To classify Dave Navarro as just a guitar player is to discredit his music
and art, not to mention every phenomenal rock band heís ever played with.
As a member of Janeís Addiction his guitar playing on recordings and onstage
- coupled with the electricity of Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins and Eric
Avery - gave rock music a desperately-needed adrenaline shot during the
late 80ís. The guy played so hard it hurt; indeed, there was a lot of
self-destruction going on, with massive drug use and tumultuous relationships
that led Navarro to a suicide attempt.
Thankfully he recovered, coming to grips by channeling his passion, fury
and energy into his guitar and a project called Deconstruction, formed
with Eric Avery for a single album that helped purge the pain of the Janeís
years. Additionally, Dave lent his distinctive sound to Red Hot Chili
Peppers (which he officially joined from 1993 to 1998), a resurrected
Guns Ďní Roses, and Porno For Pyros.
For someone influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Daniel Ash of Bauhaus/Love
and Rockets and Robert Smith of the Cure, Navarro has done well, having
become a guitar icon comparable to the legends he most admired. His first
official solo album, Trust No One, was released this summer - just
when Janeís Addiction decided to reform to tour (and possibly record,
but without original bassist Eric Avery), making Navarro a very busy guy.
But for someone whoís always done stuff with other people, Navarro is
now taking the time to focus on himself and his own project.
What was the motivation behind this solo project - was it very different
from what was inspired your Rhimorse record back in 1995?
Similar motivations, but on this one it was just time, you know what Iím
saying? Time to do some work, so to speak. I mean the songs were written
a couple of years ago, and they were what they were - an emotional outpour,
blah blah blah, weíve all heard it before. But the reality is that what
I got excited about was the intellectual process in the studio, the mixing
process and the completion, the closure. And I think thatís the answer
to your question.
I donít know how to tell you how the motivation was different because
motivation is motivation - wherever it comes from is usually different
places. But the motivation in terms of this record was definitely a seeking
of closure, and I feel like Iíve done that! So whatís cool is that I have
no expectations for it, you know what I mean? The only thing I intended
to do I did, and I feel like the recordís not even out and itís far surpassed
any goals I may have had.
So now everything else is a bonus, right?
Itís either a bonusÖ It's either a blessing or a curse. Thatís yet to
Do you plan on touring or doing anything live in any way to support
I do, but the fact of the matter is that we have the Janeís Addiction
tour to worry about, which is more immediate. That just came about because
we had the Coachella show and since we had the machine up and running
we figured, what the hell, letís do some more shows! So, the plateís kind
of full with rehearsals and getting ready for that tour, but I definitely
want to take this thing out, too.
Is there anybody that you have in mind that, if you were to go on tour,
youíd do it with?
I have some players in mind; I donít think anybody that you may knowÖ.
I certainly donít want to put a supergroup together - I think that would
be a big mistake, unless thereís people I truly enjoy playing with. Thereís
a friend of mine named Dave Kirchner who might play guitar; Roy Mayorga,
who played on the album, might play drums; Michael Angelos from a band
called PlexiÖ. But the thing about that is that I live in a city where
thereís literally an endless supply of musicians who are all great, you
know what I mean?
Yeah - and theyíd all love to play with you, Iím sure!
I hope! I mean, I donít know - thatís nice! But thereís certainly an endless
supply of ones that Iíd love to play with, and so the line-up isnít really
a concern right now; itís the timing. And itís unfortunate that I canít
be out supporting it in a liveÖuh, you knowÖin a liveÖwhatís the word
Iím looking forÖhelp me out here!
In a live arena?
Live arena! I thought of arena but I thought that would be too much of
a pun. Live arena! (Laughs)
You said that the Janeís thing just kind of popped up, but obviously
this record of yours has been in the works for a while, so are you frustrated
that youíre kind of being pulled you in two different directions?
No - I mean the thing is that I donít feel like Iím pulled in two different
directions, because both are directions I enjoy. One is collaborative,
and one is more singularly oriented - is that a word, singularly? You
know what I mean. And theyíre both directions I like and I want to pursue.
I love being a guitarist in a collaborative band, and I also like making
my own music! What is frustrating is the time frame because Iím
also someone who likes to live his life and is as out there as I can seem.
I donít mean out there like out in left field, but as much as I can come
across asÖ(Laughs) I donít know, whatís the wordÖopen, and in public view
and performance-oriented. But thereís also a very personal side to my
life that I truly enjoy and need. The timing of the two things
happening all at once has left it very difficult to do that, you know
what I mean?
Yeah, and having been laying low and out of the limelight for a couple
of years, is it more difficult to now be thrust back into the public view,
as you say?
(Sighs) I think a little bit of both. Itís harder being thrust back into
it because I have grown so accustomed to my daily routine and my friends
and my surroundings and my home and the things that I enjoy about anonymity.
And at the same time itís easy because itís like walking into an old pair
of shoes, you know what I mean? So, itís tough to say - thereís a duality
that happens there. And I think ultimately with this whole record for
me - without getting too introspective and pontificatoryÖerÖIím reaching
here for the words - without getting just too wordy, it was really a matter
of me trying to find balance in my life.
And itís like I came to a place where I found some balance through this
process, and then as a result of that was put into a situation where I
have absolutely no balanceÖitís very awkward. But thereís nothing in my
life that I would actually want less of either, which shows how self-centered
I am! (Laughs)
Do you plan on any tie-in between your upcoming book and the album?
Actually, there isnít really a book to speak of at this time, just because
my plateís so full right now, I canít even likeÖ. We just talked about
balance and everything, and Iím trying to approach that right now, Ďcause
I also gotta sleep and have a relationship and eat! (Laughs)
Most people might not expect you to do that, but you are human after
But to be perfectly honest, at this point Iíve had enough about
talking about myself, in terms of the book. Itís like, come on, how much
more of himself can he get? Iíll tell you the answer to that: none more!
