Q&A: Dave Navarro

The guitarist on resurrecting Jane's Addiction for a new millennium

Dave Navarro Credit: Robert Knight Archive/Redferns

It's twelve years later," says guitarist Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction's return to the main stage at Lollapalooza. "It's a new millennium and we have a new album, but we're approaching it with the same ferocity we always have." After a few years as axman in Red Hot Chili Peppers and a 2001 solo album, Navarro seems thrilled about his old band's resurrection. "Jane's Addiction is my home. Something about playing with them makes me go beyond what I think I can do."

How are you guys getting along?
 I can say we've never been closer as friends and musicians. We're older and wiser. We're still able to tap into adolescence for fun, except we don't let it affect each other's personalities.

What's the story with the new Jane's bass player?
His name is Chris Chaney. He toured with [Jane's drummer] Stephen Perkins on the Methods of Mayhem Tour – he was playing with Tommy Lee. He's probably the most talented musician in the band.

What are your best memories of the first Lollapalooza?
Nine Inch Nails. Every single night they blew me away. I ended up playing with them and Henry Rollins, Living Colour and Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was awesome. Ice-T came out to play with us. You become friends in a really profound, deep way. It's not so much that when you get home you call each other up to get coffee, but the next time you see them you'll look at them like a family member.

What's your best tour memory ever?
When Iggy Pop came up and performed "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with the Chili Peppers at Madison Square Garden. He came over to me, and we were singing the choruses into the same mike. That was pretty fuckin' spectacular.

What's your pre-show ritual?
We do everything. We take vitamins, we take echinacea, we take ginseng, we do a fresh mixed-vegetable juice with ground-up vegetable fiber and energy tonic. We might do some yoga stretches. We also do a band prayer and then – something I learned from the Chili Peppers – we have a rehearsal-room set where we jam through cover songs by Sabbath, Iron Maiden, whatever. There's nothing quite like Perry Farrell singing "Runnin' With the Devil." It's awesome.

What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
The '94 Woodstock with the Chili Peppers, only because it was pay-per-view live. When we stepped onstage it was only 200,000 people there, and I was like, "Yeah, but there's cameras here, dog. This is like a couple million." By the way, that was my first performance with that band.

Were you scared?
Yeah. "Welcome to the band, here's millions of people to judge you." I had a fucking great time, though.