When Jane's Addiction invaded New Jersey's famed Stoned Pony Summerstage in mid-July touring the 25th anniversary of their album "Ritual" we were lucky enough to be able to pitch ten questions at drummer Stephen Perkins and shoot the super entertaining evening.
How are you feeling for your upcoming anniversary tour with Janes Addiction? Whats the general feeling coming from the band members (i.e. relaxed, excited, tense, etc.)?
Celebrating Ritual is a combination of our passion for the musical art form, mixing poems and sound and raising the conscious level to experience 90 minutes of reality disconnect and opening the door to musical visual bliss.
Music is the highest form of art - in terms of gathering people and having a social connection - economics don't come into the picture. There is only a select few that get to see a Picasso in person. Rock 'n' roll is available to all and can heal many people at once.
Why did you and the other band members decide to tour in honor of Ritual de lo Habitual?
Because the progression of a punk rock band in 1985 into the confident recording band in the studio / making and releasing Ritual - it was a real journey captured on tape -- it won't be re-created on stage - but a fresh take nightly - we can live in the moment - live in the song and celebrate the melodies and lyrics and music. Our most progressive recording can live and breath again.
25-years later, what do you personally consider to be the impact of Ritual de lo Habitual in hindsight?
If you take a small stone and throw it into a still lake, the ripples will go until they hit the shore and stop. The music scene was a 'still lake' when we showed up in LA, and our ripples still have not touched the shore.
Back when the band first started, did you anticipate the impact/influence Janes Addiction would have on music?
You don't anticipate the impact of the music. You play from the heart
I did know from the time I picked up my drumsticks, if I play from the heart, I would impact the art and music scene.
Can you anticipate any future projects with the band following the tour, or it that yet to be determined?
In my perfect world, future plans for Jane's Addiction, we would be to buckle down into a small room for a month with our instruments and a microphone and write a great rock record. Record it 'live' to tape at 606 Studios in LA. That's my dream.
What are some solo projects that you are currently working on?
I am working with many musicians young, old, punk, jazz, blues, dance, electric, metal, psychedelic - finding new people to play with and new instruments to rub against. I'm like a tennis player. I need someone to play with and I love a great musical challenge.
Are there past projects/bands you worked with that you particularly enjoyed? Would you consider revisiting some of these projects (if they arent ongoing already)?
When the music and the lyrics connect as one, for instance, a Janes Addiction song from ritual called 'Then She Did.' The poem and the power of the music becomes one and timeless.
Are there any artists/bands you want to work with in the future?
To make music with Peter Gabriel and put together the biggest drum circle on earth, with Mickey Hart by my side.
Do you have anything outside of music you want to pursue?
Writing and working on a book for children - very excited - have a lot of wonderful experiences and ideas I would love to share.
How has the music industry changed since you began a career in music? Do you see these changes as good, bad, or somewhere in between?
When Jane's Addiction got signed, Warner Brothers said to us, 'go make the music, we will promote it, and William Morris said 'you want to tour, we will tell the world you are coming to their town and BMI, our publishing company said, 'you write the songs and we will publish them and get them played and placed in the right hands.
Nowadays everything is up to the artist, starting with self-promotion. The music and the art might suffer because of that. You need to make room to concentrate on the music and clear your head and your path so the art won't suffer.
Things change and you need to be pliable. I think that's part of growing up and learning how to deal with people and relationships. This is no different.
(All Photos Copyright B51 Photography/Mark Brown)