Dave Navarro Admits He’s Not a Shredder, Prefers to Write Music
Dave Navarro is not a shredder. No, seriously. The Jane's Addiction guitarist will tell you that much. In fact, he did say just that. He has revealed that he'd rather write music on guitar instead of working on scales or technique and trying to improve his shreddability.
In a recent chat with Guitar World, Navarro weighed in on how he handles his instrument, admitting that his approach plays to his strengths and that means he avoids certain things. He said, "As a rock 'n' roll, soloing guitar player, I’ve pretty much maximized what I can do. I’m not the type of player to sit home and practice scales and work on runs. I love that stuff, but I know myself and I just won't do it."
Scales and runs be damned! Navarro much prefers penning music. "When I’m spending time with a guitar, I’d rather write something than work on technique," he said. "It’s arguably a downfall for me, but on the flipside, it allows me to work on music. I wish I was a shredder that could play everything, but I don’t have the patience."
Even if he's not a shredder by design, Navarro is recognized as a passionate and damn fine player. For the band's latest album, 'The Great Escape Artist,' the non-shredder shared how he went about things, saying, "I guess this time I was more concerned with space, layering and creating beds and atmospheres than soloing techniques."
Navarro also commented on the band's collective headspace in 2011. Jane's Addiction are one of the most iconic bands of the '90s and they've taken some lengthy breaks and have broken up more than once, yet they remain a cherished and beloved band! Navarro even proclaimed that "I would rather be moderately successful for a long period of time than hugely successful for a short period of time." The band's roller coaster status has allowed Navarro's wishes to be fulfilled.
However, the reason that the members remain inevitably musically attracted to one another after all this time has to do with their non-Jane's interests, like families and beyond. There's really no time or space to get sick of one another.
"We’ve never been on more solid ground," Navarro commented. "I think that’s because of the fact that we all have our own interests and lives outside of Jane’s. That actually allows the band to breathe and have more life, because we’re not all sucking from it because it’s the only thing that matters." Essentially, Navarro said it's best not to place all your eggs in one basket for risk of creative fatigue or overload, saying, "In a weird way, when you make it the only thing that matters, it sucks out some of the life force. Perry’s got his electronic music and DJ stuff. He and Stephen both have families."
Navarro isn't bummed about being the dude in the band without the familial ties, either! When mentioning that his bandmates have families to attend to, he joked, "I’m pretty psyched I’m the guy who doesn’t. [laughs] It’s just not my thing…but I definitely have a lot of other things to keep me busy."
'The Great Escape Artist' drops on Tuesday.