‘Escape’ 2012 with the Cali rockers on NYE at the House of Blues at Showboat
Jane’s Addiction always takes it up a notch for special shows. “And whenever we play New Year’s Eve, well, that’s a significant event for our band,” says drummer Stephen Perkins.
“When we play Atlantic City, it’s going to be a party. We want people to be moving, drinking, having fun and fucking. That’s the kind of band we’ve always been. We’re a band that stimulates people with our music and our shows. When we play Atlantic City, we approach it like Las Vegas; it’s a carnival atmosphere. It’ll be fun since we’re in a groove right now.”
Jane’s Addiction, which will play Monday, Dec. 31, at the House of Blues, is rolling while supporting the band’s first album in eight years, The Great Escape Artist. The band manages to appropriate the visceral power from its brilliant salad days back in the late 1980s when it emerged as the next band to break from Los Angeles.
But the quartet also sounds contemporary with its fusion of the ethereal and the space between sounds. It’s a winning combination and the new material complements the vintage tunes.
“We just decided to do what fits best for this album,” says Perkins while calling from his Los Angeles home. “We are who we are and so you’ll hear sounds that were part of this band 25 years ago. But we’re all about expanding that palette of sounds. We’re not about to be stagnant. Back when we started, we had to be adventurous and that remains the same.”
Jane’s Addiction made a massive impact not long after forming a quarter century ago. There was a huge buzz around the band. Rolling Stone proclaimed that Jane’s Addiction would be the band to emerge from the West Coast in 1987. (The East Coast band, according to RS was Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers!)
“We came out of such a special scene,” says Perkins. “There were bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were already established, Fishbone and so many really cool acts.”
But nobody sounded like Jane’s Addiction. The band combined guitar driven rock, primal percussion and a quirky, arty sensibility.
“Me and [guitarist] Dave [Navarro] are younger than [vocalist] Perry [Farrell] and [former bassist] Eric [Avery] so we acted our age. We liked to play loud and fast. And then there was Perry and Eric, who were really into Bauhaus and bands like that, which are more subtle than what Dave and my influences were. The combination really worked well.”
Jane’s Addiction reached rock’s upper echelon after releasing a pair of seminal albums, 1988’s Nothing’s Shocking and 1990’s Ritual De Lo Habitual. Most of the songs wear well.
“People still go crazy for those songs and we’ll always play then,” says Perkins. “We feed off the energy from the crowd. The new songs are connecting with people as well.”
Will Jane’s Addiction, which has released only five albums in 25 years, come back with a disc sooner than later?
“I think the answer to that is definitely,” says Perkins. “We’ve really supported this album. We’ve played about 65 shows this year and we feel great as a band. I don’t think there’s a reason to take a break. I don’t want to just play the old songs. I think a band needs to make new music often. That’s what is best for a band. I don’t ever just want to be a nostalgia act. We get how good the response has been to the new songs.”
Major League Baseball tabbed the first single “Irresistible Force (Met The Immovable Object)” as the bed for commercials during the playoffs.
“That was incredibly cool,” says Perkins. “It’s cool since there is the recognition that we can still bring it. The other cool thing is that I’m a huge baseball fan. I was a shortstop as a kid and I still appreciate the game. We were very proud of that.”
So what will Perkins do in Atlantic City after the New Year’s Eve show?
“I’m just going to hang out and watch what people do,” he says. “It’s a celebratory night. People are going to get together and gamble, have fun and party like they do in Las Vegas, which is awesome to me. I’m going to perform and we’re all going to take it all in and mark what is a fascinating year. We’re going to try to give everyone something to remember. I think that’s what shows should be about because when I was growing up, I would go to shows and I’d remember these events because anything could happen. What’s special about Jane’s Addiction is that anything could happen when we step onstage. We have three musicians, who are locked in and we have a great singer. Those are the ingredients necessary to make something special happen.”
While Perkins is chatting, the demands of his-three year old are audible.
“I love being in this band, but what people don’t know about me is that my number one priority is being a great daddy. That’s what matters most to me in the world, especially when you look at the horrific events that [just] happened in Connecticut. You need to spend as much time as you can with your loved ones. That’s what it’s about. It’s about that and making the best music that you can.”
House of Blues at Showboat, Atlantic City.
Monday, Dec. 31, 10pm
$65, $75 and $95
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