Perry Farrell on Survival Research Labs and Psi Com

Since the 1980s, happy mutant Perry Farrell, now 60, has been waving his freak flag high as the radically creative frontman for Jane's Addiction, Porno for Pyros, and, before all that, Psi Com. Later this year, Perry's releasing a box set titled The Glitz; The Glamor as a retrospective of his solo musical work that will also include the Psi Com EP, rarities, and a photo album. Spin's Cam Lindsay talked with Perry about his past, the pandemic present, and the state of rock. From Spin:

Psi Com were part of the recent Desolation Center documentary [trailer below], about the legendary gig you played out in the Mojave Desert with Sonic Youth, Redd Kross and Einstürzende Neubauten.

These guys Stuart Swezey and Bruce Licher went out to the desert and found a location and pulled this off. I worked for Stuart's brother and started doing artwork for Desolation Center, so I built their stages and acted as security, believe it or not, for the Survival Research Laboratories. Mark Pauline had these killer robots who singed the hair off people's heads when the robots got too close. I mean, what could I do as security? I just backed up. Just even reminiscing about those days is a lot of fun.

What do you remember most about those days in Psi Com?

In one word: freedom. That's why I say it's a good thing to take your time when you're young. Because you don't have a lot when you're young, but what you have the most of is freedom. I had that freedom to be creative and freak out and throw crazy parties that are illegal and write maudlin songs about shooting up and having sex and listening to Cocteau Twins on acid. Whatever I felt like. And I think that's what really attracted people to the music. We all had the common bond of freedom and youth, and we rejected society because we were disenfranchised youth and under the radar, so I wasn't in a hurry to leave that.


top image: Justin Ormont (CC BY 3.0)