The Music, Energy & Art
of being Perry Farrell
of Jane's Addiction
"We stuck to our roots as far as our sound, our songs, music. We didn't try to reinvent ourselves and get into that trap like a lot of other bands have done and ... lost the respect of their fans....there's always room for Jane's Addiction and our fans know what they're gonna get from us and we know what we're gonna get from our fans. Love, love, love!"
~ Perry Farrell
Perry Ferrel is ecclectic and enigmatic as the lead singer/songwriter of Jane's Addiction. He is a strong Rock persona. To watch him perform you see spirit, purpose and the natural destiny of Rock energy and Art.
Not only is he a strong Rock showman, he has also designed the cover art for all of Jane's Addiction's albums. The Rock movement of Post Punk included their band with strong songs like, "Been Caught Stealing" "Jane Says" and other catchy, danceable Rock songs in the 90's. Danceable, sultry, in-your-face Rock, with Perry as a nuovo Bowie-type figure, bold and artistic. In the 90's he even created the Lollapalooza Music Festival, the name created when he saw that make of Italian ice cream advertised on late-night TV.
He released five albums with his band Jane's Addiction, which broke up in the early 90s. Perry then released two albums with his band Porno for Pyros. The self-titled debut was released in 1993 followed by 'Good God's Urge' in 1996. He also released a solo record 'Song yet to be Sung' in 2001 which followed the 1999 compilation release 'Rev', featuring Porno for Pyros, Jane's and solo tracks.
Perry reformed Jane's Addiction in 2001 (minus original bass player Eric Avery).
When Jane's Addiction broke up after their most successful debut on the Billboard charts with "Strays," (producer Bob Ezrin) the band members remained friends. In 2008 Jane's Addiction reunited again at the NME Awards with the classic original lineup. This was the first performance with original bassist Eric Avery in over 15 years.
His sons are Yobel, Hezron, and Izzadore. His wife (who sings and dances in the band, and helps creatively with songs) is Etty Lau.
Though as a lead singer Perry Farrell is known for his high energy and boisterous stage presence, when you get to speak with him, he is compassionate, well-spoken, and enthusiastic about his life and Music. He wears his emotions on his sleeve like a custom tattoo.
By Kreig Marks, May 2022
KM: Growing up, did you always know you wanted to be in a Rock band?
PF: I was what they call "a late bloomer" I suppose. I always loved music, all styles, I suppose. I didn't start singing until my late teens or early twenties. I used to stand in front of the mirror and do these Mick Jagger and David Bowie imitations. I would pose like them and lip sync their songs, but I knew I could do that if I wanted to sing. I used to listen to a lot of the Punk bands at the time, the Ramones, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, bands like that. After I moved out of my house, I moved from Florida to LA and into this Victorian style house near Melrose, and began playing music with Eric (Eric Avery, bassist), Dave (Dave Navarro, guitar) and Stephen (Stephen Perkins, Drums). That's really where all this began.
KM: Take me back to the first time you performed on stage. What was that like?
PF: From what I remember, it was a blast. I was a bit out of my mind, I guess you could say, at the time. LOL. My 8 balls were not on the billiard table if you know what I mean. Thankfully, that's long past these days.
KM: Glad you sorted that out. How did Jane's Addiction come about?
PF: I moved from Florida to Hollywood, CA, and got hooked on the Post-Punk scene. I eventually moved into the Melrose area and that's where I met Dave, Stephen and Eric. This girl named Jane moved into the place I was staying. She was a hard-core addict. That's where I came up with the name. I was no way clean at the time either. But, let me tell you, that girl Jane was on the blitz! Always blitzed. So, I owe her some credit for helping name the band. LOL.
KM: It's always been a great Rock band name. Jane's sound is definitely more of a throwback to the late 70's and early 80's when the Ramones, The Clash, The Stooges, Dead Kennedy's were at their peak. How has Jane's Addiction lasted through Glam Rock, Hair bands, Rap, Hip Hop and Grunge, and has been able to remain relevant when the others seem to have drifted away?
PF: We stuck to our roots as far as our sound, our songs, music. We didn't try to reinvent ourselves and get into that trap like a lot of other bands have done, and subsequently failed and lost the respect of their fans. Even though there seems to be so many different musical genre's these days, there's always room for Jane's Addiction, and our fans know what they're gonna get from us and we know what we're gonna get from our fans. Love, love, love!
KM: A great give and take. Who are some of your musical heroes or some that you really respect?
PF: Oh man, how much time do you have? Obviously Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Morrissey, Patty Smith, The Stooges. There's so many out there.
KM: As a Jewish man are you active in the Jewish community?
PF: Yeah, I am. But, I'm active in the spiritual realm more I feel. I don't necessarily follow one religion, I follow the spiritual path. I love animals, especially dogs. I love trees and the freedom of their movement when they blow in the wind. I love people, I love music. I love life and living life.
KM: That's a great way to live. Your wife Etty has been in the band as a dancer and backup singer since 1997. What makes for a successful Rock marriage?
PF: Love, honesty, sharing moments, giving moments, spending quality time together, being forgiving, being attentive, maintaining a solid base of communication with each other, even if it's non-verbal.
KM: Do you believe in past lives or that after we die our spirits move on to another realm?
PF: Yes I do. We are all energy and energy attracts energy. Spirits are energy and part of us. If energy, as they say, cannot be created nor destroyed, what happens to our spirits when we no longer exist? They have to go somewhere.
KM: Well said, makes sense. I read recently you were very close with Taylor Hawkins and his death hit you very hard. Do you find yourself speaking to him?
PF: Taylor was such a wonderful man, a really incredible musician and had such a zest for life. We would talk about all kinds of things, not just music. He had such an amazing aura about him, was one of the sweetest guys I've ever had the privilege to meet. Do I talk to him now that he's gone? Yeah, I do. I miss him, talking to him, hanging out with him. We'll meet again.
KM: If you had the ability to bring back 5 Rock stars who have passed on as a result of drug abuse, who are they and what would you do to try to help them deal with their addiction?
PF: Man, that is one difficult question to answer. Where do you come up with these? It's not like I gave you time to prepare anything. Now I know why my publicist loves you guys! You and Abbe Davis are quick! By the way, I loved her interview with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. You can let her know that. She's one heck of an interviewer. You're not too bad either, Kreig. LOL. So, back to your question. 5 rock stars to bring back and help them with their addictions? Obviously Taylor. Hmm. 4 others? John Bonham, Bon Scott, Jimi Hendrix, Shannon Hoon.
KM: Great selection, and if only! Good to know the musicians you value. What's in store for Jane's Addiction? Can we expect some new music?
PF: I'm hopeful that we'll put out a few new songs before the end of the year, that's the plan, anyway. We'll just have to wait and see
KM: Would you like to see a benefit concert in memory of Taylor Hawkins? Would you be interested in helping to organize that?
PF: That would be very cool. I'd definitely be down to help organize something like that and make it for a good cause.
KM: Thank you so much for your time, Perry, it has been a true honor.
PF: Thank you, Kreig, this was fun.
AD: Thank you, Perry! Love your vibe and music always. Best to you and the band on the new album, we can't wait to hear it. Namaste.
Kreig Marks, Publisher / Founder TRR
Kreig Marks is the Founder/Publisher of Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Rock music has always been his passion, and promoting musicians. In is spare time he is an internationally recognized neuro-fitness trainer/ kinesiologist.