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Jane's Addiction

Jane's Addiction is an American alternative rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. For most of its career, the band comprised vocalist Perry Farrell, bassist Eric Avery, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins. After breaking up in 1991, Jane's Addiction briefly toured in 1997, reunited in 2001 and then parted ways in 2004. The band is having yet another reunion in 2008. The band's varied musical style was influenced by punk, heavy metal, gothic rock, and psychedelic rock.

Jane's Addiction was one of the first of the burgeoning alternative rock movement to gain mainstream media attention and commercial success in the United States. Their initial farewell tour launched the first Lollapalooza festival, an annual touring alternative rock showcase. As a result, Jane's Addiction became icons of what Farrell dubbed the "Alternative Nation" during the 1990s.

History

Formation and Jane's Addiction

Jane's Addiction formed out of the ashes of frontman Perry Farrell's previous band, Psi-com. In the summer of 1985, Farrell was searching for a new bass player for the faltering Psi-com when he was introduced to Eric Avery. Farrell and Avery bonded over a mutual appreciation for Joy Division and The Velvet Underground and began to practice together, even though Avery never did become a full-fledged member of Farrell's disintegrating group. Later, Eric's sister introduced the duo to Stephen Perkins, whom she was dating at the time. Perkins in turn suggested that his friend (and Dizastre bandmate) Dave Navarro might be a suitable guitar player for the new band. Farrell was initially hesitant to consider Navarro as he was "into metal" but the initial jamming session, based upon an Eric Avery bass riff, showed they could work together and it produced one of their most popular songs, "Mountain Song". The new band was dubbed "Jane's Addiction" in honor of Farrell's housemate, Jane Bainter, who was addicted to drugs.

The band became a sensation on the Los Angeles club scene, primarily headlining at Scream. They soon gained interest from a variety of record labels. While they had decided to sign with Warner Bros. Records, the band insisted on releasing their debut on an independent record label first. The first record, Jane's Addiction, was a live recording with heavy overdubs released on Triple X Records.

Nothing's Shocking

Their major label debut Nothing's Shocking was released in 1988. The band was nominated for the inaugural Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental the following year.

Ritual De Lo Habitual

The band's full breakthrough came with the release of Ritual de lo Habitual in 1990 which also was certified Gold. The singles "Stop!" and "Been Caught Stealing" topped the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and the video for the latter song won the first MTV Video Music Award for Best Alternative Video. Also that year Perry Farrell organized the first Lollapalooza festival, featuring Jane's Addiction as the headliners with Butthole Surfers, Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Rollins Band, Living Colour, and Ice-T. However, tensions had emerged in the band and soon it became clear that Lollapalooza was to be the band's farewell tour.

The "Ripple" single that the band produced for the Grateful Dead tribute album Deadicated: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead was the final studio track for this incarnation of the band. Internal strife, especially between Farrell and Avery, and rampant drug usage led the band to break up in 1991 after playing two nights at Hawaii's Aloha Tower concert facility (an event which included Farrell and Perkins performing part of the final show completely naked).

Relapse

The band members pursued other projects in the 1990s. Farrell and Perkins formed another band, Porno for Pyros, and had some success with their two albums, Porno For Pyros (1993) and Good God's Urge (1996); meanwhile, Avery and Navarro formed Deconstruction and put out a self-titled one-off album in 1994. Dave Navarro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1993 and in the same year Stephen Perkins started a band named Banyan, with core members Nels Cline, Mike Watt, and Willie Waldman (with revolving studio guests). Banyan have released three albums as of 2008, their self titled-debut, Any Time at All and Live At Perkins Place.

Dave Navarro and the Red Hot Chili Peppers's Flea joined Porno for Pyros to record "Hard Charger" in 1997 for Howard Stern's movie, Private Parts soundtrack which lead to a brief Jane's Addiction Relapse tour with Flea replacing Avery as bassist, after he declined an invitation to rejoin the band. However Jane's Addiction did not launch their full return for a further four years.

