Jane’s Addiction makes the front page of BeachLife in Redondo Beach
by Gavin Heaney
The music and the ocean ripple in waves of energy that crash onto the beach and into our minds. This energy is the raw power of nature and according to Perry Farrell, “Harnessing that power in sound is Jane’s Addiction. “
Jane’s Addiction pioneered alternative hard rock in the late 1980s. The punk funk style of singer Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins brought rock n ‘roll back to its essence. raw and visceral. It was as if the Pacific Ocean itself grew weary of the inauthenticity and decadence of Hollywood hair metal and unleashed a tidal wave that swept through the Sunset Strip, ridding it of saturated and overproduced glam rock for reveal these brilliant street kids. alternative era.
Jane’s preeminent SoCal singer-surfer Farrell has always been explicit with this sweeping change. Two songs from their 1988 album Nothing is shocking make those tidal statements. The lyrics to the song “Ocean Size” proclaim:
I wanna be more like the ocean
No conversation, all action
And the singular word audible in their colossal instrumental “Up The Beach” is simply: “Home.”
Farrell finds his home here in the Los Angeles Basin, on the beaches of Venice, Malibu and LA County. He also travels the world to play and surf legendary spots in Indonesia, Fiji, Hawaii and Mexico. He recently shared how he finds his balance between sound and fury in the ocean.
“I go to the ocean whenever I need to heal or find myself, and it really kept me alive to be honest with you,” Farrell says. “It is a source of energy for healing. Whenever I feel exhausted or weak, I head straight for the ocean.
The implicit tidal waves of Dave Navarro’s pumped up guitar solos and Eric Avery’s punchy, rolling basslines provide the melodic aspect of the band’s oceanic breadth and back up Farrell’s lyrics with action. Songs like “Trip Away” from their eponymous 1987 release and “Stop” from their 1990 classic Usual Lo Ritual Capture the furious high-speed momentum of a plunging hollow wave, then suddenly descend at halftime to reveal the slow, long-period power that powers it.
Unlike songs like “Summertime Rolls” (Nothing is shocking) and “Three days” (Usual Lo Ritual) build from slow sparse basslines in giant walls of mighty ground swell. Like the ocean itself, it swirls but remains still and is a source of sacredness to Farrell.
“Nature is my church and California is the perfect place,” he says. “You have the mountains and the ocean. This is where I’m going to pray. Some people go to church to pray, but I feel like nature is where I pray. In the mountains or by the sea, nature speaks to you and balances you.
Stephen Perkins, the inimitable drummer of Jane’s Addiction, brings the band’s melody and message to life with his own storm of wild, syncopated rhythms. Its tribal drum roll surrounds you like an octopus or a many-armed Hindu god. While he still aims to serve the song, this approach is exactly what the music needs and it is the epicenter of Jane’s Addiction. He draws on his experiences on the waves at Newport Beach for his ocean inspiration.
“In the ocean there is this wonderful feeling that your body is free and floating,” says Perkins. “It almost seems superhuman in the ocean. I like having this alarm clock. Anything is possible when you are not in control and Mother Nature is. This kind of experience electrifies you and roots you, but also lifts you out of your element.
Perkins’ thunderous drumbeat echoes with the fury of the raw power of nature, which is matched only by the sheer enthusiasm he has for his art. He enthusiastically proclaims the breaking of pandemic clouds and the healing of a world that has just reopened:
“All the pain and all this suffocation, this uncertainty and this division will ignite! Like the sound of thunder when lightning strikes, it burns all the oxygen and the air, then they collide and that’s the sound of thunder, “says Perkins.” A thunderous sound of creativity; books and novels, movies, lectures, concerts, records and collaborations, because everyone is so hungry and ready to do it … The time has come ! “
Jane’s Addiction, in other words, is coming for you. BeachLife will be the group’s first post-pandemic appearance, and they’re ready to bring the thunder.
Fell into a sea of grass
And disappeared among the shaded blades
The children have all crushed me
“You are the only one”
The lyrics to Jane’s Addiction’s ineffable and lysergic love song “Summertime Rolls” were written by Farrell during a picnic. He says festivities, gatherings, outings and parties are his song search:
“I like being social and writing poetry,” says Farrell. “You find that you can write great songs by getting together to party or socialize. This is the place to go. When you want to research poetry for your songs, you hang out first. “
Farrell’s songwriting process is empirical, capturing words that evoke emotion. Going out to the beach with her friends is always the perfect backdrop for her writing.
“Yesterday I was hanging out in Malibu and we were writing songs,” Farrells says. “Just a group of musicians got together, walked along the beach. For sunset, we were hanging out by a piano, and the next thing you know, it always happens as musicians, you start to write songs. And it all came to come together in a social environment. Sometimes you might hear something that will trigger you… That would be great words! And it might come out of someone else’s mouth. Someone can be sitting on a picnic blanket and then lay down and say, “Oh, it’s so good to disappear into the shaded blades.”
Seemingly innocent and random moments among friends have spawned some of Farrell’s greatest compositions and ideas, and he insists on being prepared to collect those memories for his songs as they happen. Like an artist with his sketchbook always by his side, he gives this advice primarily to remember, but to anyone who writes songs, books, or poetry:
“Always bring something you can write on when you’re partying or hanging out with your friends,” says Farrell. “Because if you think about it, when people get together it’s kind of a party sound that should be generated… And what better place to write a song like that than a social gathering?” “
Farrell shaped and co-created Lollapalooza, which has become the model for music festivals today: a social gathering of music, art and people that is a micro cultural movement in itself. He believes that songs and poetry in particular have healing properties and bring people together through the expression of their inner understanding.
“I kind of wonder if human beings, because of COVID, have had the chance to know each other better mentally,” Farrell recalls. “I wonder if reading other people’s poetry is not also a link to get to know your neighbors, relatives, family and yourself.
While Farrell views words as social medicine, Stephen Perkins similarly uses his percussion to be the force that brings us together and unites us.
“Drums are social glue, social lubricating oil, and I’ve always done drum circles before the show… if I can, in the parking lot or in the theater lobby,” Perkins says. “I just want to play and make people relax. And that’s a responsibility that drummers have. It is a real instrument of joy.
In addition, Perkins believes that music serves a great purpose in our community, and musicians and artists have a sacred duty to perform; include everyone.
“It feels like music brings people together, relaxes you, but it also gives you that rush,” Perkins says. “There is nothing like music in the world. You see 30,000 people in a field, everyone gets along well. It is progress and it is evolution. It’s music.
Farrell and Perkins can’t wait to perform and party at the BeachLife Festival. Los Angeles is their homeland after having traveled the world, and playing their music on the beach is a special kind of homecoming. Perkins will be celebrating his birthday this weekend and is good to go.
“I really appreciate the chance for Jane to go do this and bring people together,” he says. “I foam to play and become all frothy and soapy with you!” I’m going to be 54 and party around musicians and on stage and in very familiar territory!
Also attracting the BeachLife Festival, Perry Farrell can’t wait to perform with us on and off the stage, and perhaps put together material for new songs.
“I’m looking forward to the beach party we’re going to have there. Oh, it’s gonna be beautiful, man, ”Farrell said. ” I have friends there. I think I’ll probably go down a day or two early and maybe catch a few waves!
Jane’s Addiction is performing at BeachLife on September 10. For more information, visit BeachLife.com. emergency