Jane's Addiction was an influential alternative rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1986. The band's name refers to Jane Bainter, a now ex-heroin addict, who was a housemate of the band. The band dissolved in the early 1990s, and returned in the early 2000s, before breaking up yet again. The band was influenced by punk, gothic rock, metal, funk, hard rock, and psychedelic styles; lead singer Perry Farrell once described the band as a cross between Duke Ellington and Bad Brains. But then again he was also high quite a lot.
Formed out of the ashes of frontman Perry Farrell's previous band, Psi-com, Jane's Addiction is often compared to iconic '70s rockers Led Zeppelin. In the summer of 1985, Farrell was searching for a new bass player for the faltering Psi-com when he was introduced to Eric Avery. Although Farrell and Avery worked well together, Psi-com disbanded before they managed to play live with their new bassist. Later, Eric's sister introduced the duo to Stephen Perkins. Following this fortuitous introduction, Perkins suggested his friend (and Dizastre bandmate) Dave Navarro might be a suitable guitar player for the new band, dubbed "Jane's Addiction" in honor of Farrell's housemate, Jane Bainter. With this lineup, the band released three albums: Jane's Addiction, Nothing's Shocking, and Ritual de lo Habitual.
Though the band had only released two studio albums and one live (Jane's Addiction), their effect on the rock and alternative music scenes was enormous. They became the poster children for a new wave of artful and thoughtful rockers who were eschewing the confinements of commercial rock music and stretching to express themselves both musically and theatrically. In their hey-day, Farrell created Lollapalooza, the alternative rock festival that revolutionized the North American concert promotion world by bringing together an ecclectic mix of musicians, exhibitors, and attractions for a high energy weekend of music and alternative lifestyles.
The "Ripple" single that the band produced for the Grateful Dead tribute album Deadicated was the final studio track for this incarnation of the band. Internal strife and rampant drug usage lead the band to break up in 1991 after playing two nights at Hawaii's Aloha Tower; with Perkins and Farrell performing the final show completely naked, without incident.
The band members pursued other projects in the 1990s. Farrell and Perkins formed another band Porno for Pyros which had some success. Dave Navarro joined Red Hot Chili Peppers, standing in for John Frusciante who had left the band to pursue his heroin addiction. Navarro lasted one album for Red Hot Chili Peppers - 1995's One Hot Minute, but a combination of poor sales (only 5 million, less than half that of their preceeding Blood Sugar Sex Magik), and 'creative differences' (possibly fuelled by Navarro jokingly commenting that the Chili Peppers were "his band now") resulted in Navarro being fired from the band shortly afterwards.
The Jane's Addiction briefly reformed in 1997 for the Jane's Relapse tour, with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea replacing Avery, after Avery declined an invitation to rejoin the band.
In 2001, Jane's Addiction rose from the ashes again for a full blown tour. Again, Avery declined involvement. With Flea busy with the Chili Peppers, Porno for Pyros bassist Martyn LeNoble was brought in to fill the gap. Following the success of this tour, the band decided to record a follow-up album to 1990's Ritual De Lo Habitual and brought in Chris Chaney to replace LeNoble on bass. They entered the studio with legendary producer Bob Ezrin in 2001, recording as a band for the first time in over ten years. The result was their final album, Strays.
The band spent 2003 on an extensive worldwide touring in support of Strays, including, in a homecoming of sorts, a summer headliner slot in a reincarnated Lollapalooza US tour. Following the 2003 tour, Jane's Addiction broke up again, according to guitarist Dave Navarro's site in June 2004. Although details surrounding the band's demise are sparse, Navarro claimed that the reasons for the breakup were essentially the same as they were in 1991.
Navarro, Perkins, and Chaney have since formed a new band, The Panic Channel, with singer Steve Isaacs. They released their debut album (ONe) on August 15th 2006. Perry Farrell has also moved onto a new project entitled The Satellite Party and unveiled material at Lollapalooza 2005.
Their last #1 single was Just Because, but their most popular song was arguably Jane Says, despite the fact that it was never officially released as a single.
A Best of Jane's Addiction compilation album was released on September 19, 2006. Also in 2006, the song 'Stop!' was used as part of the soundtrack to the hit console game 'Guitar Hero II'.