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Perry Farrell is well enough to play the Spokane Arena and the frontman makes a Lollapalooza announcement

Nov. 8, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 8, 2022 at 10:36 a.m.

Perry Farrell, right, and Eric Avery will bring Jane's Addiction to the Spokane Arena on Wednesday for a show with Smashing Pumpkins.   (Courtesy photo)
Perry Farrell, right, and Eric Avery will bring Jane's Addiction to the Spokane Arena on Wednesday for a show with Smashing Pumpkins.  (Courtesy photo)

Fronting a rock band is more strenuous than most fans realize. Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and Fishbone vocalist Angelo Moore have had knee replacements. Former Journey singer Steve Perry had a hip replacement.

Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell has had his share of physical issues. A neck injury caused Farrell and his band to cancel five recent appearances on his current tour with Smashing Pumpkins.

“I have two artificial discs in my neck and arthritis on top of that,” Farrell said by phone from Minneapolis. “It’s from all of the headbanging I’ve done in my career. When I first started this tour, my neck was really hurting. My whole body gets tight. Being a frontman in a rock band is similar to being a basketball player. You’re leaping around onstage and singing from your diaphragm. You can run yourself into the ground unless you take care of yourself. It’s a tough job. I can’t tell you how many bones I’ve broken and how many muscles I’ve torn.”

The good news is that Farrell is well enough to perform Wednesday at the Spokane Arena with Jane’s Addiction.

“I’ll be ready for that show but I have to stay on top of things,” Farrell said. “People don’t know this but I start getting ready for a 7:30 p.m. show at 11 a.m. I’m doing hours of yoga. There’s no other way around it.”

The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the key alt-rock players that emerged in 1991, aka the year that punk broke. However, Jane’s Addiction was one of the bands that laid the groundwork during the late ‘80s, along with the Pixies, Sonic Youth and the Jesus and Mary Chain for the next wave of rock.

“It makes a lot of sense for us to go out together,” Farrell said. “A lot of people from that generation who came up with us loved Jane’s and the Pumpkins. One plus one equals two and we’re playing arenas.”

Jane’s Addiction is an art-rock band that became commercially successful. The Los Angeles band broke in 1988 with the release of its major label debut, “Nothing’s Shocking.”

The band melded heavy guitar riffs with punk and jazzy flourishes for a unique and influential sound.

The flamboyant Farrell, 61, shaped the band sonically and artistically, courtesy of his provocative album covers and set design. The New York City native believes it helped that he was pushing 30 by the time Jane’s emerged.

“I’m going to go deep here and say songs are a man’s take on life,” Farrell said. “You can write great songs when you have experience. It’s about having something to say. Life experiences give you a viewpoint. A love song written by one’s experience will top any love song written just for commerce. I had a lot of life experience by the time Jane’s formed. I came to L.A. as a runaway. My mother committed suicide when I was three and a half and my father was a great man but he hung out with wiseguys in New York. I had to deal with that so I came out to California to get away from it. I was living on instinct. I got the art (gene) from my mother and then there were the experiences. I hung around with cats that were seedy and some amazing men as well. I learned the human condition and Jane’s songs followed.”

Farrell’s experiences inspired some of Jane’s finest songs, such as “No One’s Leaving,” which is a catchy tale of New York diversity, and the hedonistic epic “Three Days.”

Jane’s will deliver such deep cuts along with the hits. Since Farrell is so into the now and the future it’s curious how he still delivers such familiar tunes as “Been Caught Stealing” and “Jane Says” every night.

“When we introduce ‘Been Caught Stealing,’ I offer the idea that we all have to refine ourselves and change and stop the thievery and then bam, bam, do do,” Farrell said while laughing. “We jump into ‘Been Caught Stealing.’”

Jane’s Addiction, which also includes guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric Avery, is one of those rare bands that broke up while still ascending.

Farrell put together Lollapalooza, a caravan for Jane’s 1991 swan song. The band has resurfaced on multiple occasions but Lollapalooza is an annual event in Chicago and is also slated in other parts of the world. Farrell recently announced that Lollapalooza will make its debut in India in January.

“I had no idea that Lollapalooza would take off it like it did,” Farrell said. “I’m very excited about what’s next, which is India. We’re headed to the East for the first time. You talk about how you love mystery and I’m with you. To me the East is so mysterious and exciting. You don’t know what’s going to go down there. I kind of know what kind of mystery I’ll experience going down into a New York subway but I have no idea what will happen in India. India is the new frontier. I love the transcendental sound and what Bollywood offers. This is very exciting.”

Farrell is just as bullish about Jane’s Addiction’s future and even more thrilled with the prospects of the next generation.

“It’s going really well for our band,” Farrell said. “Really good things are on the horizon.

“You should look to the youth to inspire the elder people,” he continued. “It’s the job of the youth to turn over the world and it needs turning over. It’s something I would call escape velocity. It’s to change things. Kids are willing to go out on the streets and protest what they consider to be injustice. It’s what we need and I’m excited to see what will happen over the next few years.”

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