Iggy Pop said he hoped to live until at least the age of 80 in order to “spite” his haters, and added that he believed bets were being taken on when he's going to die.

The 72-year-old is set to release his 18th studio album, Free, on Sept. 8. He took the opportunity to argue that it’s important to maintain quality in an artist’s output.

“It’s gotta be fucking good,” Pop told The New Yorker in a new interview. “This is what you’ve sacrificed a lot of things for, dude, and this is what you were doing when you weren’t always there for other people, so it’d better be good.”

As the only surviving member of the Stooges, Pop noted that the death of his former bandmates made an “impression” on him. "You start to think, Well, okay, what are my probabilities?" he said. "And how would I feel if I was going to die tomorrow, and I looked at what I was doing with my life today? My only thing is, to spite those who don’t like me, I want to make 80.”

He doubts he’ll retire before the end, however. “I always wonder, if I stopped doing music, would I really start drinking tea instead of coffee, and, you know, brush my teeth more, and all that?" he reflected. "Or would I become, like, an alcoholic depressive?... I think there’s some sort of betting pool out there on when I’m gonna croak.”

Meanwhile, Pop revealed that his pre-performance routine takes up to nine hours. “I wake up, cup of coffee, stay in bed, clear my mind, don’t think about the show,” he said. “I’m not going to talk to anybody about anything. Three hours before, I lie down on the floor and do something called wu chi breathing, where I breathe very deep into my gut for almost a half hour. I’m a little high, but not dizzy, and my voice has widened. Then I lightly visualize for about an hour. I hit my cues – there’s certain blocking to remember, like in a play. Maybe you find one little thing that you can improve, but you’re not desperate about it.

“Then I do Qigong, which loosens up my bod. My bod gets tight. I’m a little gnarly. Then I take a hot shower and I turn it all the way cold. And then they pick me up, and take me where I’m going, and I sit there for a couple of hours, and I realize where I am and what I’ve got to do.”

 

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