Former Jane's Addiction leader Perry Farrell gave South American fans a
peek at the world-music/electronic bent of his upcoming solo album last
weekend at a sold-out club show in Maresias, Brazil.
The hour-long gig, billed as Farrell's first solo performance, included
four songs slated for the singer's still-unscheduled solo debut, tentatively
titled Songs Yet to Be Sung.
"It was definitely Perry's next level [of music making]," New York
promoter Matt E. Silver said of the event at the 3,000-capacity Club Sirena. Silver said the show featured Farrell on vocals, backed by a
local conga player, a DJ, a backing track of prerecorded music and two
"It was a way for Perry to experiment with his new style, and he was
overwhelmed with the reception from the crowd, who'd obviously never
heard the songs before," Silver said. "It was Perry in pure form, mixing
electronic music with that classic Jane's sound."
Farrell played "Happy Birthday Jubilee," "King Z," "Through Me" and
"Nua, Nua," all slated for the solo album, according to Farrell's
co-manager, Aaron Chasen. Farrell followed the brief performance with a
DJ set that included a mix of house, trance, drum & bass and electronic
After more than a decade of making music with his bands Jane's Addiction
-- the pioneering '80s art-rockers -- and Porno for Pyros, Farrell (born
Perry Bernstein) recently decided his next album would be credited to
his name alone. It was originally slated to be issued under the enigmatic
Farrell began work on the album soon after the end of the 1997 Relapse
tour by Jane's Addiction. Speaking from his Venice Beach, Calif., studio
a year ago, Farrell said the new project was "about collaborative music."
The artists who have contributed to the album so far include Rage Against
the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John
Frusciante and bassist Flea (born Michael Balzary), as well as famed dub
artist the Mad Professor (born Neil Fraser), according to Farrell and
Farrell is preparing to mix the 10 tracks that already have been recorded,
and he hopes a number of high-profile artists will assist him, according
to Chasen. To that end, Farrell has sent out requests to Prodigy leader
Liam Howlett, rave promoter Brendan Hawkins, the Mad Professor and the
members of soon-to-be-splintered art-rock band Love and Rockets. Former
Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro also is expected to work on the
Former Jane's Addiction/Porno For Pyros drummer Stephen Perkins originally
was involved in the project, but he amicably ended his participation in
July. Some of the early material Perkins recorded may be included in the
final version of the LP, Chasen said.
Among the songs Chasen said Farrell has completed for the album are
"Shekeina" (Hebrew for "female holy spirit"), "King Z," "Through Me,"
"Rev," "Nua Nua" (a song about rainbows), "Ishah" (Hebrew for woman) and
"Happy Birthday Jubilee," a track dedicated to Farrell's infant son, Yobel.
Farrell has spent much of the past year performing gigs as a DJ at venues
ranging from an opening of an upscale clothing-store in New York to impromptu
late-night club shows in Venice Beach.
Chasen said the new material is immediately recognizable as the work of
the author of such psychedelia-inspired songs as "Ocean Size"
(RealAudio excerpt) and the funk-rock workout "Been Caught Stealing"
(RealAudio excerpt). But, he added, it also owes a debt to the electronic/rock
hybrid of songs such as "Kettle Whistle"
(RealAudio excerpt) from the 1997 Jane's Addiction odds-and-sods collection
of the same name.
"There's a song on [the new album] called 'Ad Matai,' and it's about
what Moses told the Israelites to scream to the heavens when the pharaoh
wouldn't let them leave Egypt after the slaying of the first born,"
Chasen said. "It's about the idea of, 'When can I change?' [I]t's a really
powerful song that has a ... vibe that's closer to Perry's alternative-rock
Farrell described the sound of his new project as a combination of
technology, ancient spiritual music and a search for peace on Earth.
"We arrive now at this beautiful age of technology," Farrell said. "And
so you've got man having a love affair with machines, and it's beautiful.
... I want to use the best elements of the day. ... I'm trying to pull
the oldest melodies in the world and I'm trying to marry them with ...