is around by recording the upcoming Re-Licked, an album of songs written and performed live in the wake of Raw Power, but never committed to the studio. Many of them have been heard on bootlegs, but Williamson says, “Recording them properly is something I've always wanted to do.” And when it comes to finally making them a proper Stooges album, he’s not letting the minor hiccup of Iggy Pop not wanting to do it stand in his way.
Instead, Williamson recruited guest vocalists like Ariel Pink, Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan, Jello Biafra, The Orwells’ Mario Cuomo, and Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender to sing with The Stooges’ (mostly guest musicians at this point) lineup, recording the bulk of the tracks at Dave Grohl’s 606 Studios. And although Williamson says he had to tweak some of the arrangements and lyrics of songs like “Open Up And Bleed” and “Gimme Some Skin”—both of which were handled by Texas blues singer Carolyn Wonderland, for a 7-inch due out on Record Store Day—he also says, “Pretty much they're true to the originals.” Except for the part where Iggy Pop sings on them.
As for how Pop might feel about the band he founded—and which officially goes under the name Iggy And The Stooges now—making an album without him, Williamson claimed Pop had given them “his blessing and wished me success.” Yet he also acknowledged, “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.”
After reps for the singer suggested Pop might have only been “cool” with it because he wasn’t even aware of the project until December, and “was never given an opportunity to participate,” Pop issued his own, longer statement to clarify. “I don't have a problem with anything, I don't oppose anything,” he wrote. “This statement about the 'hard pill' sounds kind of passive aggressive to me.” He then offered his own somewhat passive-aggressive benediction, calling his bandmates his “friends”—but also his “touring group”—and saying he’s “glad someone is paying them.”
There are currently no plans for A Bunch Of Singers Who Answered Their Email And The Stooges to tour.