For their upcoming fourth album, The Great Escape Artist, tentatively due in August, Jane's Addiction are embracing digital technology -- synths, MIDI, effects, et al. -- for the first time in their 25-year career. But just how progressive are the reunited alt-rock vets? Well, Tuesday night in San Francisco, they rocked for 5,000 tech types at the Google I/O Developer's Conference.
"Welcome to Google-palooza," singer Perry Farrell -- also the founder of the Lollapalooza festival -- joked before kicking off their eight-song set with "Stop!" Later, he added: "I've got a great idea... Well, they had the Mormons. Why not the Google-ites?" Apparently Farrell now even considers technology a religion.
With their new touring bassist Chris Chaney (Rob Zombie, Slash, Alanis Morissette), who replaces Duff McKagan, the band also played classics "Been Caught Steeling," "Jane Says," and "Mountain Song," as well as a new track, "End to the Lies." Produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, The Great Escape Artist adds a futuristic vibe to their classic sound, and "End to the Lies" is a perfect example (skip to the 7:45 mark to watch).
When the song leaked in late March, SPIN said it featured "Sitek's trademark grimy, quasi-industrial production" paired "with distorted squalls of electric guitar, fat-bottomed bass riffs, and massive, arena-ready drums."
"We have options now to make music through technology and we're taking advantage of it; we're not afraid of it," Farrell recently told SPIN. "But we're not just slapping loops together. We're true musicians. We're using technology for ideas and some of those ideas remain in the song."
WATCH: Jane's Addiction Play at Google