What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been
Jane's Addiction is formed out of the ashes of Perry Farrell's previous band, Psi Com, a darker, Cure/Siouxsie and the Banshees-inspired band that will lay the groundwork for Jane's Addiction. The accepted myth is that Eric Avery and Perry are introduced to each other by Jane - a prostitute and roommate of Perry's, from whose drug habit the band takes their name. However, the truth appears to be that Eric and Perry are introduced by Carla Bozulich (Ethyl Meatplow/ Geraldine Fibbers), when she hears that Psi Com is looking for a new bassist. Eric joins Psi Com, but they never play live with that line-up and break up shortly thereafter. With the dissolution of Psi Com, Perry and Eric form Jane's Addiction, with guitarist Chris Brinkman and a revolving drum throne. Stephen Perkins, who was dating Eric's sister and is subsequently introduced to Eric by her, is added to the fold. Chris is kicked out and after several guitar players come and go, Stephen suggests Dave Navarro, with whom he had previously played in the L.A.-based speed metal Dizastre, thus solidifying Jane's Addiction's line-up.
L.A.-based label Triple X Records releases the first self-titled Jane's Addiction album. Recorded in Hollywood at the Roxy club, the album quality is superior to the majority of concert albums at that time, or since, owing to the fact that substantial overdubbing was done to clean up the live recording. While still in their embryonic phase, Jane's Addiction showcases the band's unique sound and artistic vision, including Nothing's Shocking tracks "Jane Says" and "Pigs In Zen." The cover also demonstrates their penchant for more bizarre imagery, featuring an androgynous looking Perry on the cover. Dave and Stephen, both of whom are underage, are regularly snuck into or allowed into L.A. clubs only during their set to perform.
On the strength of their live album and a growing local notoriety, a bidding war ensues over Jane's Addiction and they sign with Warner. Warner releases Jane's Addiction's first full-length studio recording, Nothing's Shocking; the title is a commentary on how numb society had become in the '80s. They actually break up briefly during the recording session when the band walks out on Perry. Nothing's Shocking's blend of art-rock, punk, funk, metal, folk, psychedelic excursions and Farrell's world-weary yet wildly innocent musings comfort and confront like few albums before it. While Jane's Addiction's next release will go onto land critical acclaim and outsell it, Nothing's Shocking is Jane's Addiction's best work. At a time when hair metal still dominated L.A. exports, Jane's Addiction were something wholly unique. While still embracing the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll aesthetic, which they would do to excess throughout their careers, Jane's were intelligent, confrontational, moving, spiritual and beautiful, while still being heavy.
Nothing's Shocking is banned from numerous retail chains due to its cover, which features a naked Siamese twin sculpture of Farrell's lover Casey Niccoli with the heads on fire. The striking image becomes a head shop poster favourite the world over. The controversy begins a trend of Jane's battling censorship over its album art.
MTV, who will ironically become one of the reasons for Jane's Addiction's success in later years, rejects the video for "Mountain Song," a schizophrenic combination of live footage and bizarre images that features slight nudity. Farrell refuses to edit the video to meet MTV's criteria. Warner Brothers contracts an outside party to recut "Mountain Song" (which MTV international does play), but the move upsets Perry and Jane's Addiction.
During a tour with Iggy Pop, Dave Navarro's nose is broken in a Denny's bathroom in Delaware by rednecks less than taken with his appearance. During the same tour, Farrell is thrown out of a club in New Jersey for slam dancing during Iggy's set.
In response to MTV's decision to ban the original "Mountain Song" video (although MTV eventually does air the cut version, albeit late at night and fleetingly), Jane's Addiction and Warner release the Soul Kiss home video. It's mainly a vehicle to promote "Mountain Song," but it also features assorted band-shot footage and "City Song," a seemingly improvisational acoustic performance by Dave and Perry - Eric and Stephen receive bad directions and fail to locate the studio in time. Soul Kiss also features Perry Farrell and Casey Niccoli in a scene in their bedroom performing "aerobics for junkies," further cementing the band's drug abusing image. The footage is hidden in subsequent versions of the film and eventually goes missing from the video altogether.
