Jane’s Addiction Talk Reunion, New Songs, Tour without Dave Navarro

“The beauty of life isn’t always winning,” says Perry Farrell. “It gets knocked down and gets up again and then to win. Sometimes that can be even sweeter.”

It should be noted that Farrell hasn’t been short of moments of success in 2022. The 63-year-old musician recently caught Lollapalooza at another hugely successful multi-day stand in Chicago (not to mention Stockholm, Paris, Buenos Aires and other faraway lands). flung places); together with his wife Etty Lau Farrell conceived, executed and performed a recurring “immersive theatre” experience called Heaven After Dark in LA which he aims to bring to international attention; and unexpectedly reunites his mid-’90s outfit, Porno for Pyros, for their first full shows in more than 25 years.

The piece missing from this winning jigsaw puzzle is Jane’s Addiction, the LA band that shamanistic Farrell spearheaded and played a key role in bringing alternative rock into the mainstream in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and so on famously emerged (at least for the first time) after headlining the inaugural Lollapalooza festival in 1991. Jane’s has re-formed numerous times over the years to record and tour and remains a hot live ticket and festival headliner. But aside from a few stray appearances at festivals in 2020 and 2021, they’ve mostly been dormant — until now.

The band has embarked on a fall North American arena tour with “Spirits on Fire” with another alternative-era icon, the Smashing Pumpkins. While the two acts have a long history together – for example, the Pumpkins headlined the 1994 Lollapalooza festival – they seemed to reside in different corners of the alternative rock universe, musically and perhaps even spiritually, at the time, with Jane being more aligned was punk, goth and arty exotica, The Pumpkins Prog, classic rock and fearful metal.

These days, they might have more in common – imposing legacies, bulletproof catalogs, and a dedication to big, bombastic shows. “Jane’s, our whole thing is pomp and explosiveness and drama and art,” says Farrell. “And Billy [Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins front man] There’s lights and costumes and videos … it’s a performance that’s not just musical, it’s visceral.” The tour, he continues, “is a return to real, spirited people performing, as opposed to the jumbotron, at where everything is just upstairs or the band doesn’t give you anything and they walk out with a friggin’ t-shirt.”

Jane’s Addiction’s at the Jane’s Addiction Tour rehearsal held at the Mates Rehearsal Studios in North Hollywood, California on September 21, 2022.

Christopher Polk for a change

Smashing Pumpkins, which currently includes three of the band’s four original members – Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin – kicked off the “Spirits on Fire” tour with the announcement of a new album, “ATUM,” a 33-track ” , marked. Rock opera in three acts” is intended to evoke grandiose works such as “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” from 1995.

For Jane’s Addiction, these shows come at a time when the band faces a personal turning point: a revival of a seemingly unreachable past and a tentative first step into an unknown future.


Jane’s Addiction’s at the Jane’s Addiction Tour rehearsal held at the Mates Rehearsal Studios in North Hollywood, California on September 21, 2022.

Christopher Polk for a change

The “past” track is represented by the return of original bassist Eric Avery. A key component of the Jane’s Addiction sound, Avery was the first member to play in the band alongside Farrell in 1985, and it’s his haunting, hypnotic basslines that add plenty of power and thrust to classic tracks like “Mountain Song” and “Hooks.” Avery’s history with Jane’s Addiction, and Farrell in particular, was one of tension; He last played with the band for a short time in the early 2000s before departing again in 2010. Over the years, his spot has been filled by everyone from Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea to, in most cases, prolific studio and stage bassist Chris Chaney.

Avery’s journey back to Jane’s Addiction began a few years ago when he and Farrell reunited on a phone call that the bassist said was brokered by a mutual friend, the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Reaching out recently, Farrell said, “I thought maybe it had something to do with it [Hawkins’] Death because we both loved him dearly. I thought maybe he wanted to do a song or something for Taylor.”

Instead, the conversation focused on the future of Jane’s addiction and Avery’s place in it. “We had what I think is the most meaningful, honest and respectful conversation we’ve had since Jane’s 1.0 days,” says Avery. “I don’t mean to sound ‘New Age’ with that, but it was a kind of crack healing.”

That cure, says Farrell, was long overdue. “It’s time. We’re not getting any younger and I wanted to work with Eric again before it’s too late.”

But just as the band, which also includes original members Stephen Perkins (also of Porno for Pyros) on drums and Dave Navarro on guitar, seemed to be pulling themselves together, they experienced a knockdown. Navarro has been battling severe long Covid symptoms since December 2021; His illness forced Jane’s Addiction to withdraw from two festival bills earlier this year, in both cases with Porno for Pyros in their stead. Just as the band was preparing to begin rehearsals for the Spirits on Fire tour, Navarro informed them that he was still not well enough to tour with Jane’s Addiction.

