While it took more than a decade for Jane’s Addiction to decide to work on a fourth proper studio album, after less than one month of recording together the LP is nearly completed.
“It’s going tremendous,” Jane’s frontman Perry Farrell said Sunday. “In three weeks’ time, we’ve recorded eight songs. The only reason we stopped was we had to break down for [Coachella]. And they’re just rockin’, rippin’ songs, too.”
The band’s unusually rapid pace has – at least in part – inspired the album’s title, Hypersonic, which Farrell defined as “the ability to go coast-to-coast in a half-hour.”
Jane’s Addiction – Farrell, drummer Stephen Perkins, guitarist Dave Navarro and bassist Martyn Le Nobleare recording in Los Angeles with legendary producer Bob Ezrin, the man behind Pink Floyd’s The Wall and classic albums by Aerosmith and Kiss.
Farrell, who has explored electronic music as a solo artist in recent years, said the sound of the reunited band is vintage Jane’s, though the group is having fun with greater technological freedom in the studio.
“With electronics, there’s a chance that we can pull out some things that weren’t available back then,” Farrell explained to MTV News backstage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. “As far as the writing, though, we’ve made sure to keep it very spirited – in other words, all live. Now that we have our base – the real drums, the real guitars – now we can start to layer things with electronics.”
Not that the drums and guitars need the layers. Perkins, while backstage at Coachella, said the players in Jane’s are as strong as ever.
“I remember hearing an interview with Mick Jagger [recorded] back in the ’60s,” Perkins recalled. “He was asked if he was still going to be playing when he was 50. He said, ‘Blues players do it till their 80s, and they get better and better.’ He had a point – why do you have to quit making music because you reach an age, when you get better and better. We’ve taken all that knowledge and put it into the new Jane’s.”
Among the eight songs the band has recorded (and the two others that are written) is a track that Perkins called one of his favorite songs of all time. Titled “To Match the Sun,” just explaining the romantic tune almost brought Farrell to tears.
“It’s about a man and a woman who can’t be together at all times so they decide when they are apart they will watch the sun go down, and their hearts will start to beat together and that will be their time to be together,” Farrell said. “I want to tell you more but I am getting choked up.”
One of Farrell’s favorites, “Suffer Song,” is “about a tragic girl who had everything made as a young girl growing up,” he explained. “And then she had to get down with the people and suffer with them to fit in, as opposed to taking the fortune that was bestowed upon her from birth. And then she ended up doing tragic things with her life.”
Another track, “True Nature,” examines how society treats the weak. “It doesn’t sound very exciting until you hear the music,” Farrell said.
Jane’s will have the album finished, mixed and mastered within two months and expect a fall release date. Before then, the group will debut the new material on tour in Europe and Asia.
“We don’t want to play it live with loops, so everything’s going to be either triggered or [played by] a keyboard player,” Farrell said. “A sequence band we’re not.”
Farrell and crew will return to the American concert market – their 2001 tour ignited the band’s interest in recording Hypersonic – on a revived Lollapalooza Tour.
“We’re trying to develop a new format for festival-goers,” explained Farrell, one of Lollapalooza’s co-founders. “It’s going to take from now until next summer to get it off the ground. I can’t tell you much about what it is. If you have a bathtub, you’ll enjoy this!