Ritual De Lo Habitual is released in a hail of controversy, mainly from the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). Numerous retail changes refuse to carry it due to its provocative cover - a Farrell sculpture of a menage a trois, featuring Perry, Niccoli and Xiola Blue, a former friend and lover of Perry's immortalised on the album and in the song "Three Days." (She would tragically overdose years later.) While Warner Brothers wants to remove the cover altogether, Perry and Jane's Addiction refuse, but offer an alternative cover; a censored version with the first amendment on the cover and a warning of how Hitler gained power by taking control of the media on the back. Both covers remain available. The first run of the alternative cover version is marred by the misspelling of the title as Ritual Lo De Habitual.
Musically, Ritual De Lo Habitual is Jane's Addiction's most appealing and accessible work, while being their most complex and engaging. Building on their frenetic blend of influences, Ritual De Lo Habitual is a layered, more textured affair than Nothing's Shocking, a telling introspection to Nothing's Shocking's reactionary nature, while still possessing its intrinsic sound, if not its overall edge. It will stand as a landmark recording both for the band and for alternative music. "My favourite album is the Ritual album," says Dave Navarro. "It moves me the most, artistically and sonically. All four of us were on top of our game, as musicians and creatively. Perry, in particularly, shines in a way that I hadn't heard before; that record just highlights all four of us the best."
The music video for "Been Caught Stealing," directed by Perry's soul-mate Casey Niccoli, becomes an MTV hit. It features the band and a pregnant cross dressing man stealing items from a grocery store while a bizarre dance party breaks out.
Ritual De Lo Habitual goes gold, matching and eventually surpassing album sales for Nothing's Shocking within a year of its release. "To be honest, I was so deeply rooted within the whole process that it was very difficult to feel any influence that it may or may not have had," comments Navarro. "I was just as absorbed in that band and the process and the touring and the record cycle at the point of Ritual De Lo Habitual that I had been at the point of the Triple X release. It gradually became larger stages but when we started playing, it always felt relatively similar and comfortable. It wasn't until much later that I realised that there was any impact whatsoever. I knew there was impact and I knew people liked us but I didn't understand that it was important, at the time."
During a break in touring, Jane's Addiction records "Ripple" for the Grateful Dead tribute album, Deadicated.
Dave Navarro enters rehab before the start of Lollapalooza and remains clean for a number of years. Eric also cleans up before Lollapalooza.
Perry Farrell, along with manager Ted Gardner and booking agent Marc Geiger, unleashes Lollapalooza: Farrell's grand festival vision disguised as a Jane's Addiction goodbye tour that will drastically reshape the underground and mainstream music worlds by virtue of its risks and its successes. Lollapalooza is based on the English Reading and Australian Big Day Out festival blueprints and, for better or for worse, begins the amalgamation of alternative music by mainstream culture and the eventual franchising of the Lollapalooza concept in North America. The first Lollapalooza (named after either an American WW II code-word, a giant lollipop, a Three Stooges episode or meaning something exceptional, depending on who you believe) will feature Jane's Addiction, Rollins Band, Nine Inch Nails, Living Colour, Ice-T and Body Count, the Butthole Surfers, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, along with activist booths (PETA, Greenpeace, etc.), art and piercing tents and merchandise booths. It's christened with Perry and Dave getting into a fist fight the first day of the tour, demonstrating just how high tensions are in the Jane's Addiction camp.
Despite its tumultuous beginnings, Lollapalooza is an inspired success, becoming the highest-grossing concert of the year, playing to over 430,000 people and grossing over $10 million dollars, paving the way for six more 'Paloozas as well as a slew of imitators. Lollapalooza will feature a veritable who's who of the alternative world throughout its existence.
