Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Clark Collis
March 18, 2016 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Iggy Pop’s new release Post Pop Depression (out today) contains a little bit of history — literally. Before Pop went into the studio with the album’s producer, Josh Homme, the “Lust for Life” singer sent the Queens of the Stone Age founder some inspiration in the form of notes which, among other things, recalled the period in the mid-’70s he spent recording in Berlin with the late David Bowie. 

“I sent Josh some poetry, which I wrote specifically for him as an audience,” says Pop, who recorded Post Pop Depression before Bowie’s death. “I sent a kind of comedy routine for his entertainment called German Trivia, in which I said ‘Hey, Josh, do you know what they call a dick in Germany? It’s a schwanz! And I sent him what I would call detailed technical info about the making of The Idiot and Lust For Life, the two albums I made in that country under the direction of David Bowie. So, like, ‘I said, ‘Okay, here’s how this song goes,’ and then he said, ‘Well, here is a melodic hook,’ and he played the guitar,’ and so on. Just the facts! There was a little bit in German Trivia describing the cabarets and discos that I used to go to in Berlin, and most of the time when I went out to them, it was me and David Bowie and a couple of other people.”

Pop’s notes ultimately inspired the Post Pop Depression track, “German Days.” “The schwanz didn’t make the song,” explains Pop. “This is a high operatic piece here!”

A version of this story originally appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1406, on newsstands now or available for purchase here.

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