The late ‘80s gave birth to an alternative rock movement that changed music forever. In the primordial stage of this era, a group of Los Angeles rockers called Jane’s Addiction introduced themselves to the world through their 1988 debut album “Nothing’s Shocking.” While this album may not have been a hit at the time, songs such as “Jane Says,” “Ocean Size” and “Mountain Song” have echoed through the decades. 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of this revolutionary album and the Azalea City will get a proper dose of its contents at BayFest. Guitarist Dave Navarro was gracious enough to chat with Lagniappe about the current state of Jane’s Addiction and the band’s future endeavors.
SC: A lot of bands come and go, but Jane’s Addiction has been going strong for almost three decades. How does it feel to be still packing out venues?
DN: We feel very fortunate. We’re actually pretty excited about the Alabama show, because we’re doing “Nothing Shocking” in its entirety. That’s something that we’ve been doing over the past couple of months. We’ve never really played the record from beginning to end in a set in a live situation. So, we’ll be doing that, and after that, we’ll do a handful of other songs that obviously aren’t from the record. It’s a new way to keep the old songs fresh by putting them together in their original sequence.
SC: I was introduced to Jane’s Addiction through “Nothing’s Shocking.” At the time, it wasn’t really a smash hit album, but over the years, tracks from that album seem to keep coming back and gathering new fans to Jane’s Addiction. What do you think it is about this album that has allowed it to still be relevant?
DN: It feels good. It’s too hard to speak about that, because I’m a part of its history. I’m on the inside looking out. It’s always going to be relevant to us, because we made it together. A lot of those tracks have remained in our sets, anyway. Really, it’s a matter of sequencing them in the order that they are on the record. Believe it or not, just playing them in order just adds a breath of life to them.
SC: Something else that I was introduced to back in the day was “Gift,” which was the Jane’s Addiction movie. I’ve heard rumors over the years that “Gift” was going to eventually make it to DVD. When will the public get to experience “Gift” in a modern format?
DN: I honestly don’t know. That was a film that was directed by Casey Niccoli, I believe. As far as Jane’s Addiction goes, I’m very simple. They give me tour dates, and I show up and play the songs. That’s really where my focus is, as the guitar player of the band. I think it would be really cool to release all that stuff, but I don’t really have any knowledge of that right now.
SC: To me, all you guys in Jane’s Addiction are forefathers of alternative rock. Back in the ‘90s, that was a pretty specific label and these days, it seems like that label is way overused. What do you think about that label’s use in today’s music world?
DN: I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it before. It’s a different time. When I think about the term “Alt. Rock,” I think about the bands that were around when that term came about. It’s a way to describe music that isn’t dance or heavy metal or hard rock. It’s something that’s a little left of center. Hopefully, it still is. In this day and age, with the Internet the way it is, it’s like there’s art, and then there’s entertainment. Some people create really great art, and some people create really good entertainment. Some people do both, and we try to do both. As far as labels, if you listen to my iPod on shuffle, every genre you could think of would pop up. I think that people are a little bit more eclectic now as far as taste.
SC: You guys have put out some new material over the past few years. Is there any chance that we’ll get another full-length album from Jane’s Addiction in the near future?
DN: I would love to see that happen. There’s certainly a chance. It’s hard to talk about when we’re still in the midst of doing shows. We’ve been having such a good time out on the road that I don’t see any reason for slowing down. We’re all feeling good, and we’re all very healthy. I have no intention of slowing down or not doing this band. So, I would love to see that happen.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 4, 9:45 p.m.
Stage: Coca-Cola Stage