This doesn't happen to all of them:- Pearl Jam is the best example of how to gracefully turn into aging rockers and still make music people want to listen to. The members of Bon Jovi have continued with their career because they know what their audience wants -- big anthems, big hair, big arenas -- and they've never tried to turn themselves into something they're not. And an artist like Slash seems to keep going for his own reasons -- he knows he's never going to be Guns 'N Roses, but he loves to collaborate and he loves to play, so he'll just do it without too much fanfare and hope for the best.But there will always be frontmen like Scott Weiland and Axl Rose, who never lose their vastly inflated egos, even when the world is laughing at them. A similar sense of self-importance has never left Perry Farrell.
Which is probably why he's been talking up Jane's Addiction's forthcoming album, The Great Escape Artist, as if the band never left. "I wanna be important to your past and your history," Farrell told Reuters this week, "but I also wanna be part of this year and next year and the year after that."
Given the fact that all he's done in the last eight years is make embarrassing collaborations with Etty Lau Farrell, his cartoon of a wife, it's hard to view him as all that important right now. He and Lau are practically joined at the hip: First there was the vanity project and concept band, the Satellite Party, then there was E! reality show Married to Rock (groan), and, oh yeah, there was this. This actually happened:
In a historical sense, there's no doubting that Farrell has been incredibly significant for music. Never mind that Jane's Addiction's Ritual de lo Habitual remains a timeless, boundary-pushing classic that still sounds like no one else, the man is responsible for Lollapalooza: the festival that changed all festivals -- and some would argue, alternative culture itself -- forever.
The problem is, when bands re-emerge after long breaks, a ton of on-off drama and weird reality television bullshit (guitarist Dave Navarro is as guilty as Farrell on that front), the music is usually at best passable. At worst, it's embarrassing. Jane's' 2003 Strays album wasn't as bad as we were expecting, but neither was it mind-blowing (to say the least). And coming back again, eight years later, all the while emphasizing that this
record will use loops and electronics to sound more current is just ... kind of sad.
Since this entire thing smacks a little of desperation or egos running amok, we'd advice you to just close your eyes, cover your ears, and wait for it all to be over.