1994/10 HM Magazine

I’m with Dave Navarro, formerly of Jane’s Addiction, now with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and we’re indulging in some last minute shopping before he departs for Hawaii’s Isle of Kona.

Lunch. we’re sitting in some diner where the disinterested staff are paid to look blue-collar and the tables are filled with people who fork out a lot of cash to dress like junkies. it’s noisy, it’s fake and the LA smoking laws get taken with a pinch of salt.
Everywhere I look. tattoos, vegetarianism, attitude in place of personality; you can say what you like about this town, bit one good thing for sure is that some fuckin- good music has come out of here in the last couple of decades.

I’m here with a mission; talk to Dave tomorrow before he completely submerges himself in the Chili Peppers creative process.

“I’ll have a protein blast, “ Dave says to our waitress with the floral appearance and absolutely zero demeanour.

We glance around. Thirteen girls with honeycomb skin, loaded chests and looking like they’ve got ball bearings in their hips have eagerly circled the payphone.One of the cool new jeans companies is having an audition for the next girl who looks like a famous dead starlet, and hair appointments have to be made. The problem is, all the girls are named Tia or Nadiya or Rasheedjya (?) and the bookings have been mixed up.

So, why are you going to one of the Hawaiian islands?

“To write music, we’ve been writing, but not like, for a month,” his attention drifts. “I don’t think I can eat anything on this menu. I don’t want a salad. I want something substantial, fat-free and filling. Nothing bloating.”

I wonder if he isn’t taking the piss on the girls still at the phone. What bloats you?

“Everything. Everything is bloating.”

“I’ll have some water, sans gas,”Dave tells the waitress before trying to burn smoke from the couple at the table next to us. He fails. The food arrives as we laugh and talk about people we know and movies we want to see. The salad tastes great but Dave doesn’t like his soup. It’s on the footpath with a flat-footed lope (?) I’m feeling more comfortable as we leave Chez Attitude and jump into Dave’s truck to pick up some supplies. The atmosphere was becoming stifling. It’s a relief when a tape goes into the deck. It’s Dave playing Led Zep with 4 Non Blondes, Misty Mountain Hopif I remember correctly. He sure can play some guitar, basically he can shred a six string of the way the other people who get paid to play can only talk about. 4 Non Blondes sounds good.

The shopping gets underway, we buy some shaving cream, a pen, a notebook, a veggie drink.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

“Are you serious with that?”

Not unless we performing an interview for a bank job I guess. Let’s try again. Do you still have those big silver boots from Jane’s Addiction?

“I basically threw everything I had.”

The Cape?

“Yeah, I got rid of all the (?)

The old clothes from Jane’s Addiction are a good segue back into the past. How do you feel about playing these days?

“I’m digging it a lot. I wear jeans, no shirt and just rock.

“I wanna ride bikes. I wanna be with my girl. I wanner read here and there, experience relationships, all that shit. That’s all I care about, being back in touch with my family.

“We’re [the Chili’s] gonna go to Hawaii for a month, take a break, go back to Hawaii for another month, then we’ll come back and cut an album. It’ll be a long process.”

We leave the mall, and and up at Big Tall Books for a final question and answer session. The waiter looks more like a rook star than anyone we’ve seen all day, as a woman approaches the table and claims some five and dime conversation time. I turn off the recorder. It’s all very hush, hush, and then Dave lets rip again.

“I’m pretty comfortable these days. I’m basically concentrating on learning how to be a human being, which I know nothing about.

“You see, the thing is, in Jane’s my life was so chaotic and the band element is so chaotic that it was hard not to judge myself. Granted, the chaos really fed what the band was all about, but I always feel like there’s always going to be chaos to tap into. For that reason, no matter what’s going on, it doesn’t have to run my life, so it’s like I can start to enjoy the creative process, as opposed to being affected in a negative way.”

Getting out of the chaos and and getting onto other things like being a vulnerable person?

“Yeah, absolutely. I’m relearning how to do all those things. II’s made my life more enjoyable, and that’s the bottom line.’

And the Chili’s process is different to Jane’s?

“It’s an oranges and apples thing. Two different bands about two totally different things. I haven’t really gotten that deeply involved in the Pepper process to articulate yet what that process may be…”

Hawaii’s going to be like a training session almost?

“Yeah, a crash course In Pepper-dom. I’m kind of Just put aside all feelings and expectations. At first I was really nervous about it, and then, I was insecure about it, then I was convinced it was going to be the greatest thing in the world.

“But then, when I got too comfortable feeling it was going to be so great, I got nervous again. Then I get bored of being nervous…, it’s a never ending cycle. I’m kind of gotten out of that, I guess it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be.

“I’ve decided not to feel the pressures and the expectations for the new album…, just do if, and if it works, that’ll be fabulous, and it it doesn’t, that’ll be that. I’ll do something else.

“Doing the Deconstruction thing (with Eric Avery, former Jane’s Addiction bassist – an album just released on American Recordings), it got more into the creativity and more into the artistic side, and it wasn’t so much about the playing. That’s what was missing for me, you know. I just wasn’t playing like I love to.”