(Laughing) But, you know, all of these things are an extension of yourself,
so if you keep outputting all this stuff, then thereís still more of you
to talk about, so itís going to go on endlessly unless you hole yourself
up and never come out again.
Well, hopefully I can learn to do it with balance. Like you said, it has
been a couple of years since Iíve really shared any work with anybody
outside of my immediate circle of friends, and of course thereís a great
hunger for that, and thereís also a great sense of trepidation that goes
along with it, too. And I think, just being as compulsive as I am, my
natural tendency is to throw it all out there at once. But, you know,
I donít have to do that, and in some ways Iím learning the hard wayÖbut
thatís okay! The key word is learning - it doesnít matter which
way youíre learning. Some things I learn easily and thatís cool, too.
What about your relationship with the city of Los Angeles - has that
gotten easier over the years? Because for a while you really seemed to
have a love-hate relationship with it.
I absolutely adore Los Angeles. Iíll tell you why: Itís the one city that
I know that everybody in it is so self-centered that you can actually
remain anonymous in it.
Because you think theyíre looking at you in the rear-view mirrorÖbut theyíre
really looking at themselves. (Laughs) Myself included! And thereís something
about wanting the excitement of the entertainment industry but also wanting
to blend in that I love about it, and thatís kind of what Iím saying in
that example, you know?
Are there any artists in particular that youíre finding inspirational
or influential these days?
Oh, God, I get asked that question a lot and I always draw a blank. The
ones that I like right now - youíre talking music?
Anything inspiring to you.
Artists that I like right now are artists that arenít really of the same
world musically that I am. Massive Attack, Bjork, Aphex TwinÖ
And why would you say that theyíre not of the same world as you?
Because I think that the music that I do is a little bit more organically
charged, you know...the electronics versus theÖumÖ
Straight on guitars and amps.
Yeah, rock and roll music. As much electronics as I throw in the mix,
the fact of the matter is that theyíre rock songs, and theyíre dealing
with an age-old issue, which is like, poor me, Iím in pain, notice me,
Iím in pain. (Chuckling) Whatever - itís an age-old expression because
itís valid! Everybody can relate. But I just think that I tend to listen
to things right now that donít try and pull me into an emotional direction.
I mean, thatís the last thing I need - I need background music.
I need head quiet. I donít need to get into the mind of some guy whoís
basically telling me what I just told him.
Speaking of the whole electronic thing, and with so many artists that
youíve worked with before - especially Perry - embracing electronica and
remixing and all of this stuff, have you ever flirted with the idea of
doing something in that vein?
Yeah, of course! The thing is, honestly, itís not something that Iím planning
on pursuing, but itís something that came my way I would be very interested
in doing it because thereís just so many things that I do wanna
take a stab at and I donít think that all of them have to be public. In
fact, I have a little studio at my house and I do experiment with new
technologies musically and that keeps it fun for me. I turn to music to
get lost in the emotional, but then I can turn to computerized music to
get lost on the intellectual side, much like someone would surf the Internet,
you know. Youíre still getting something done, youíre still learning something,
but youíre shutting off your life - or shutting off your mind, I guess,
and maybe opening it up to something else - and thatís what I like to
play with, that kind of soundÖthatís what I gravitate towards that for.
But Iím not reallyÖI mean, I donít know if this sounds conceited or arrogant,
but my life has surpassed my goals in terms of what Iíve wanted to do
musically, so everything that happens from here on out is just like a
Thatís not conceited at all. Thatís lucky and you sound very grateful
Yeah, maybe itís not conceit; itís gratitude, for sure. Iím just excited
to experiment at home with new sounds with a friend of mine as I am to
go play with Janeís Addiction and as I am with this record. And the whole
non-expectation factor is really valuable to me.
In light of the whole Janeís thing, has there been any discussion
about you doing something on your own with Eric Avery again? Not like
with Janeís but sort of like Deconstruction?
Oh, no. But there hasnít been talk of us not doing it either, you
know? It just hasnít come up. But if thatís the plan, Iíll step up to
In the past youíve talked about guitarists like Robert Smith and Daniel
Ash being influences on your own style. Now that theyíve have gone on
to work on their own solo material, are they or any other idols of yours
doing stuff thatís influencing you, making you want to work with them?
You know what? Iím so thrilled to work with Perry and Stephen that the
answer to that question is no. I mean, I donít know how this sounds, but
Iím fulfilled that way. I get asked that question a lot - who would you
like to work with? And, like, I donít really care! Anybody thatís inspiring,
you know - and that can be a kid that doesnít have a deal! I can idolize
somebody who isnít in the public eye. I idolize the thought, the mind
set. Honestly, musicís an avenue for me, but it isnít the avenue.
Itís like one street in a very complex city, and itís a great street,
but I donít want to drive on it all the time.
In getting the distance to look back at your life, whatís different
about Dave Navarro now as opposed to Dave five years ago?
UmÖI would say Dave Navarro nowÖhope. Dave Navarro five years agoÖumÖprojecting.
Do you ever feel any pressure or obligation being a Latino in the public
eye? Does that ever enter your musical or creative process at all?
Never. No. I think that that would be stereotypical to think that way.
A lot of people expect oneís heritage to be worn as a badge or something.
Honestly! I obviously have a Hispanic background, but I donít even think
of myself that way. I just think of myself as a person, especially in
terms of responsibility - I mean, to what? Iím responsible to myself,
to being true to myself as a human being. If Iím doing that like seventy-five
percent of the time - which is actually shooting high - Iím all right,
because that other twenty-five percent of the time is where you learn.