Jane’s Addiction Break Down ‘Ritual de lo Habitual’ Track by Track
“I had saved the best songs that we had written for our second [studio] album,” Farrell explains, “because I didn’t want people to think that this was a ‘sophomore slump.’ Songs like ‘Three Days’ and ‘Then She Did…’ — these are very sophisticated songs, you know? As far as I was concerned, ‘Three Days’ was our ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ But we were at the peak of our powers as a band, so I felt that this was our time to really come out and blast people with sonic sounds that they would groove to for the rest of their lives.”
Making the record was far from seamless, however, thanks to the drug problems of several Jane’s members and the dysfunctional communication that perpetually plagued the band. “Back in those days, it was hard to get us in a room and have us all be ‘present’ — it always seemed like somebody was having a ‘rough day,'” Navarro laughs. “It’s not like we were all fucked up, and everybody always did their job, but sometimes, it was really difficult for us to all get in the same headspace. Eric, Perry and I were all dealing with the same demons at different times and not talking to each other about it, which was really weird. So in certain ways, there was this level of secrecy and being at odds with each other, and in other ways, there was this sense of understanding and unspoken knowledge. All of which really made for a bizarre dynamic.”
Still, it somehow all came together on Ritual de lo Habitual, an album which helped push alternative rock into the mainstream a year before Nirvana‘s Nevermind, and which continues to cast a massive shadow over the rock landscape 25 years later. “That was a quarter century ago, which is pretty hard to stomach when you put it that way — so let’s stop putting it that way,” Navarro laughs. “But one of the things I really loved about those days, and the four of us working together back then, was that all four of us had extremely different sensibilities, and we kind of all fought for our space and our voice. In my opinion, all four of those spaces and voices were aligned on that record, more so than anywhere else. And I think lyrically, across the board, this record has some of Perry’s most brilliant writing.”
“If you ask me, I think it’s one of the greatest records of all time,” Farrell giggles. “That record is so beautiful and great to me, because it’s given me material that I can do for the rest of my life. I can do songs like ‘Three Days,’ ‘Stop!’ or ‘Been Caught Stealing’ around the world, and I will be welcomed, and I will be celebrated, and I will get hugs and kisses.”
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