Strays

The 2001 Jubilee Tour featured all the old Jane's Addiction songs, while showcasing the recent solo release from Navarro, Trust No One. Fans were told to expect a "Sexual Psycho Circus, I am not sure if you will want to quote me on that, but fans will see half-naked, penny rafters, guitar solos, and tribal drums..." This was exactly what the fans got. During renditions of Classic Girl, illuminated, scantily clad stage dancers filled the arenas. For the tour, again Avery declined any involvement. With Flea busy with the Chili Peppers, Porno for Pyros bassist Martyn LeNoble was brought in to fill the gap. Following the success of this tour, the band decided to record a follow-up album to 1990's Ritual De Lo Habitual and tapped Chris Chaney to replace LeNoble on bass. They entered the studio with legendary producer Bob Ezrin in 2001, recording as a band for the first time in over 10 years. The result was the group's final album, Strays. Some of the songs (or parts of songs) dated far back in the band's history, while others were brand new. Critics were generally favourable, with Rolling Stone reporting that "The band sounds familiar" and "beefier" though without the "glint of madness" of the original line-up. There was tension in the band throughout 2003 and disagreements over which festivals and venues to play, as well as artwork for the new album. The first single, "Just Because", was a minor hit, though the sixth song on the record, "Superhero," garnered much more exposure as the featured theme song of HBO's hit series Entourage.

The band spent 2003 on an extensive worldwide touring in support of Strays, including, in a homecoming of sorts, a summer headliner slot in a reincarnated Lollapalooza U.S. tour. Following the 2003 tour Jane's Addiction broke up once again, as Perry Farrell refused to record or tour in order to focus his attention on the 2004 incarnation of the Lollapalooza Festival (which was later cancelled due to dismal ticket sales). Although exact details surrounding the band's demise are sparse, Navarro claimed on his website, in June 2004, that the reasons for the breakup were essentially the same as they were in 1991.

When questioned on Camp Freddy Radio in September 2007 about a Jane's Addiction reunion, Navarro said it would never occur because the band members "did not get along on any level" and that it was "pretty bad."

Possible Reunion

Since their second major split, the band were involved in a number of other projects. Navarro, Perkins, and Chaney formed a new band, The Panic Channel, with singer Steve Isaacs, who together released one album, titled (ONe), in 2006. Perry Farrell, together with former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, formed The Satellite Party. The band signed with Columbia Records and released their debut album, Ultra Payloaded in 2007. Eric Avery signed with Dangerbird Records for the release of his solo album Help Wanted in 2008.

A Greatest Hits album titled Up From the Catacombs - The Best of Jane's Addiction was released on Sept. 19, 2006. In addition to this release, lead singer Perry Farrell has stated that Warner Bros. catalog arm Rhino is working on a Jane's Addiction box set while drummer Stephen Perkins has referred the Best Of album as merely the first of a 'three tier project'.

Jane's Addiction performed at the first-ever NME Awards USA on April 23, 2008, with the proper reunited line-up of Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, and Stephen Perkins. This was the first performance with bassist Eric Avery since 1991. The event was broadcast via MySpace. The band played Stop!, Mountain Song, Ocean Size and Jane Says after their acceptance speech for the "Godlike Genius Award." It has not been confirmed if this performance will lead to a tour, but Dave Navarro hinted at a future for Jane's Addiction on his blog at 6767.com in April. Eric Avery also recently mentioned on his blog that he is considering doing more with Jane's Addiction in the near future. Dave Navarro recently mentioned on Camp Freddy Radio that Jane's Addiction is without a label, referring to the band in a present tense, meaning that the band could be planning new material.

A box-set, entitled A Cabinet of Curiosities, will be released on October 28, 2008.

Members

Current members

Former members

  • Chris Brinkman - lead guitar (1985-1986)
  • Matt Chaikin - drums (1985-1986)
  • Ed Dobrydnio - rhythm guitar (1986)
  • Flea - bass (1997)
  • Martyn LeNoble - bass (2001-2002)
  • Chris Chaney - bass (2002-2004)

Discography

References

  • Mullen, Brendan. Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2005. ISBN 0-306-81347-5

Notes

External links

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