Inside the Listening Party: Jane's Addiction's 'The Great Escape Artist'

Inside the Listening Party: Jane's Addiction's 'The Great Escape Artist'

Two dozen people crammed into Eldorado, the Burbank, Calif., recording studio where Jane's Addiction spent most of 2011 to listen to their fourth studio effort, "The Great Escape Artist," on Thursday evening (Sept. 8).

Played loud but not deafening on PMC equipment that included two six-foot-tall speakers, producer Rich Costey introduced the evening by saying the album got its "sea legs" with bassist Duff McKagan, who departed and was replaced by Dave Sitek. Three tracks written with McKagan -- "Broken People," Words Right Out of My Mouth," "Ultimate Reason" -- are on the album.

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Costey said Sitek provided a kick in the pants to the band and it shows up in terms of their sound gaining greater density throughout the 10-song, 40-minute album. "End to the Lies" and "Ultimate Reason" hew closest to the standard Jane's Addiction sound, but they venture into harder edged rock ("Words Right Out of My Mouth" and "Twisted Tales"), U2-inspired melody and chiming guitars ("Broken People") and a track driven by fat and echoey Dave Navarro guitar riffs that would make a great James Bond theme ("I'll Hit You Back").

While Eldorado is in a different location than when the first two Jane's Addiction albums were recorded, much of the equipment remains the same, including the mixing board. Very much a studio effort, while songs were being written in one room, recording was taking place in another, according to manager Peter Katsis of Prospect Park.

The listening session, with Katsis, Costey, about 10 journalists, a few representatives from Capitol/EMI and publicity firm MSO, was a bit of a top secret affair -- all cell phones were off during the playback and no one dared take any pictures.

Talk about the record, though, focused on the development of the first single "Irresistible Force" (Watch the video at right), which moved up two spaces to No. 23 this week on the Billboard Rock Songs chart. Katsis said a second single will come out around the time of the album's release, set for Oct. 18, but there is no decision yet on which song will foot the bill.

As for a full-blown tour, that won't happen until early next year at the earliest though a few dates in select markets and festival gigs are likely in 2011.