Kevin Armstrong recently sat down with Eonmusic for an interview and reflected on Iggy Pop’s approach to his onstage performances.
The guitarist initially said that Iggy had recently married, adopted a more conventional appearance, and was taking better care of himself physically and mentally when he started working with him in the mid-1980s. Pop had also reduced his alcohol intake and even quit using marijuana during their tour. Then, he was asked if this state of well-being had a positive impact on Iggy’s live performance. Armstrong replied:
“The frontman thing, what people don’t realize about him is how much he thinks about that beforehand. So his wildness – and it looks like wildness – it’s a product of craft; it’s not just a guy freaking out. Make no mistake, he’s a strategist, and he knows what he’s doing.”
Detailing Iggy’s strategy, the musician went on to explain:
“He knows how to do that, and he’s developed those skills to an almost magical level where he can literally walk onto a stage in front of 30,000 people, raise his arms, and they go crazy. He’s really developed that personal charisma thing to a high level.”
In a follow-up question, Kevin said that the main difference between working with Pop in the early period and in 2014 was that he had evolved into a comfortable performer, had nothing left to prove, and simply enjoyed being on stage.
It was David Bowie who introduced Armstrong to Iggy, who recruited the guitarist to work on his 1986 album ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and the 1986/87 tour. The musician said the following about working with two artists in a February chat with the Yorkshire Post:
“Like Bowie, [Pop was] very easy to work with. Some of the biggest artists – and I’ve worked with a handful of real big ones – they mostly just want you to feel comfortable and do what you’ve been doing for all of your life. Someone might say, ‘Try something different here,’ but they’re very easy to work with, Bowie and Iggy. They’re both very quick; everything’s about self-expression and just do what you feel.”
Armstrong assembled Iggy’s touring band once more, this time from 2014 to 2019. Besides Pop and Bowie, he also had a chance to work with other notable names like Morrissey, Thomas Dolby, Mick Jagger, and Sinéad O’Connor.