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Jane Says...

Dave Navarro discusses his Addiction


It's often difficult to try and capture the essence or impact of a band in a limited amount of words, especially when it's a group like Jane's Addiction, who some credit as being the first "alternative" band of the 90s. You also have to take into consideration that lead vocalist Perry Farrell will probably also be remembered as the godfather of all music festivals for creating Lollapalooza. And it becomes even more difficult when you're about to speak with the band's guitarist, and his publicist informs you that you have only 12 minutes. So, in just 12 minutes -- about the same amount of time it takes to go through most drive-thru windows -- I'm suppose to discuss how a band that was initially together for five years and recorded only two studio albums can still generate interest nearly a decade after they've split up. I suppose, then, it shouldn't have been much of a surprise that many of Dave Navarro's answers began with something along the lines of, "We really don't have the time to go into that."

The story of Jane's Addiction could read like most of the cliche rock & roll band tales: Just on the brink of super-stardom, the band breaks up. But again, we're talking about a group which has had a tremendous influence on modern rock music. Some critics credit Jane's Addiction with the invention of a new genre of music that, granted, these days has become a cliche in itself. Regardless, though, during the late 80s, they were the pioneers of a new musical frontier. They mixed psychedelic rock with punk, jazz, funk and folk, and although there are no capabilities to irrefutably measure the influence this foursome from Los Angeles has had on music, to this day it can certainly be heard resonating on any new rock radio station or on MTV.

The current tour features three original members -- Farrell, Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins -- along with bassist Martyn LeNoble. Navarro touched upon the tour, as well as his recently released solo debut, Trust No One.

Creative Loafing: Are you amazed by the tremendous interest the world still holds for Jane's Addiction when the band's career lasted all of five years and you all haven't really been together for over 10 years?

Dave Navarro Does it amaze me? Yes. Am I grateful for it? Yes, even more so. And if I was to guess as to why -- apart from picking apart what went on musically with us -- I would just say that we never really broke commercially, so no one ever really got tired of us.

How did the upcoming tour come about?

Well, we did a show a couple of months ago in Coachella Valley [CA] and had a great time, so we thought, "Why not do more?"

With both you and Perry releasing solo albums recently, will any of that material make it onto the Jane's set list?

There's the possibility that there'll be a couple of songs poking out here and there, but the majority of it is Jane's material. And we're still in rehearsal, so that answer will probably present itself before you run this story. I'm also going to be doing solo dates here and there on our off days. I'm traveling with my guitar player and we're going to do a few radio shows and in-store appearances and things like that.

How have the rehearsals been going?

They've been going good. We're definitely pressed for time. My experience with them has been that I'll reflect upon my rehearsals with great feeling, but when we're in the midst of them, in the moment, it's work. But we're having a good time. I mean, that's why we're doing it. If you think about what's going on in the world right now, it's like we need to focus on having a good time and creating a good time.

Could you compare the time you spent playing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the time you've spent in Jane's Addiction?

Well, I would say the only similarity is that they're both bands that produce music. I mean, that's the truth -- that's the only similarity. And that's probably an easier way to get to that answer because the differences are so vast that we don't even have time to get into them. It's like comparing lovers. They're just different people. Maybe the only other similarity is that I'm a member of each, you know what I mean? But all the individuals are different and the repertoire is different and the fan base is different and the experiences that each member has had to bring to the table are all different.

Listening to your solo record, it seems you were in a dark place when you recorded the album. Would you say that you're in a better place now?


How would you say the album helped you?

There are so many ways, but I don't think we really have the time to get into it, apart from the fact that music is just completely cathartic and freeing and healing. It always has been for me, and this case is no different.

I've read that you have a book coming out this year?

I'm not able to talk about that.

Any particular reason why?

I don't have any definitive answers on it.

OK, then back to Jane's Addiction. You all did a reunion tour in 1997. Would you consider the upcoming tour a "reunion" as well?

I would just consider this an extension of our working career.

Will you be working on any new material as a group?

I couldn't tell you. That hasn't presented itself yet. Right now, we're just putting the show together. What the future holds, I think we're all open to. I think questions like that, like what the future holds, I couldn't tell you because I'm not there yet. But I could tell you what we're open for, and I think that that's something that could be addressed.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time before Navarro could address it.

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