Friday, August 21, 2015

ritual de lo habitual

Jane's Addiction were lit to pop, digging something up with pleasure and pain in the dangerous decadence of this laughing larcenous lollapalooza.   After releasing their live eponymous debut on local XXX Records in 1987, they signed with Warner Brothers for the controversial 'Nothing's Shocking'.  Their next album 'Ritual de lo Habitual' was recorded at Track Record in North Hollywood, California  with  Perry Farrell on lead vocals,   Dave Navarro on guitar,   Eric Avery on bass,   and  Stephen Perkins on drums,   with  Charlie Bisharat on violin ("Of Course") and  electric violin ("Then She Did..."),  Ronnie S. Champagne adding bass ("Of Course");   John Philip Shenale on strings ("Then She Did..."),   and  Geoff Stradling on piano ("Obvious," "Then She Did...").  Once again, Perry Farrell did the artwork and shared production credit with Dave Jerden.    Tensions ran high in the studio as Farrell and Avery were feuding over Avery's advances toward Farrell's (classic) girlfriend Casey Niccoli.  There were a lot of drugs muddying the process and Farrell and Niccoli's friend Xiola Blue (who inspired the song "Three Days") overdosed after visiting for a long weekend.  

Avery:    "There was definitely the sense that we had set something in motion and it became a monolith.  It was its own beast.  For me, it turned into just putting the hooks in the side and being dragged along with it.  I think that the lifestyle and the drugs and all that stuff--I don’t think any of that changed with getting popular...I didn’t want any attention.  So, for me, my participation in the band was totally part of being an artist--I’m supposed to do things, push the edge of my personal life so that it will inform me and then therefore inform my art, my work...When the band took off, though, it was definitely larger than we ever expected it to be."

Navarro:    "The tribal thing goes way back for us. One of Stephen’s strengths and weaknesses is that for the life of him he cannot play a simple drumbeat. It’s amazing to me. He cannot play four bars of a drumbeat twice, without it being different. [laughs] He doesn’t want to do a standard drum-time thing, he wants to do something unique. So when the song will call for kick, hat and snare [sequence]. He won’t play the hat or he won’t play the snare, because that’s what everyone would expect him to play. That’s always been our thing...So even though a certain song may be crafted and written by me, when Stephen approaches the part…well, that’s what makes the band, the band."

Perkins:   "I don't really play straight beats, that's true. Like I said, I'm a jazz drummer. When I hear Elvin Jones and Art Blakey, I don't hear them playing repetitive parts. They're reacting to the other musicians or even their environment. When I was growing up, I couldn't play with jazz musicians - everybody was picking up guitars and forming rock bands. So that's where I had to go...In my heart, though, I love playing with a jazz mentality – something that's very lyrical and expressive. Even somebody like Mitch Mitchell...See, you take Mitch or Charlie Watts or Keith Moon, and the great thing is, they took those Motown beats and brought more personality and lyricism to them. The pulse was there, but there was room for a jam, improvising...I am pretty lucky to be playing with a lot of the same guys for a number of years, so there is a secure feeling between us. We can reach one another's minds. With other musicians I've played with, they get lost sometimes. Sure, I improvise, but I'm not changing the actual time signature; I'm just changing where certain beats fall...Navarro and Perry know what I do, so they're grooving with me."

Farrell:    "Whatever I do, I try to make it feel like it's the first time I've ever done it...I imagine that nobody knows me, so I do what I like. No reservations.  This is a very different philosophy from the stardom thing, where once you start getting known, you somehow have this moral and social obligation to act a certain way. With me, it's always been little Perry. Nobody's gonna cast a social obligation on me. That's why I don't pay attention to the people who want to censor things...I'm going out of my way to turn your head," Farrell stated bluntly, saying he was "extremely" proud of Ritual. "I don't feel I should be persecuted because I like to give people a rise. That's the whole point of art, to create or highlight some kind of confrontation. I expect I'm going to p- some people off - that goes with the territory. But the status quo moves slower than me, and if I slowed down to write for the status quo, I would probably sink into anonymity."

