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Perry Farrell plays with purpose


What’s in a name? Porno is a great nickname for Pyros, one of the riskiest names in rock ‘n’ roll. Any self-diagnosed “fever” must be a freak show on wheels, right? Nihilist? Nothing could be further from the truth, at least regarding this group. Perry Farrell, founding frontman of Pyros for Porn, is a bringer of good news, a fire-fighter, and a committed pacifist.

This isn’t his first rodeo. For Pyros, Porn is a splinter group; Formed from Jane’s Addiction, the gritty and eclectic Los Angeles band that Farrell has fronted on and off for nearly 40 years. When Jane’s Addiction first disbanded in 1991, Farrell produced a spin-off with drummer Stephen Perkins. The duo was joined by Peter DiStefano on guitar and Martyn LeNoble on bass. LeNoble has occasionally been replaced by Mike Watt, formerly of the Minutemen and Stooges, since then; This situation became permanent with LeNoble’s departure last year.

“Mike – I call him a lifer,” Farrell says. “This is his life and his mind is never far from musicality and what it means to be a musician. “His knees are damaged, he walks with a cane, but when the opportunity arose, he took advantage of it.”

Jane’s Addiction was formally flexible; The band performs funk rock, jangle pop, acoustic serenades, elegiac mourning songs, you name it. This was also the case with Warner Bros. before disbanding for decades in 1998. It was less true of ’90s-era Porno for Pyros, who recorded two albums for. One of his last albums was “Hard Charger” and has forever been associated with music. the acidic Howard Stern movie “Private Parts.”

Farrell and his friends set out to prove their worth and/or versatile skills. Albums like “Ritual de lo Habitual” (Jane’s Addiction) and “Good God’s Urge” (Porn for Pyros) did exactly that. But he insists he is hungrier and more determined now than he was in his youth.

“I’m more determined at 65 than I was at 25 because there’s so much more at stake,” Farrell, of Aspen, Colorado, says less than two hours before Porno for Pyros is set to take the stage at the Belly Up venue. “I have a very strong purpose; Bringing the world together to resolve our differences. I was feeling very bad about the bad news (from Gaza), but I decided it was time to take action; It’s time to set things right in human history. The world is transforming and getting closer to salvation step by step.” He goes on to discuss the Archangel Gabriel and the prophecies of Isaiah. It’s not always obvious in Porn for Pyros’ music – choppy, scruffy, cooler-than-thou funk rock – but Farrell is a man of deep religious convictions.

It seems the whole world is armed to the teeth. So it was comforting to hear Farrell’s prediction for the future: mass disarmament. He argues that this can and will be achieved in his lifetime.

“I expect incredible transformation in the next three to five years,” Farrell told the Tribune. “We will begin to unite as a species. That’s why I must stay awake; I can’t let anyone discourage me. “I can’t be stupid.”

For all Farrell’s eccentricities, he’s right about most things, especially the big ones. He knew there would be a life after Jane’s Addiction and that Porn for Pyros would achieve many successes of its own. He knew that Lollapalooza, incredibly modest at first (10 bands, two stages), would eventually become the hottest ticket of the summer. The inaugural Lollapalooza was his thing; The bon voyage concert Jane organized as her Addiction dissipated. Today, Farrell says outdoor music festivals are “part of the prophecy” and vital to the peace and reconciliation process.

What’s more, Farrell was smart enough to describe “Little Me,” a darkly funny, high-energy funk rock number, as a song that would entertain his hungry fans. “Little Me” was released earlier this February. Porno for Pyros has been recording new material since 2021 after reuniting for the virtual Lolla2020 during the pandemic; The band also played Lolla in 2022. Before “Little Me” there was “Pete’s Dad” and “Agua”, a beautiful song about wanderlust and having fun with marine life (especially dolphins).

“Agua” was written in the 90s but could not be recorded for years. Exactly. In those days, Farrell was a “bum” (his words), a self-sabotaging person and challenged from above. Today he is “a completely enlightened man.” He brings a masculine clarity to his new four-song Pyros EP, which had no firm release date at press time.

“I feel like I’m coming into my own as a man,” Farrell says. “As you get older, you get smarter about touring. You learn how to train better, how late to stay out; My whole thing is, ‘Let’s see how well I can do. What will I need? I think I’ll need two hours of sleep, some Japanese macha – see where I’m going with this? “I am committed to improving myself.”

“If I want perfection on stage,” he continues, “I have to make sacrifices.” Peace be with you brother.

Horns, Thorns En Halos 2024 Tour with Tigercub, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m., Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston Ave.; general admission tickets start at $49.50 www.saltshedchicago.com


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