CULVER CITY, California — As good as he was at being a fashion critic on the MTV Movie Awards red carpet, Dave Navarro is keeping his day job.
With Jane’s Addiction on hiatus for “an undisclosed amount of time,” however, the guitarist is playing with two other bands.
The first, the self-described “glorified cover band” Camp Freddy, has been performing mostly around Los Angeles for a few years and is now recording an album with producer Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth).
Like their shows, the album will feature Navarro, Matt Sorum from Velvet Revolver, Billy Morrison from the Cult, Chris Chaney from Jane’s Addiction and Donovan Leitch playing with a revolving cast of singers.
“We’ve recorded an album of tracks that are without vocals at this time and we have certain artists that we’d like to offer a guest spot to,” Navarro said. “Of course we want someone like Josh Todd from Buckcherry, he’s a great rock singer, but at the same time we’d want Macy Gray, we’d want Christina if she’d be down. We’d take Britney if she was down. We don’t really care. The idea is musicians getting together ’cause we love to play and we like to have fun. Style and genres and echelons go out the window.”
Among the diverse singers who have performed with the group are Robbie Williams, Moby, Kid Rock, Puddle of Mudd’s Wes Scantlin, Nikka Costa, Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, actress Gina Gershon and Bush’s Gavin Rossdale.
So far Camp Freddy have recorded the music for Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz,” David Bowie’s “Jean Genie” and “some Zeppelin without doing it too much damage,” Navarro said. “It’s a tough time right now in the industry, so the idea is just to make music and have a good time.”
When the album is released in the fall, Camp Freddy plan to donate the proceeds to charity.
Meanwhile, Navarro has also formed a band with Chaney and Stephen Perkins, also of Jane’s Addiction, and former Skycycle singer Steve Isaacs.
“He actually used to be an MTV VJ,” Navarro said. “He went by the name of Spooky around town. Long black hair and kind of that goth vibe. He went on to play Tommy in the Who’s ’Tommy’ on [Broadway], so a killer voice, good looking guy, friendly, great talent.”
So far the band is without a name, or much of anything for that matter.
“We don’t have a direction,” Navarro said. “The idea is to just make music and be happy doing it without any expectations or grand ideas. It’s just kind of like when we were kids, 14 years old in the garage just playing music and seeing what happens.”
The band grew out of Navarro, Chaney and Perkins’ jam sessions backstage at Jane’s Addiction shows, although now the group is writing songs.
“We still like to jam,” Navarro said. “We’re musicians at heart … and we don’t have any preconceived ideas of what we’re trying to be or do, which keeps it spontaneous and alive and magical.
“I would just say it’s kind of experimental,” he continued. “Each song varies from the other, and I think that’s something that all of us would like to do is make music that isn’t the same every time. We basically mixed the egg and the seed and we’re trying to figure out if it’s a boy or a girl. That’s the best way I can put it.”
As for his recently unveiled talent as a fashion critic, Navarro said he’s open to more TV appearances. “I’m not really into acting, ’cause let’s face it, I’m no good at it, but if there was any opportunity where I could be myself, I think I could pull that off,” he said.