It has been a rough week for Perry Farrell.
On Monday his Lollapalooza touring festival was canceled (see “Lollapalooza Canceled; Organizers Cite Poor Ticket Sales” ), and that evening his Jane’s Addiction bandmates announced that the band had broken up again.
“We know we can’t avoid this anymore, so we will give it our best shot,” wrote guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Chris Chaney in an online post labeled “State of the Union.” “What’s the deal?” they continued. “It simply didn’t work out. In all honesty, we have broken up and rejoined roughly four times over the years. Perhaps that should shed some light as to where we are now.”
The message went up on Navarro’s official Web site, www.6767.com, which he launched in the late ’90s and recently resurrected. The band’s publicist had no comment on the post.
After his ex-bandmates broke the news, Farrell issued a statement written like a poem: “Jane’s Addiction has had its day,” he began. “My separation came about because this legendary band, like a great old club, was taken over by new owners, gutted of its charms. I no longer want to participate in such a maligned project. Music that was once relevant and graceful had become clumsy as a circus seal tooting his horns.”
Navarro, Perkins and Chaney wouldn’t specify what triggered the decision to break up, but implied that past conflicts had a lot to do with their present situation. “Why didn’t it work out?” they wrote. “So many reasons. Some of them over 15 years old, some of them new and none of them worth mentioning. Maybe we are just a volatile combination. Maybe that is why we were so great. Sometimes the best creative relationships are the most combustible and they aren’t meant to last forever.”
Indeed, considering how much internal conflict there was throughout their career, it’s amazing Jane’s lasted from their inception in 1984 until their first split in 1991. Even in their heyday, the volatility between bandmates was palpable to anyone who saw them in concert, and the tension insiders witnessed offstage suggested the band was always on the verge of self-destruction.
While the musicians were firm in their decision to break up, stating, “Is it healthier to go your separate ways than to keep trying to re-create the magic of early years,” none regretted the decision to get back together in 2001 to write their most recent album, Strays, which came out last July (see “Jane’s Addiction To Work On First New LP In A Decade” ). The band followed the album’s release by headlining last year’s Lollapalooza.
“We made a really great record after so many years of silence,” they wrote. “That was definitely a great thing, and we are all proud of it. We were able to do a lot of shows and travel and see the world again. We had some amazing times.”
In addition to sealing the lid on Jane’s (at least for now), Navarro and Perkins also outlined their future projects. The two are working on an album with Chaney and ex-Skycycle singer Steve Isaacs. So far, the quartet have recorded a batch of demos, some of which may be debuted soon on the Camp Freddy radio show on Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles. The supergroup cover band Camp Freddy are working on their debut album with producer Mike Clink (see “Dave Navarro’s Cover Band Wants Britney, Christina To Sing” ). And Navarro’s long-in-the-works biography, “Don’t Try This at Home,” written with Neil Strauss, will be out in November. Navarro said the delay was due to the fact that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind when the book was originally done, and he needed to revamp the ending.
“I was still pretty fragile and close to the darkness,” Navarro wrote. “I knew that there had to be a positive message, and I couldn’t just fake it. These things take time and growing and healing. I also wanted to edit out some stuff that potentially implicated others or could cause them harm, emotional or otherwise. Now, looking at it years later, I feel that there is a point to it all. That there really is a story of hope and the suffering and documentation wasn’t all for nothing. [Now] it feels like a ton of bricks has been lifted.”
As for Perkins, his side band Banyan will release their third disc on October 12, and the drummer is booked for sessions with ex-Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy. Also, Perkins is continuing to work with his company Perkanna Perkussion, which has produced a percussion instrument that is being used as a music-therapy tool for the handicapped.
Farrell didn’t outline his future endeavors, but made it clear that he will remain a musician. “I continue, to forge ahead with music as machete, looking for a place to set up camp and muse,” he wrote. “I will find another clearing, move toward what I was born to do … I would rather be the lightning rod tasting electricity and being stricken than knowing that I stood for nothing.”
This story was updated on June 25 at 11:12 a.m. ET