Despite being at the height of their influence and popularity, Jane's Addiction self-destructs. Their last show takes place after Lollapalooza ends, in Honolulu, Hawaii. "I like the idea [of going out of top]," comments Perry. "It used to bug me when I would see people that were just going through the motions, and I thought to myself 'This is particularly pathetic,' because I felt their idol-worship of themselves has led them into slavery. It's sad, when that happens it is kind of like a drug addict, you can see them falling apart but they don't think they look any different, in fact, they think they look good, but they don't. That's what I want always in my life to avoid." Everything is blamed for the break up: drug problems; ever-growing personal friction between Eric and Perry; quarrels over royalties; not wanting to cash in; and simply running out of steam. The real reasons are no clearer in retrospect, and may explain why no official announcement regarding the band breaking up was ever made. "I don't remember the specifics," insists Dave. "I just know that after the Lollapalooza tour we were exhausted from the experience. There wasn't really a day when we said we were breaking up, it just felt like we ended the tour and the album cycle and we just never did anything again until years later. I know that Perry wasn't excited about going back and I know that I wasn't, and I know that Eric and Stephen weren't either. I don't think it was even communicated, I think it was just a mutual understanding. I don't remember having a band meeting and saying 'This is over.' I think we all just stopped making [phone calls]. I think that was cool because it lent itself to the option of reforming at some point, because there never really was, as far as I can recall, any heated problem to speak of."
Perry replies to the myth that he has AIDS in Spin magazine. Dispelling rumours that have dogged Perry and Jane's Addiction for years about his health; rumours fanned after a positive pregnancy exam report on the cover of Ritual De Lo Habitual is mistaken for a positive A.I.D.S. test. "Yeah, I wonder how come I didn't catch something that would have caught me or made a huge mistake," Perry considers, in retrospect, when asked about the HIV rumours. "What I do now with my life is that I make sure that I am thankful, I try at as many moments as possible to thank God. That may sound like 'Aw, what kind of answer is that?' but that's the answer I can give with the most humility."
Perry is arrested at a Santa Monica, California, Holiday Inn for drug possession. Police search his room and find speedballs (a heroin/cocaine mixture). He's given a fine and sentenced to time served.
Perry Farrell is named "Artist of the Year" in Spin magazine.
In a prime example of trading down, Stephen Perkins joins Infectious Grooves, a funk-metal cash-in led by Suicidal Tendencies front-man Mike Muir. It's a brief stay.
Axl Rose asks Navarro to replace the departed Izzy Stradlin in Guns 'n' Roses, Dave refuses due to his commitment to work with Eric in their new project, Deconstruction, thereby condemning Guns 'n' Roses forevermore.
Perry unveils his new band, Porno For Pyros at select shows on Lollapalooza's second stage. The name is allegedly taken either from finding a fireworks flyer inside a magazine advertising X-rated S&M videos, or from the Rodney King riots, whatever story Perry gives at the time. It features bassist Martin Le Noble, guitarist Peter DiStefano and Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins.
The "Been Caught Stealing" video is named number 17 on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Most Influential Videos list, sandwiched between Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Prince's "Kiss."
Porno For Pyros unleash their self-titled debut, a less intense and more light-hearted (possibly due to the lack of internal strife) continuation of Jane's Addiction, despite assurances from Perry that it'll be something radically different. The album does yield the semi-hit "Pets," but it does little to either further Jane's Addiction's considerable legacy or distance itself from it. Rather than a continuation or a clean start, it seems destined to live in Jane's Addiction's shadow.
Despite its theatrical aspirations, Perry Farrell's filmGift is released almost straight to video after Warner Brothers becomes uneasy about backing the film. It costs $350,000 of Warner Brothers' money and is directed by Farrell and his by now former lover Casey Niccoli, who instead of filming several videos for Ritual De Lo Habitual, made the movie instead. The Gift centres around Perry coping with the fictional death of Niccoli via overdose, mainly by embracing denial and insanity - he keeps the body and has sex with the corpse, dresses her up and builds a shrine. Drugs remain a constant theme, seemingly to mock Jane's and Perry's well-deserved reputation of heavy drug-abusers. (Just witness Perry's and Niccoli's trip to the doctor's office.) The Gift also features a brief cameo or two from the rest of Jane's Addiction, supposedly during the recording of Ritual De Lo Habitual. It is a highly erratic and unfocused film; almost all the actors are amateurs, and its plot is suspect at best. Still, it possesses a strangely enduring quality and features the Ice-T/Jane's remake of Sly Stone's "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey."
