Almost a quarter century ago when Jane’s Addiction and Guns ‘N’ Roses ruled different sides of the L.A. scene, there was a natural rivalry between the two. But there was always a begrudging respect that eventually turned into friendship, and now the two bands have finally joined parts with Duff McKagan stepping in as bassist for Jane’s next studio album, due in 2011. And Jane’s frontman Perry Farrell says the pairing is a perfect one.
“We came up together. We had the exact experience in the same city, being in a rock band that was breaking big,” Farrell says. “We came up through that, all the seediness and the debauchery, so it’s all there. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner, I’ll tell you that right now.”
McKagan brings a lot to the table, through his experience with Guns and Velvet Revolver, as well as frontman experience of his own with Loaded, but with everybody having been friends for years there are no egos involved. “He writes, he’s cool, he’s considerate, he’s respectful, he gives space, he’s positive, he’s intelligent,” Farrell says. “He’s a star.”
With Jane’s enjoying their honeymoon phase with a new member, the new album is coming together great. “We’ve got maybe seven great songs and they just keep coming,” Farrell says. And what are some of the standouts so far? “There’s one song, ‘Top Dog,’ I like. There’s one, ‘Oh Magic,’ and then there’s another one called ‘The Art of Great Escape.’ I’m thinking of calling the record ‘The Great Escape Artist,'” he says.
As for that possible album title, it’s a reflection of Farrell, the great party host who leads his guests to escapism. “This is the great escape around,” Farrell adds, pointing to the scenic desert and palm trees that surround him backstage at Coachella. “This is about the great escape artist. Just by itself — done, great, perfect.”