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The Weekly interview: Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell

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Perry Farrell, foreground, and Jane’s Addiction will play Brooklyn Bowl May 8-10.
Chris Bitonti

You’re doing Nothing’s Shocking here in its entirety. What’s the importance of that record to Jane’s Addiction? We had a record before it … actually we had two, but no one’s ever heard the first one … and then, all of a sudden, everybody heard the third one. So Nothing Shocking was really our introduction to the world. That got us going to places like London and France and Italy and Amsterdam. We were notorious.

Are you planning a Nothing Shocking show like this anywhere else? So far, this is it for Jane’s Addiction. It’s very precious to me when we do play. I look at Jane’s Addiction like a classical piece of art or music, a very valuable commodity. But I’m on to some other projects for the next year, and then we’ll go back to Jane’s Addiction and really put our thinking caps on what we can do to mix things up and mess things up.

How did you pick Las Vegas for this show? We were talking amongst ourselves about the 25th anniversary, as it was coming up, and I know that a few bands are breaking out their classic album and performing it in its entirety. We didn’t have a location to do it, and we were just talking about it and time was actually running out.

To be honest, we had discussed doing Nothing Shocking on another concert run—a co-headline with Alice in Chains, but I vetoed it. I said, “I don’t want to do it, because I think it should more about us.” It was going to be kind of a festival roster, there was a second stage and there were bands all day and all night, and I felt like it would have been swallowed up. And I just didn’t think it was special enough for Jane’s Addiction to do for the 25th anniversary of that album.

So my manager, Pete Katsis, went looking, just kind of put the feeler out. And along came Las Vegas, and we’ve recently fallen in love with Las Vegas. We went to the Consumer Electronics show, we went to Electric Daisy Carnival and I started making friends with people. I really did. I’ve got some good friends out there now. It’s not far from LA. So anyway, Pete came back and said, “Here’s a great situation guys.” And that’s how it all went down.

It’s also been rumored that you’re scouting locations in Las Vegas for your Kind Heaven residency. That I am.

Have you found a place yet? That I have.

Can you tell me where? I have a few places … [Manager cuts in: “We shouldn’t talk specifically about that.”]

Okay Pete, I won’t give it away. Honestly, the deal’s not done yet and you never want to jinx a deal the ink is dry, but we can tell you this: We’re aiming for Las Vegas, and I personally hope and pray that we get Kind Heaven in there.

I like the concept of it. I appreciate that, but what you’ve been hearing is only the tip of the iceberg for what the potential for it is. I can’t really even say to most people, because I’d be giving away gold ideas but we have them for Kind Heaven.

Is there anything you can say about the project? Sure, it’s an immersive play musical. If you look up Sleep No More, that’s an immersive play; ours will become musical. The music is going to have some of the greatest musicians and artists in the world working with some of the greatest digital artists, and it’s going to be heavily driven with technology. I’ll leave you there.

What inspired you to make that creative transition instead of just writing more music? Well, Jonathan Hochwald is a friend of ours who is responsible for Sleep No More, and I estimate he is the best in the world at immersive theater. He is walking forward with us into this project as well. Just by what Jonathan does, I was inspired, and I started to put elements of it in a Jane’s Addiction show. And then Jonathan and I started talking about working together, so I started to conceptualize. And now it’s getting stronger, it’s growing and it’s really remarkable.

Jane's Addiction May 8-10, 9 p.m., $65. Brooklyn Bowl, 862-2695.

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