Psi Com's one and only record is re-released by Triple-X Records after almost eight years. The original EP, released on the band's Mohini Records and limited to 1500 copies, was never widely distributed, mainly due to the fact that a number of the LP pressings came back warped from the pressing plant.
Dave and Eric's self-titled Deconstruction album is finally released by American Recordings. Deconstruction represents a glimpse of what the next Jane's Addiction album may have sounded like, minus Perry and Stephen. Deconstruction is an ethereal and evolving affair, containing both Eric and Dave's stringed histrionics and ever-morphing jams, yet again lacks the edge of Jane's Addiction, and meanders when it should rock, almost to the point of being lackadaisical. And it features both Eric and Dave on vocals, probably its biggest flaw. While the spoken word delivery and stream of consciousness lyrics of Eric are unique, the music seems to cry for Perry's voice and child-like uttering to give it direction. Also features Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes on the track "Fire In The Hole."
Dave leaves Deconstruction shortly after, reportedly due to Eric's reluctance to tour, signalling the end to Eric's participation with any Jane's Addiction-related endeavours.
After initially turning down an offer to join, Dave accepts a second invitation to join the Red Hot Chili Peppers and debuts at Woodstock '94, dressed as a giant light bulb.
Porno For Pyros also play Woodstock, making it somewhat of a Jane's Addiction alumni reunion.
Red Hot Chili Peppers release their one and only album with Dave. A varied affair that has long time fans scratching their heads as Dave introduces his distinct guitar style to the Pepper's patented funk and makes out with singer Anthony Kiedis in the video for "Warped," reminiscent of a similar scene between Dave and Perry in Soul Kiss. "The album I got the most out of making was One Hot Minute," declares Dave, "because the experience I had with those guys was such a learning and growing experience that I have a special place in my heart for that whole time." Initially tagged as the guitar saviour the Peppers had so desperately been searching for, fans shower Dave and the Peppers with criticism, despite the Peppers' continued success and the emergence of "My Friends" as a hit. "It's funny," recalls Dave, "because I've received a lot of negative feedback from Chili Pepper fans about my participation in that band. That has always been funny to me because it wasn't like I forced myself in, they asked me to join. It was very, very uncomfortable and awkward and it forced me to grow in a way that would otherwise have taken years. It was exciting, it was scary, it was like being in a cover band with the actual band."
Spin magazine names Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction number nine on its "Ten Artists That Matter Most 1985-1995" list.
Perry Farrell makes a brief appearance in the film The Doom Generation. In it, Farrell plays a convenience store clerk. Porno for Pyros' "Dogs Rule the Night" is played in this movie, although it is not on the hit soundtrack.
An unauthorised biography on Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction emerges, it's called Saga of a Hypster. Full of inaccurate information, the books sole purpose is to cash in, with the most glaring error being Perry's real name - he's referred to as Simon.
Eric Avery is asked to replace the departed Paul D'Amour by Tool front-man Maynard James Keenan, after Eric is recommended by Lollapalooza co-founder Ted Gardner. Eric declines to focus on his new band, Polar Bear.
Dave plays guitar on Alanis Morissette's hit single "You Ought To Know."
After years of declining influence and internal strife, Perry Farrell boycotts 1996's Lollapalooza after Metallica is selected to headline. "I don't exactly care about franchising," Perry say bluntly. "I'm not interested in selling you a fried potato with no nutrition, that's not interesting to me, I prefer to serve you a really beautiful home cooked meal." In response, Perry forms the ENIT festival. ENIT is touted as a being a new approach to the summer concert festival, an all-day and all-night festival that would include music, food and environmental appreciation, which ideally would take place at National Parks and Indian Reservations. However, it fails to have the impact Lollapalooza did and numerous cancellations due to poor planning and city ordinances signal its failure.
Perry remixes a mystery Yoko Ono song for the vinyl version of Yoko Ono: Rising Remixes, absent from the CD.
