It took only two questions to get punk rock legend Iggy Pop to tell us to please go f**k ourselves. It was worth the wait. He slowed his speech to clearly enunciate his response to our query about whether hawking merchandise for a Caribbean rum brand was selling out.
"You can f**k the f**k off," he said. "Don't question me on that level. There's nobody you're ever gonna meet who's done as much to uphold his f**king point of view as I have."
Pop, the American rocker known for adrenaline-pumping songs including "Lust for Life," "Search and Destroy" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog," is teaming up with Sailor Jerry Rum to launch ‘The Flash Collection by Iggy Pop.’ Inspired Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins' tattoo art, the collection includes a denim vest, leather belt and embroidered patches.
It may seem like a curious partnership for man whose clothing style could best be described as minimalist.
"I don't really wear clothes except when required," Pop said. "But when I do dress up, I usually wear a vest. So that's what I made."
During our interview, Pop spoke to us about the challenges of being authentic while trying to make a living through business sponsorships.
Pop may seem defensive, but it's an issue he's thought long and hard on.
During an instantly classic (and controversial) keynote speech Iggy gave for the BBC's John Peel Lecture series earlier this month, Pop talked at length about the struggle to balance authenticity and the need to make a living. As he puts it, he had to work for years to develop a personal brand — something that now seems to come naturally to younger, business-minded bands.
He told us about his "ah-ha!" moment in the clip below:
"But the young person starting now is very aware," he said. "The newer groups, most of them who are prominent in alt rock, have lawyers and accountants before they have two albums out."
When his career was on the rise in the 1960s and 70s, Pop said, he didn't even have those options due to old record label contracts.
In some ways, this level playing field has made musicians increasingly mindful of the transactional nature of trying to make it in the industry. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's changed how things are done. "There's not much room for wild men like me anymore," he said.
Videos shot by Juan La Riva
Alexandra DiPalma is a producer for Fusion Lightworks, Fusion’s In-house Branded Content Agency.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.