JANE’S Addiction front man Perry Farrell certainly does not mince his words.
The thin, eye-liner wearing rocker has a way with words that has served him and the on-again, off-again alternative rock band well since their breakthrough in the early ’80s.
Take the insult in the band’s new song End to the Lies: “you were the foreskin, I was the real head”.
Or the way he describes the input of TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek on the band’s forthcoming album, The Great Escape Artist.
“Even if it was only a few drops from an eye dropper in this pool of Jane’s Addiction, then it might as well have been drops of LSD through a sugar cube,” he said.
“He really helped to transform us and excite us and psychedelicise us.”
Sitek writes, programs and plays bass on The Great Escape Artist, with additional bass by Chris Chaney who will be touring with the band.
Produced by Rich Costey (Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol), The Great Escape Artist is the first studio album from original members Farrell, Dave Navarro and Steve Perkins, since 2003’s Strays.
At it’s heart, The Great Escape Artist, due for release in August, is classic Jane’s Addiction. Farrell, of course, has another way of articulating it.
“We don’t want to lose our heart and soul by any means,” he said.
“It’s like when you meet a person you haven’t seen in a long time. They’ve got a new haircut but they’ve got the same smile.”
The band began writing the album last year after returning to the US from the Soundwave festival in Australia, where the reunited original line-up parted ways with bass player Eric Avery.
It was a tumultuous year, which also included a last-minute cancellation at 2010’s Splendour in the Grass because of a serious staph infection contracted by Perkins.
Farrell promises faithful fans a set list chock full of favourites at this year’s Splendour, despite The Great Escape Artist’s August release.
“I do realise that people really want to hear our classic material as well,” he said.
“If we blasted them with all new material then they might end up disappointed. If I went to see Lou Reed or David Bowie and they did all new material and didn’t do any classic songs then I’d be pissed off.”
Live shows are paramount to Farrell, who says the band road tested material for their new album as they were writing and recording it.
“We’d pop out to the city and do shows, so it’s taken us a little bit longer than if we just stayed in the studio,” he said.
“But being out on the road and then being back in the studio is kind of nice. You get to hone your craft and sharpen up your playing on the stage. When you’re writing and recording a lot of people don’t consider how those songs are going to come off in a live situation, but it’s everything to us. When I write a song I’m always considering how it’s going to come off live.”
Splendour in the Grass is at Woodfordia July 29-31. Event-only tickets available through Moshtix. For information on festival sideshows go to the festival's website.
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