It’s 20 years since they got violent but band still don’t socialise much… and they insist it’s a good thing
Jane’s Addiction stopped physically fighting with each other twenty years ago, but they still don’t hang out together much – and the band say that’s what keeps their music fresh.
They’re poised to release The Great Escape Artist, just their fourth album in their 26-year history, next week.
And with the second, and seemingly final, departure of bassist Eric Avery, the three core members of Jane’s – frontman Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins – believe they’ve achieved a balance that works for them, even if it involves taking regular breaks.
Navarro tells CNN: “I’m not really sure how many times we’ve parted ways. I wasn’t really one of the people who thought we wouldn’t be back together, primarily because we’ve gotten back together so many times over the years.
“We don’t break up any more – we just go on five-year hiatuses.”
Asked who plays the peacemaker when it’s needed, the guitarist replies: “I don’t really know how it happens. I’m all about peace, but it’s like with any family: it there’s a conflict in a family, and it’s Thanksgiving, and everyone gets together, and you have a few drinks and you start chatting with the family member that you have a problem with, next thing you know it’s all water under the bridge.”
Perkins comments: “If we’re not getting along, we don’t just stay together because we’re getting paid for it. But when we like each other the music sounds better – and it feels better to cash those cheques when you’re doing it with friends.”
Navarro agrees. “The old stuff percolates, but the tools we have as adults are different. What seemed a big deal at 19 is way less of a big deal at 40.”
Asked whether there have been any fist-fights recently he says: “No, no. People keep asking about that. That was done in like 1991. I don’t even have any recollection of that.”
Frontman Farrell says he’s delighted with the relationship the band have now.
“We’ve definitely had some dark moments,” he reflects. “What would a story be without the dark moments? Part of the greatness of any story is that you can rise up out of that darkness and shake off the dust and the dirt.
“Socially we’ve never really hung out, although these days I’m inviting the guys to things that I do just because I love them.
“But we definitely go to different parts of the universe. Some bands, they all have to like the same thing, and as a result the sound is very linear. Once time passes they sound dated.
“When it comes to our prescription, we like to have different elements of music and influence coming together. That’s what makes a new sound.
“I love performing with Jane’s Addition. I hope I get to do it all my life.”
Perkins sums up the current vibe: “Jane’s Addiction used to be the only thing in my life. Now I’ve got so many other things. My pie has got a few slices. There isn’t just once slice, but it’s always got whipped cream on it and it’s always really warm – and I can’t wait to get another bite of it.”