Too much experimentation?

“Which Is cool, very cool. I’m happy and proud of it, but I’d like to get the best of both worlds.

“Deconstruction was just a great experience all the way around. It hurled me back into that world, and at my leisure, which was cool, and it was a training ground for what I’m about to embark on.’

Was it getting pretty rigid being in Jane’s Addiction?

“Yeah, and it wasn’t fun any more. What ends up happening is, you deal with a million people and a million phone calls, management, etc, and the end result is that you get the opposite to what you wanted. Spend all this energy to get the opposite thing to what you wanted. That becomes a nightmare, and you start going, ‘this isn’t what I wanted to do. This isn’t what my dream was.’ You know what I mean? It gets really fucking frustrating, and that’s part of the whole game.

“With the Deconstruction project, it was a good learning tool for me, because in the Jane’s business thing I had the accountant and the manager, but I didn’t run it. I didn’t have any say about it, and now I’ve learnt that I do. It’s that simple. There’s still stuff going on with Deconstruction that’s taking forever to get accomplished: it becomes a joke. Sometimes I make phone calls just to see what kind of nonsensical thing is going to be thrown at me that has nothing to do with anything, but somebody’s losing sleep over it.”

The Chili Peppers have always played it for more earth bound desires: the party, booty thing. Whilst Jane’s had the hard rock element, the Zeppelin mysticism which allowed for a more diverse palette.

“That’s the thing. I think there’s more of a diversity to those bands, in terms of what they did. They did a lot of different types of music, whereas the Peppers kind of do one thing really well, and they’re starting to embark on other things pretty well too…”

BloodSugarSexMagik definitely showed signs of change and diversity, so the timing is perfect for your style to show up.

“Yeah, and how that affects my personal playing is that, I feel I’m a diverse guitar player and I can play a lot of ways, but I don’t play any one specific way. I play several different ways, and that’s going to be interesting because I’d like to mix it up on the next record, more then they already have.”

Like on Breaking The Girl?

“I loved that tune. I can’t listen to a band that’s the same all the way through. I can’t listen to a whole record. That’s why those Led Zeppelin albums are still great.”

Unless you’re Meatloaf you can only do the sequel thing for so long?

“And then you’ve got to wait ten years before it’s good again. Listen, I’ve got to roll.’

The traffic is building and the sun’s dropping. Dave takes his curtain call on the day, he’s got places to go; East Hollywood, Hawaii, and a new band to slot into. The Chili Peppers have got to write and record the album we’re all waiting for, and I can’t help thinking that guitarist number five is the man for the job.




The current tally for the Red Hot Chili Peppers stands at six albums and five guitarists. Each one has served a purpose in their own special way, each one has departed under different circumstances. The next is a seasoned performer of some repute. We have a look back at the hottest spot since the Spinal Tap drum (?)

HILLEL SLOVAK:(1983-’88)

Hillel joined with Anthony Kiedis, Flea and Jack Irons to record the band’s self-titled debut LP in 1984. It was his soulful, Hendrix inspired riffing that defined so much of the sound that the band are famous for, subsequently playing on Freaky Styley (1985) and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1988). The band’s bad boy, Rock ‘n’ roll reputation was tragically…

JOHN FRUSCIANTE (1988 to ’92)

Arrived in tandem with Chad Smith who replaced Jack Irons (the man who put Eddie Vedder in touch with Pearl Jam, now in a band Eleven… cut the Chilli Peppers’ breakthrough LP, Mother’s Milk, (1988). Interesting to note that while Frusciante’s playing was what helped take the band to stardom, he happily acknowledges that his two sole influences were Hendrix and Slovak. Success however, had is price. Alter BloodSugarSexMagik (1991) went through the roof.

Frusciante quit while on tour in Japan, unable to continue with the band’s unrelenting schedule. By all accounts it was an amicable parting.

ARIK MARSHALL (1992 – ’93)

A long-time friend of the band, Marshall stepped into the breach and completed the bands heavy touring commitments. However. things didn’t work out after that and Marshall took his leave. Again amicably by all accounts and rejoined his own band… Little more than a session player in the grand scheme of things.


Left Mother, Tongue (who has just inked a deal with Epic) to join the RHCPs for an ill- fated few months. Was soon on his bike after the Chills became interested in Navarro.

Circumstance giveth and circumstance taketh away.

DAVE NAVARRO (1994 – ???)

Sounds Comfortable at the moment, but the baptism of fire still has to be undergone as the next album will be a big test for all involved. Any man who can survive Jane’s Addiction should surely find life as a Chili Pepper a piece of cake. To understand the full extent of this man’s chops, check out any of the classic releases by Jane’s Addiction:

Jane’s Addiction (XXX.1987).

Nothing’s Shocking (Warner Bros. 1988).

Ritual De Lo Habitual (Warner Bros. 1990).



Many thanks to StickmanH for the scans!