Farrell says: “Dave has told us he hopes to be back at some point [on the tour], but… you see, this is very important. Today you have to take care of your friends and family. It’s a tough time to be alive. You have to think smart. If a person isn’t comfortable, you have to agree to them slowing down for a minute. There is nothing else you can do.”

“My heart is broken not to have Dave here with us,” adds Perkins. “But I just want my friend to be healthy. And the best we can do for him right now is not to interrupt the healing process.”

In the meantime, the show must go on. And for that to happen, Jane’s Addiction needed, for the first time in their history, to find a guitarist who could follow in Navarro’s footsteps. For the tour at least, that guitarist will be Troy Van Leeuwen, a record producer and multi-instrumentalist who has played with the likes of A Perfect Circle, Iggy Pop and most notably, Queens of the Stone Age. Additionally, Farrell reports that several shows will feature guest guitarists who will join the band on stage. However, these names are still top secret. “I wish I could tell you, but I can’t,” he says. “But they are guitar mates of, let’s say, Jane. Friends first, but definitely musical allies.”

Regarding Van Leeuwen, he continues: “I would never have wanted to go out without Dave. But these days are a time of cooperation. So we sat down with Troy and talked about stage style and especially musical style. And we found common ground.”

“I came up with it from the perspective of respecting the material and the story because Dave has such a big presence in the band,” says Van Leeuwen. “Then as we played more and more everyone said, ‘Well, do your own thing too.’ That way I have some space to throw in my flair here and there.”

“We really went into it because this is an opportunity for Jane’s to have a little different sound,” says Avery. “A bit of a different experience.”

Going forward, in yet another break from recent surgical procedures, the experience of Jane’s Addiction will not be limited to just the stage. The band’s final studio album, The Great Escape Artist, was released in 2011. But last August, they reunited to work on new material, which will also mark their first recordings with Avery since the 1990s landmark “Ritual de lo Habitual.” ” The sessions, says Farrell, “actually exceeded expectations. We wrote three songs – one is very, very raw, but two I especially love. One is called “True Love” and the other “The Imminent Redemption”. ”

The latter song came about in an unusual, if very 21st century, way. The night before the band’s first session together, Avery looked online and landed on a YouTube video of Perkins giving a drum clinic. He grabbed a solo piece that the drummer performed in 6/8 time and crafted a bass melody from one of the rhythms. The next day it became the first new music they were working on.

“I started playing it with Stephen, and Perry started singing, and it made me feel like I hadn’t felt in many years,” says Avery. “It reminded me of surfing. When you’re paddling for a wave, there’s a tipping point where you get caught by the wave and you’ve made an effort and can stop paddling. You just get up and start driving. I was like, wow, we can still hook this up…”

“When you hear what we came up with, it just has that vibe right away that you hear on things like ‘Mountain Song’ or ‘Whores,'” adds Perkins. “It’s dark. It’s cinematic. It’s voodoo. It sounds like us.”

Still, Farrell stresses there’s still work to be done, as Navarro has yet to add his guitar to the new material. “These songs hang,” he says. “Dave hasn’t recorded them yet, and they won’t be ready until he does.”

In any case, Perkins hopes that there will be a full album of Jane’s Addiction in the future. “Fuck yeah, that’s all I want,” he says. “Get in a room together, just do it. The last three years have been a nightmare for everyone – let’s energize this pain, this fear, this uncertainty, all the shit we’ve been through together. Let’s slip that into a Jane’s record. This is my dream.”

At least the music will continue in one form or another. “We’re all on the universal watch, so I’ll ride it as long as I live,” says Farrell. “I don’t know what the music will sound like when I’m in my seventies, but I want to try and I will.”

Quitting, he continues, is out of the question. “I never have to retire,” says Farrell. “I could ask anyone – I could ask Tom Brady and he’d tell you he’s jealous of him me. ‘Cause I can walk ’til I can’t breathe That’s the beauty of being a musician. You keep moving, and along the way you gain musical knowledge, you gain poetic knowledge. You gain political knowledge and spiritual knowledge and universal knowledge. And then you bring all of that into your art.”

https://variety.com/2022/music/news/janes-addiction-perry-farrell-dave-navarro-smashing-pumpkins-1235389723/ Jane’s Addiction Talk Reunion, New Songs, Tour without Dave Navarro

Charles Jones

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