Gather round children, and listen to a tale about a time when all it took to be considered weird in music was some interesting facial hair, a few ribbons tied around your microphone, maybe some vaguely mystical lyric bullshit, and a serious heroin habit, aka “the good old days” for Jane’s Addiction. Hard to keep up with newer acts like Die Antwoord for old timers like Jane’s guitarist, and avowed zef ninja Dave Navarro, who took the South African hip hop pranksters/maybe not though on their current tour. He interviewed the group today in Interview. Check out an excerpt below, and read the rest over at Interview.
NAVARRO: I think that’s one of the things that really appeals to people, though, is that you guys are really true to yourselves and essentially make your own decisions and your own moves. In the early days of Jane’s Addiction, we had to do that, too. We had to put on our own shows in underground Hollywood clubs and vacant lots and put out our own record. And even our covers wouldn’t get released, so we had to do alternative covers for the label. We had a lot of struggles and battles with that stuff, so I identify with that and I love that. I think that’s one more thing that keeps you guys really fresh and exciting, is that you don’t have any barriers. Ninja, you were talking about those early videos and that’s when I first became aware of you guys. And then you did the Harmony Korine film (“Umshini Wam“), which I just think is absolutely amazing. What I love about that most is it’s not a music performance video at all.
NINJA: It was supposed to be.
NAVARRO: [laughs] What happened?
NINJA: Interscope just said “No, you can’t pay for your own video.” We’re like, “What?” They’re like, “Can you send us the script for approval?” That was the beginning of the end. But Harmony, we had loved his stuff. All of a sudden they were contacting us. It was a total mindfuck. And I think someone who knew him gave him my email address and then he just said hi, we started talking for quite a long time. And then phoning each other and working out what we should do. He had a script, but he interpreted what we were about. Some of it was on, and some of it was off. We made it more realistic. Between Ninja and Yo-Landi, it had to be based on how we are. It had to be authentic. Yo-Landi was asked to be in this big movie, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, that David Fincher filmed, to play someone else. She said no to that. We’ve been asked by other people [to act]. There’s this director I fucking love, Neil Blomkamp. He did District 9 and he asked me to be in this film called Elysium. But we don’t really want to do anything away from who we are at the moment. It would fuck with it.