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Dave Navarro Deconstructs
by James Rotondi
Guitar Player - September 1994

"I was my own worst enemy," shrugs Dave Navarro, chewing vigorously on a stick of gum and musing about his days with Jane's Addiction. Except for a few jabs at Perry Farrell's vocal antics, Navarro--currently recording with the Red Hot Chili Peppers--is hardly resentful about what he calls "the greatest time of my life" and a "hugely growing, learning experience." "Whatever limitations there might have been on me, I set them myself," he says.

Navarro brought relentless high-gain firring, funky rhythm work, and wild solos back into the once jangly world of alternative rock. When Jane's Addiction broke up in 1991, Navarro spent a few months at the Betty Ford Clinic, kicking a heroin addiction and facing the reality of a new life and career. At first he bought home a 8-track, and began experimenting with Jane's bassist Eric Avery and drummer Michael Murphy; the experiments evolved into the band Deconstruction, who've just released their debut--and perhaps swan song--on American Recordings.

"We're not doing the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-solo-out thing," Navarro told us during the album's production. "We're putting together elements of music that have nothing to do with one another, branching into areas we know nothing about, and combining them with things we do know something about." The album blends samples and drum machines with live drums, pastes raw, tight grooves into elliptical arrangements, and exudes a cool, jaded-poet vibe courtesy of Eric's half-spoken, Iggy Pop-cum-Leonard Cohen-ish vocals. And it, uh, rocks.

"Yeah, the heavy sound is still there," says Dave, whose rig included a Paul Reed Smith, a Telecaster, and a Jazzmaster through a Bogner Ecstasy amp, "but I don't think there's one straight power chord on this album. I'm doing a lot of clean single-note and melodic picking things. And I'm not so much playing regular rock guitar solos, although there are solo-type things. I would just rather play something that complements the music and the words, rather than stand in the spotlight. We're rearranging our thinking, so for us it's a stretch, but I don't think it will be for the listener."