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Published: 2009/08/08
by Mike Greenhaus

Lollapalooza Industry Chatter with Perry Farrell

MG: Now this summer you were out on the amphitheatre circuit with Jane’s Addiction and NIN. How have you felt that that circuit has changed in the past few years since you were doing major amphitheatre tours? Do you feel like that’s the same as the festival or maybe it has kind of evolved with the festival a little bit?

PF: Well, for sure it has evolved with it because people like NIN and myself, we make it a point, it’s kind of like, it’s a bit of a pilgrimage for musicians these days—people who are out there working and want to continue working and love to do it live. You know, you kind of pinpoint where you want to go that year. You are always welcome…I mean we have, as I said, it’s up to 100 acts over the course of 3 days so they can always use a great, classic act. You know what I mean?

No one will ever turn their back on a great classic act because a lot of these guys are developing still and there is always an audience for it and its class. It’s good but how its changed over the tour that we just did with NIN, it was kind of funny because, you know, the audience, we came up with NIN so a lot of the people that were there were people that knew us 18 years ago and were coming out because we actually toured with NIN about 18 years ago. So you have those people, they come out, and they are, the demographic is older than it was 18 years ago because, let’s face it, those guys aged 18 years. So you have them but you also had a young audience and the young audience kind of came in with the same attitude that we had 18 years ago. They are kind of pissed off and serious, that was the NIN people, wearing black T-shirts and, you know. Then there was our crowd that had gotten used to life and had gotten the irony out of it, gotten sarcasm out of and they were in a good mood. So it was kind of a trippy little audience there.

Speaking of booking bands, unfortunately the Beastie Boys weren’t able to perform after MCA was diagnosed with cancer. You booked the Yeah Yeah Yeahs who are a great band. Was there a reason that you selected them in particular? Were they a favorite of yours or one of the promoters?

PF: Well, I’ll just tell you how it really happened. When I got a hold of Charles Attal who is one of the triad of booking agents. He is the main guy out of Austin for booking. He told me that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were in the lead to get the part, as we might as well call it, and I love those guys, they are like family to me. For many, many years, their daily manager was mine and she went on to do the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and so when I’m together with them we can laugh for days. So I’m really overjoyed. You know recently, there is a band called Gomez. They are really good, they are not from America, but they were one of the original jambands coming out of Europe and they really like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They were just playing their music and they got to do an hour on radio. You know, artists, and people that really have a refined ear, seem to love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs so I’m really happy that they are doing it.

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