On Saturday, Los Angeles’ own Jane’s Addiction played a sold-out show to its hometown fans. Check the slideshow for some live photos of the awesome night, but I got a chance to sit down with frontman Perry Farrell before the concert to get his thoughts on his band, his voice, and his legacy.
And don’t forget, we’re still running a promo to give away a fine bottle of Dobel tequila, autographed by Farrell himself. Just send a tweet to me (@anonymousbeard) and Dobel (@dobeltequila) giving us your craziest Tequila story for a chance to win! 21 and older only, and we will be validating! Now onto the interview…
Do you do more gigs or more interviews?
Really? If you do a show, you’re probably doing a couple of interviews before the show…
Sometimes, but most of the interviews are before the tour, before that run. Like, going to Baltimore, the interviewer will show up the day before the gig.
But for the hometown show, you probably get a few more.
Here’s how it goes: I like to get people to interview me for marketing purposes. You have to market yourself today, right? But this show blew out in like five minutes, so we didn’t really need to market it that much. Everybody knows why I’m here. But they don’t know what I’m up to.
How did the partnership with Dobel come about?
I like their tequila. And I like their angle, you know, using music and photography and video too. I don’t mind it at all, I don’t mind drinking it, I don’t mind talking about it.
Most guys drink beer on stage, but I’m assuming you’ll be drinking tequila on stage now. Does that change the game when you’re up there? Make it tougher, make it looser?
Drinking never makes your job tougher. Beer makes it tougher, because you’d be belching. You go to take a breath and you belch. Tequila is great because it’s a stimulant and a depressant.
How was the Warfield show? Coming from the Bay Area myself, I would have loved to have been there.
Fantastic. I love San Francisco. It’s nice to be up there and return to see what the young people look like nowadays. See what they are into and listening to and how they’re behaving. What shape the city is in.
What did you take away? What shape is the city in?
The city is in good shape, but there are a lot of homeless. There is a whole board game going on there. There’s a videogame going on there, somehow.
On the new album, was there anything you were able to write this time around that you weren’t able to write before? Maybe a song you tried to do ten years ago but now you’ve got it, you’ve figured out the ending to song that you wrote before?
I changed how I sing; my whole outlook to singing has evolved. I’ve really learned about my voice and I’m able to do some beautiful things with it, but I have a lot more control and therefore, I’m able to communicate better.
Do you find doing older songs; you get new life out of them because you have new life in your voice as well?
What’s cool is that the old ones and the new ones, for me, I love doing both. I actually look forward more to playing the new ones, which is great because most people are always falling back onto the past, when they were successful. I feel that our greatest work might be the next record we’re going to do.
If fans see the band not really hyped about their new stuff, then they aren’t going to be hyped about the new stuff.
Right. That’s a good point.
Your band has a pro-side project philosophy. A lot of bands that don’t, split up when people want to do something else.
That’s what we call “emotionaly crippled.”
So do you feel like that has helped you out in the long run? I feel that if you would have been doing this night in, night out for 27 years, it may not have survived.
When we first started, I’m not going to lie to you, everyone was envious and jealous. Now, I wish you well. Your success is my success. That’s really how it is.
When it’s all said and done, what do you want to be remembered for the most? Is it Lollapalooza, Jane’s Addiction, your body of work, your philosophy…?
That’s a good question. I want to be, I guess you’d put it all in a ball called ‘entertainment.’ And I want to be remembered as one of the great entertainers. Whether it was the festivals I’ve done, but even more important than those festivals, to me, is what we’re doing tonight: being on the stage and performing. Singing and giving spirit to the room. That, to me, is what I think I’m best at.