OK, the hype's over, now it's time to play.
That seems to be the sentiment of guitarist Dave Navarro toward the
upcoming tour by the reunited Jane's Addiction. As that "relapsed" (in
singer Perry Farrell's parlance) band prepares to release a new collection
of outtakes and rarities called Kettle Whistle (November), Navarro
is both gearing up for their tour and trying to squeeze in as much
time as he can to record with his current band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Beginning today (Sept. 15), Navarro and Chili Pepper bassist Flea -- who is
also assuming bass duties for Jane's Addiction in place of Eric Avery who
declined to take part in the reunion--will hole themselves up in a studio
for two weeks to work on two as yet untitled songs for the Red Hot Chili
Peppers' forthcoming album, now slated for release in 1998.
"Whenever possible, the Chili Peppers are on the total front burner for me
and Flea," said Navarro by phone from his Los Angeles home. "We're into
doing the Jane's thing, and it's totally exciting to be doing the old
songs. But as far as our band is concerned, we want to get going."
Navarro said that the band has ideas for 20 songs recorded so far, although
many are only in rough form. "A lot of the writing in progress takes place
in the studio," Navarro said. "So the songs aren't done until they're done. There might be
songs that (singer) Anthony (Kiedis) has lyrics for but we don't have
grooves for, or it might be the other way around."
In the past few months, the Chili Peppers have suffered so many setbacks
that Navarro is eager to get on with the recording of the next album.
First, in July, Kiedis shattered his wrist in a motorcycle accident,
forcing the band to cancel several warm-up dates for an appearance at
Japan's Mt. Fuji Festival. Although the group still managed to play at Mt.
Fuji, their set was ravaged by Typhoon Rosie, which eventually closed the
event down. Then a month later, drummer Chad Smith -- whose softball injury
postponed the band's 1995-96 tour -- dislocated his shoulder in his own
motorcycle accident, forcing the band to delay indefinitely concerts in
Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada slated to make up for the show postponed by
Kiedis' accident. Additionally, Kiedis revealed on MTV earlier this month he'd been fighting a drug problem.
While Navarro speculated to ATN last month that the rescheduled Chili
Peppers shows might be held in December, that's a doubtful scenario in
light of a delay in the Jane's Addiction album and subsequent tour.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Kettle Whistle's release
had been pushed back to early November, after the band decided to add a
second new track, "So What?" (in addition to the title number), to the album. A Jane's video, which a band spokesperson said Perry Farrell will be "very involved in the making of," is scheduled to be shot later this month.
Navarro said that production rehearsals for the "relapsed" Jane's tour will
begin on Oct. 1. "At this point, all I really want to do is go play the
shows," the 30-year-old guitarist said. "We're kind of over all the
periphery, and more into getting together and playing.
In the meantime, he, Flea, the recovering Kiedis and Smith continue to
work on new Chili Peppers material as they're able. Navarro said he doesn't like to get too attached to songs-in-progress. "Whenever there is a tape of any kind, I listen to it and I throw it away,"
he said. "I just don't like having it around. I don't like recordings of
art in progress. I know how it goes, and then I get rid of it. Eventually
all I ever want to have is the final, completed thing."
He compared the practice to authors disposing of rough drafts. "I actually
tear the tapes," Navarro said. "That way they can't fall into anybody's
hands, and I won't come across 'em either by accident." [Mon., Sept. 15, 1997, 9 a.m. PST]