The Stooges first got back in the studio to record three tracks for Iggy’s 2003 solo album Skull Ring. Did that feel like old times?
“No, things were different. That’s another story, though. We were called in to record a couple of songs for that album. We were in the studio in Miami, and we had a couple of ideas and just drew them down. The plan then was to come back in two weeks and record them. I got a call saying they were just going to take my practice material and release that. So the songs never had a chance to be worked out and played right, and from that day on, whenever I’m in a studio, I play everything like it’s the final take. I was just screwing around and searching for ideas. That’s what turned out to be released. That was weird.”
Are you happy with The Weirdness?
“I think it lacked enthusiasm and it didn’t have a feel that you could say ‘that’s The Stooges’. You might have to read the label and try to figure out who the band is. The idea was to make it more raw, more Stooges-sounding, but it didn’t get there.”
Has your approach to drumming changed since Raw Power?
“Oh yeah. My drumming has changed with every band I’ve been in. During the Sonic’s Rendezvous Band stage, I was hitting really hard. All other drummers were playing more of the tippy-tappy light style. They’d all tell me, ‘Why do you play so hard? You don’t have to hit the drums so hard.’ I was taking big chunks out of cymbals, I was crushing my bass drum pedals in half, and I just stuck with it. This is my style. I’m going to beat the s**t out the drums and hit as hard as I can. After a while, more drummers started playing the hard style. I still hit hard, but not hard enough to break the rim on the snare drum anymore.”
What would Ron think of The Stooges carrying on with James Williamson?
“Not much. He would probably not want to have anything to do with it. That bothers me. I try to get over it and not let it beat me up too much. I really miss playing with my brother.”