Porno For Pyros releases Good God's Urge, and bassist Martin Le Noble is replaced by Mike Watt (ex-Minutemen/Firehose) for some recordings and on tour. Dave Navarro (and Flea) appears on the record, marking his first collaboration with Perry since the demise of Jane's Addiction, although the two are never actually in the studio together. In an effort to perhaps escape the endless Jane's Addiction comparisons, Good God's Urge embraces a predominately laid-back, vulnerable and atmospheric aesthetic, with few songs possessed of any urgency whatsoever.
Porno For Pyro temporarily go on hiatus as guitarist Peter DiStefano undergoes successful cancer treatment.
Dave and Flea appear on Porno For Pyros "Hardcharger" single, from Howard Stern's Private Parts movie. Porno For Pyros with Dave and Flea perform "Hardcharger" at the movie's premier, and Dave and Flea are seen appearing at a few of the following Porno For Pyros shows, precipitating a Jane's Addiction reunion. Says Dave, "It felt like a natural progression, we did 'Hardcharger,' then we played at the premier, then I played with Porno at a couple of New York dates. Then, a question was posed to me in an interview, 'Would I play with Jane's Addiction again?' I said 'Yes, absolutely,' and that got back to the Porno guys and it evolved from there."
Jane's Addiction relapses and reforms without Eric. Eric declines Perry's invite during a lunch meeting between the two, the first meeting or conversation between the two in years, to focus on his current band, Polar Bear, which also features Harold Sanders III, of Ethyl Meatplow infamy. Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea is recruited in Eric's place. "The most difficult thing in the world is to have a band, and it is because you have to deal with these [different personalities]," begins Perry. "Let's call a computer a machine and let's call mankind a machine, this machine has emotions and feelings and their own opinions and free will. You have to get through all those things to get to things you would like to hear, and I just went off on my musical adventure, at the same time, that doesn't mean that I can't return to my old neighbourhood and say 'how is everything?'"
Kettle Whistle is released by Warner Brothers, an odds and ends compilation that is not the new release long-time fans are hoping for. However, it features two new songs, the spacy "Kettle Whistle" and the industrial-tinged "So What," and marks Jane's Addiction and Perry's willingness to incorporate electronic influences, a far cry from the early days of Jane's Addiction where Perry lambasted bands that sampled and incorporated electronics. Kettle Whistle also includes various rarities, live tracks and demos from all three of Jane's Addiction's previous records.
The demand to see a reformed Jane's Addiction, even without Eric, is extremely high. In mere minutes, Jane's sells 7,100 tickets for their two sold-out shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom and 6,000 tickets for their sold-out show at the Universal Amphitheatre in L.A.
A lone ENIT show is resurrected during Jane's Addiction's "Relapse" tour, in San Francisco, CA. It's a fusion of performance art, sensory-rich environments (featuring seven different "room/areas," such as the Drum room and the Beach room) and Farrell-approved music. It's a success and draws 8,000 people, yet fails to revive the ENIT concept.
Jane's Addiction plays the KROQ Christmas show in L.A. Before going on, Fiona Apple fan Dave leaves a message for Fiona on her dressing room mirror written with his own blood. The message? "Fiona, have fun. Love, DN."
The "relapsed" Jane's completes a limited tour before once again calling it quits, rumoured to be due to ongoing drug abuse problems with Dave. "All I can tell you is that my own personal experience with drug addiction has done nothing but made it difficult to do the things that I loved, Jane's Addiction being one of them," asserts Dave.
"Been Caught Stealing" is selected as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 songs that shaped rock and roll.
Porno For Pyros plays the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, DC, a benefit for Greenpeace in L.A. and contributes the track "Tonight" to the MOM 2 benefit album for the environmentalist Surfrider foundation.
Perry and Porno For Pyros return to the Lollapalooza fold in an attempt to salvage it, featuring a line-up that includes Korn, Tricky, Tool and the Prodigy, among others. However, despite Perry's return and the selection of the artists on the bill, it will be Lollapalooza's last year.
Stephen Perkins and Mike Watt release an album under the moniker Banyan. They also release a seven-inch on Kill Rock Stars under the name Li'l Pit.
