The Panic Channel — the new four-piece that finds former Jane’s Addiction members Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Chris Chaney teaming with singer-guitarist Steve Isaacs, a former MTV VJ who played the lead in the Broadway incarnation of The Who’s Tommy — hit the road for a three-week tour Tuesday in San Diego. And the tour couldn’t come soon enough for Navarro, who, incredibly, hasn’t been on the road since 2003.
“I’m really excited to get back into the clubs and just start rocking the people and having the people rock me,” the guitarist says. The trek, which wraps up in Los Angeles on June 7th, Navarro’s birthday, will introduce fans to the band’s debut disc, (ONe), due August 15th. “The Panic Channel sound is jam-oriented rock,” Navarro says, “a storytelling band that combines melody, mystery and unapologetic power.”
Among the selections on the band’s debut are “Bloody Mary,” a story-song about a mythical Hollywood Hills drug dealer that Isaacs describes as “the goth version of ‘Hotel California'”; “Tea House of the Spirits,” which Navarro calls a cross between “Led Zeppelin and punk rock” and “Night One,” the song Navarro says he’s most looking forward to playing live. “It’s eight minutes on the record, which could potentially turn into fifteen minutes live,” he says. “I’m just a fan of songs that could go on and shape-shift and I can certainly get lost in.”
Isaacs says there are a number of such sprawling tracks on the disc. “A lot of these songs have these big end-jams and collapsible middles where, when we play live, we can open those up and let these tunes grow free,” he says. Isaacs hopes fans will judge the Panic Channel on their own merit and take it for what it is: a new band. “I hope that people really like and really appreciate the music, that they can feel it as its own separate band and can look at it as just what it is, a really high-octane garage band that was created by some people who got in a room and found out they can write songs together,” he says. “And for rock, a lot of times it’s just that simple.”
Navarro, who is committed to doing the second season of the CBS series Rock Star over the summer, is excited about the new beginning. “There’s something to be said about that, to have created a new band with a new direction and a new artistic vision from nothing,” he says. “There’s nothing that feels quite that exciting, nothing that’s quite as fulfilling as being able to do that.”