By Amanda Wicks
It’s never easy to watch your creation transform into something you don’t recognize, which is why Lollapalooza co-founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell may soon step away from the major music festival and create a new project aimed at fostering a space for alternative music. Lollapalooza began in 1991 with exactly that mission in mind, but over the years it has transformed into something more interested in showcasing mainstream artists than fringe rockers.
In a new interview with The Chicago Tribune published July 20, Farrell criticized EDM for morphing Lollapalooza. When the festival dedicated a stage to him, it made the strange choice to only feature EDM music there. “When they said they wanted to name a stage after me [when the festival relaunched in 2005], I was honored,” he said. “I like the adulation. But now you say, ‘Perry, what’s going on with your area here?’ Believe me, I’ve got questions myself. I hate EDM. I want to vomit it out of my nostrils. I can’t stand what it did to what I love, which is house music, which was meditative, psychedelic—it took you on a journey.”
He added, “I sometimes cringe at my own festival.”
Those comments have drawn fire considering that Lollapalooza rivals other major festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo and, beyond the mainstream acts, does showcase several rising bands. That led Farrell to clarify what he meant when he said he hated EDM. On Facebook Monday (July 25), he wrote, “Let me state in my own words to you, ‘I LOVE DANCE MUSIC. I FOUGHT TO BRING DANCE MUSIC TO LOLLAPALOOZA, WHERE THERE WAS NO ACTS BEING BOOKED. THEY NAMED THE AREA AFTER ME BECAUSE OF MY PASSION FOR DANCE MUSIC AND THE DJ CULTURE.’ The critic I spoke with from the Chicago Tribune was very knowledgeable about dance music. I agreed with a lot of what he said. That there were some important artists that we have overlooked. I also agreed with him that there were some artists that we both didn’t care for (Won’t reveal any names). Their music did make me puke. I admitted it. At least you all know I’m not a tasteless con artist. I am a musician who learned to be a promoter; who continues to have people’s trust.”
Elsewhere in the statement, he admitted that for every rock band he loves there are also those that don’t suit his tastes. “Some rock really sucks,” he wrote. It’s an honest take from a man who set out to bring listeners something different and a refreshing opinion from a mind behind one of the biggest festivals going. This isn’t corporate backtracking, that’s for sure.