Rolling Stone Magazine names Nothing's Shocking one of the 200 top records from the '50s to the '90s, although it is oddly absent from their top 100 albums of the '80s list from '89. Ritual De Lo Habitual doesn't make the top 200 cut.
Dave leaves amicably from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Perry disbands Porno For Pyros.
Perry Farrell wins a temporary restraining order to stop internet sales of a home sex video where he's also allegedly filmed taking drugs. Farrell seeks $90 million in damages as well as an injunction to keep the video off the internet. The company, Spy 7, who had offered the video for free to new members, complies, erasing all mention of the video from their site. Rumours are that no video ever existed, as no attempt to release the video legally was ever made and no film clips were ever leaked online.
Dave Navarro, at the height of battling his substance abuse problems after being clean for years, attends a party at the Playboy mansion and is subsequently banned from ever returning, when he writes on a wall with his own blood after shooting heroin during an orgy. Despite cleaning it up, the incident is caught on tape, although the tape has never been released. Dave is escorted off the premises and asked to never return.
After seven years, breaking underground music to the mainstream and making alternative a section in every record store, Lollapalooza is cancelled after it is unable to secure a headliner. Jane's Addiction were rumoured to headline but split-up, and no suitable replacement could be found or would confirm. "It wasn't that hard to walk away," comments Perry. "There wasn't a lot left there, it would be like picking over the bones at Thanksgiving; the turkey was eaten. At least it was useful, I got a lot out of it, it's never a bad idea to take a Sabbath rest, and that's what I did, I rested on the seventh one."
Perry Farrell's son, Yobel Ari Farrell, is born. The mother, Christine Cagle, is shown on the cover of Porno For Pyro's Good God's Urge album.
Dave is asked once again to join Guns 'n' Roses, this time to replace the departed Slash. He is also asked by Trent Reznor to record with Nine Inch Nails. He declines both invites.
Perry releases Rev. Despite its presentation as a Perry Farrell solo album, it is a glorified greatest hits package of both his Jane's Addiction and Porno For Pyros days. The one original, "Rev," featuring Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello and Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante, is an electronic rock song while his cover of Led Zepplin's "Whole Lotta Love" receives a drum 'n' bass treatment, signalling Perry's increasing immersion into electronic music and culture.
Rolling Stone names Ritual De Lo Habitual one of the most important albums of the '90s.
The Three Days documentary is premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival. It's written and directed by Kevon Ford and Carter B. Smith and documents the Jane's "Relapse" tour of '97. It is yet to be released on home video, presumably due to its content, which supposedly shows both the good and the ugly side of the tour.
Banyan releases its second album, Anytime At All.
Perry Farrell finds God. He ardently begins exposing the virtues of a little known Hebrew idea of redemption, the Jubilee. "What Jubilee is," Perry explains," is a 50-year cycle. At the end of this 50-year cycle we gather together, we celebrate with music, declare liberty, we forego our debts and our differences and return possessions to the original owners, and, of course, we party. We fall right now in the Jubilee cycle."
Perry Farrell, along with Radiohead's Thom Yorke, U2's Bono and Live Aid's Bob Geldof, fly to Cologne, Germany's G-8 summit, to ask the assembled leaders to forgive debt in the developing world. "This may surprise people," states Perry, "but I look at [the G-8 summit] very nonchalantly. I realise after all this time that there are obstacles in life, some people believe that they can be removed, I don't, I believe you have to know how to hurtle the obstacle. So when I spoke there, as I say, very nonchalantly, all I was there to do was explain the concept of Jubilee. A person has to build their psychic body, you have to be a philanthropist as part as your psychic body, you have to be charitable. I went there to complete my psychic body, at the same time, I know I'm doing good, I don't know if those men care to listen or will ever change, at the same time I know that the world is changing because of it. I don't expect it to be easy, I'm not even sure if I can do anything, I only know one thing, I know what I feel is right."
