Aug. 02--American rock music will have its day in Scranton when Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain welcomes legends Alice in Chains and Jane's Addiction on Friday, Aug. 9.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival kicks off at 2 p.m. and also will feature Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, Walking Papers, New Politics and Middle Class Rut.
Tickets are $20 to $60.50, available at the box office, through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or online at www.live nation.com.
Seated behind his kit in his home studio, which Stephen Perkins said in a phone interview is one of his "favorite places in the house," the drummer and a founding member of Jane's Addiction recalled the band's early days. He talked about what it's like to still tour with the bandmates he considers family after almost three decades of playing together.
Met as teens
"I met (guitarist Dave) Navarro when I was 14, and we've been like brothers since that day," Mr. Perkins said. "We literally started a metal band that week. It was more of a (Black) Sabbath and (Iron) Maiden sound.
"I started dating (former bassist) Eric (Avery)'s sister in high school, and Eric was playing with (lead singer) Perry (Farrell)," he explained. "At 17, 18, I joined Jane's Addiction, and I said, 'You gotta meet my best friend, Dave.' They (Eric and Perry) were older and into a different scene than what me and Navarro brought to the table.
"From knowing people that long and finding a scene and sound together, spending time on stage or in a van looking at a map and trying to get to a place safely, it bonds you like nothing else."
Mr. Perkins said that, as the band has matured, functioning cooperatively is not just about agreeing on lyrics or chord progressions anymore. It's about making band practices and tour schedules fit in with the lives they've built for themselves.
"Jane's Addiction is not just getting onstage, it's making decisions (together). You have to learn how to communicate and talk and get through," he said. "There is a sense of being a brother and understand(ing) what other people are going through. To respect the band, you do it (touring) when it's right. To respect the music, you do it for the real reason. There's a brotherhood in that.
"Think about the word band: you gotta band together and unite," Mr. Perkins said. "Dave is busy outside the band, I'm married and have a son, but once we're on the road together, those old bonds come to the surface quickly."
The group, which has suffered numerous pitfalls of fame and success through the years including drug scandals and rehab stints, creative differences and departing members, remains in-demand. The cast of characters and their colorful personalities serve the music and live shows well, Mr. Perkins said.
"You're talking about three or four individuals who dress different, have different friends and all of a sudden, we're together onstage, backstage, on a bus, completely pressed together," he said. "All that time away is compressed together, (and we) take all that energy and bring it onstage and make it an in-the-moment performance."
With numerous chart-topping albums in its arsenal, Jane's Addiction has no lack of material to keep performances fresh and exciting for fans who have followed the band even since the beginning.
"Some of the songs I wrote when I was (a teenager), (but) they're timeless," Mr. Perkins said. "To me, when you have 30, 40, 50, 60 songs, there is a sense that they're all ready to pull the trigger on. Of course, it's always fun to have the old classics, that stuff is always there, and there's some of the more abstract songs we do, which are still just as Jane's Addiction.
"If we're not showing the music in its best potential, then you're just doing it for the money," he added. "That's not what we're looking for. We won't sell anybody short."
The band takes special note of the acts that precede or follow when planning its sets, Mr. Perkins said. He also tries to take in the sights and sounds of the city he's in so that he can understand what the people are like, and what will best represent that town's interests.
"For me, it's about what's going on in the day," he explained. "If you think about the bookends of those bands ... it's melodic and crunchy. What does Jane's Addiction bring to the table at sunset?
"We catch the vibe and write a set from there. We play for the moment and try not have the same setlist every night," Mr. Perkins said. "We're more of an organic band in that sense. Perry can direct the band lyrically or emotionally in the moment. Things can be very pliable in Jane's Addiction. I would love to tune up some of the older cones we haven't done. It's always nice to have that challenge."
In other words, fans can expect a show tailored to Scranton, he explained.
"It's about what works for what we're doing at sunset and lighting changes through the night. We play with that idea and grow with the production with what the environment brings," Mr. Perkins said, and laughed as he added, "Jane's Addiction has always brought some eye candy. Dave is beautiful to look at. Eye stimulation onstage has always been there with Jane's Addiction."
Contact the writer: email@example.com, @pwildingTT on TwitterIf you go
What: Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival featuring Alice in Chains, Jane's Addiction and others
When: Friday, Aug. 9, 2 p.m.
Where: Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Details: Tickets are $20 to $60.50, available at the box office, through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or online at www.livenation.com.
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