The past few weeks has seen a great number of musical artists dabble in the podcasting medium. Thom Yorke recently sat down with Alec Baldwin on the actor’s unsurprisingly bigheaded Here’s the Thing podcast for a worthy and modest chat about his musical upbringing, and Josh Homme seemed more or less at home on both The Nerdist and Jay Mohr’s vexatious Mohr Stories podcast – though the Queens of the Stone Age frontman appeared to be quite averse to indulging in any form of serious conversation throughout.
What each and every one of those interviews lacked, however, was the unclothed honesty that only Marc Maron can bring to the table. His style of conversation is free of pinned-on gimmickry, and there is really no categorical theme that pervades his excellent WTF podcast. It is often just plain, rare, dark, and delightful humanity that flows through his conversations, and it is that very simple component that makes Maron’s podcast both significant and fascinating.
WTF with Marc Maron’s 400th episode fittingly features an hour-long conversation with Iggy Pop – another icon very similar to Maron in terms of his neurotic and often self-destructive compulsions. Listen to the entire thing right here.
Maron is naturally flabbergasted by the very fact that Iggy Pop is speaking to him in his garage, and that is precisely part of the striking and bare humanity that makes WTF such a unique and constant treat. It is a special occasion, not only for Maron and for the show itself, but also for listeners who are offered a chance to look into Iggy Pop’s mind and history without the cringe-worthy witticisms of late-night talk-show hosts or the slanted biographical manifestos written about a figure so crucial to the history and legacy of modern-day music.
Pop recounts his life pristinely in the presence of an awestruck Maron, speaking of his childhood, his experience while attending a concert by a not-yet-adept California band called The Doors, his fleeting affair with Nico, as well as his fruitful association with David Bowie following the drug-addled dissolution of the Stooges in the 1970s.
It is all just a great joy to listen to, for the stories, for the undeniable joyfulness heard in Maron’s every utterance, and for the simple but rare occasion of seeing Iggy Pop open up so truthfully to Maron about his entire life and his struggles and his upbringing. No wonder that the new Stooges record is such an honest and genuine effort.