Dave enters rehab and cleans up. "I think I just got tired of feeling miserable, that's the truth," states Dave. "My experience has been that it's not a matter of someone telling me what I need, or telling me the obvious, which is that such and such is bad for you. It just got to the point that I wasn't happy and I wasn't dying, so I had to do something, and it was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do and the most beneficial thing I've ever done."
Kettle Whistle is certified gold three years after its release.
Jane's Addiction comes in at #35 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock." Led Zepplin is first.
Stephen Perkins, in a classic example of not learning from his mistakes, joins Tommy Lee's rap-metal monstrosity Methods Of Mayhem as the touring drummer. Thankfully, it's only for their tour.
Eric Avery and Peter Distefano join Peter Murphy's (Bauhaus) touring band.
Jane's reforms (again) without Eric (again), to play the second annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA, this time with former Porno For Pyros bassist Martin Le Noble on duty - Flea bows out to focus on the writing for the RHCP follow-up. This event, which also features Weezer, the U.S. debut of Sigur Ros and myriad hip-hop and electronic acts draws 31,000 fans. "Well, this all fell happily into my lap," begins Perry, "I was recording and finishing up Song Yet To Be Sung and I was asked if I would be interested in playing at Coachella by the promoters [with Jane's Addiction], and off the top of my head I said 'Sure, it sounds really fun.' Then you see start to see how much work you will have to put in, so you say 'Maybe it's a little smarter that we don't only plan for one show, but being that we're hot, do a couple of others.' From there, you have to be patient, maybe you're not going to enjoy it this time, I have to go slow and have patience, but it's been a delight and we have plans to tour this summer."
Perry's first solo record, Song Yet To Be Sung (Virgin), is set to be released this summer after numerous delays and a title change, originally called The Diamond Jubilee. Based on his Jubilee concept, it bears little resemblance to Perry's previous work, save his voice, being a foray into drum 'n' bass, electronics and breakbeat while retaining song elements, and may shock even die-hard Perry fans. "I had not worked with such frequencies before," quips Perry. "In that respect, if it's something [fans] hadn't expected because of prior work, it's something I would understand. I don't know if people will love it, but I believe that they will."
In a coincidental fashion, Dave's first solo record, Trust No One (Capitol), is also set to be released this summer. "It's weird timing," comments Dave, "I don't know if I've found God, but I certainly acknowledge the fact that there is something going on in the universe that is causing all these things to happen at the same time. I've been trying to put out an album for three years and all of a sudden it comes out at the same time that all this is going down, it's a little too coincidental." Far from the guitar-god gone solo overindulgence many would expect, it is a dark, brooding album of morose, modern-sounding rock songs, which features Dave's vocals first and foremost. "I've moved on from the place I was emotionally when I wrote those songs," confides Dave. "I think it's dark, but it finishes up hopeful, which is why I'm willing to make it public. I think it's a good first effort, I don't think it's amazing and I don't think it's terrible. The process of writing it was just an emotional purge, at the time, frankly I had never written or sang any song in its entirety in my life, so this is my first attempt at it. It's more of a closure issue for me, rather than a reaction issue."
To coincide with the release of Trust No One, Don't Try This At Home (Harper Collins/Regan), a book detailing a year in the life of Dave is set to be released, even though the reformation of Jane's Addiction have put it on hold. Featuring pictures of everyone who entered Dave's house for that year courtesy of a purchased photo booth, along with a running account of his trials and tribulations. "I believe that it [the book] does end on a positive note. In the book, it is exploitative and it is a little sensationalistic, but if there wasn't a positive message that at least I was able to learn out of that whole experience, I wouldn't have [done it]. It was an experiment in documentation, it was a partnership with myself and Neil [Strauss, writer] and we didn't know where it was going to go. It was truly an experiment in art and documentation, and it just so happens that there was a very positive outcome.
Jane's Addiction officially announce a summer tour, with the possibility of new material not out of reach. "The few songs that will be new [on this tour] will be from Song Yet To Be Sung," says Perry. "All my players have played on the record, and will there be a song in the future? That is definitely never out of the question at all. To me, I say 'Come on, how bad could it be? It's just music.' It's wonderful! Of course I would love to recapture Jane's Addiction."
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