Navarro:   "My favourite album is the Ritual album.  It moves me the most, artistically and sonically. All four of us were on top of our game, as musicians and creatively. Perry, in particularly, shines in a way that I hadn't heard before; that record just highlights all four of us the best...To be honest, I was so deeply rooted within the whole process that it was very difficult to feel any influence that it may or may not have had.  I was just as absorbed in that band and the process and the touring and the record cycle at the point of Ritual De Lo Habitual that I had been at the point of the Triple X release. It gradually became larger stages but when we started playing, it always felt relatively similar and comfortable. It wasn't until much later that I realised that there was any impact whatsoever. I knew there was impact and I knew people liked us but I didn't understand that it was important, at the time  ...  To be perfectly honest with you, I've got nothing to hide. I didn't expect to make it through that year and I didn't care what I wrote. Things turned out for the best, I made it through, I'm alive and healthy and happy, and I've changed my thinking a lot. It's cool because I've had the destructive experience in Jane's Addiction, I've had the destructive experience on my own and I got through it - I think that's more compelling than to just live a destructive life and - what's the word I'm looking for? - capitalise on it."

Farrell:  "[The role of drugs] was very important.  There were moments there when that was detrimental. There was one particular time when I thought, 'I'm using drugs to be controversial too much'. I thought that my karma would catch me and it did...I was doing an MTV interview once and they were asking me all about drugs and I was saying how great drugs were and I said, 'Hey, look, I've got a new haircut, don't I look like the devil?' With that stuff, as my grandmother would say, 'It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt'. I got hurt. I got to a point where I couldn't sing at all unless I had a hit of crack before I went on." 

Despite the uproar over the risque album cover, 'Ritual de lo Habitual' wound its way to number fifty in Australia, thirty-seven in the UK, thirty in Canada, and number nineteen in the US.  It went on to sell over two million copies.  For the tour, Farrell set up the Lollapalooza festival with several diverse alternative acts opening for a headlining Jane's Addiction:   Siouxsie and the Banshees, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails, Fishbone, Violent Femmes, Ice-T’s Body Count, Butthole Surfers, and Rollins Band.

"Been Caught Stealing" was a number one hit on the modern rock singles chart.  

I've been caught stealing
Once when I was 5
I enjoy stealing
It's just as simple as that
Well, it's just a simple fact
When I want something,
I don't want to pay for it
I walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Hey all right!
If I get by, it's mine
Mine all mine!
My girl, she's one too
She'll go and get her a shirt
Stick it under her skirt
She grabbed a razor for me
And she did it just like that
When she wants something, she don't want to pay for it
She walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Hey all right!
If I get by, it's mine
Mine all mine!
We sat around the pile
We sat and laughed
We sat and laughed and waved it into the air!
And we did it just like that
When we want something, we don't want to pay for it
We walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Hey, all right!
If I get by, it's mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine. . .

"Stop!" also hit the top of the modern rock singles chart. 
señores y señoras
nosotros tenemos más influencia con sus hijos que tu tiene
pero los queremos…
creado y regado de Los Angeles
Juana’s Adicción!

"Three Days" was inspired by a three day binge of sex and heroin with Casey Niccoli, Xiola Blue, and Perry Farrell.
At this moment
you should be with us
feeling like we do
like you love to
but never will again
I miss you my dear Xiola
I prepared the room tonight
with Christmas lights
a city of candles
fresh sheets
we are all filled with dense clouds
that have us sunk into the mattress
I need to touch your skin…
an alien she was…
No one made friends as easily as Xiola…
Drug pushing constructors
We were always in the audience that plagued her.
One night I met a poet…

"Classic Girl"

'Ritual de lo Habitual' 
full album:

All songs written and composed by Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery and Stephen Perkins.

1. "Stop!"   4:14
2. "No One's Leaving"   3:01
3. "Ain't No Right"   3:34
4. "Obvious"   5:55
5. "Been Caught Stealing"   3:34
6. "Three Days"   10:48
7. "Then She Did..."   8:18
8. "Of Course"   7:02
9. "Classic Girl"   5:07

live in Milan 11/10/1990

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