Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins discussed Jane’s Addiction changing rock and helping kickstart the alternative rock ‘Grunge’ 90’s in a new Rolling Stone article. He also discussed the Jane’s Addiction track “Pigs in Zen.”
This came out at a time when music was getting kind of dumb in terms of the rock & roll that was on the radio. I wasn’t really hip to underground stuff as much as some people. I was just listening to the radio. I remember around 1988 I really just listened to old records like Rush and early Queen and the Police. I was discovering Pink Floyd. The pop on the radio was really just the soundtrack to making out with your girlfriend, like Whitesnake and all that shit. I still can enjoy it just by the memories of hearing it now. Whenever I hear “Here I Go Again” I remember making out with a chick to that and I was just starting to get a piece.
Jane’s Addiction made hard rock interesting lyrically again and kind of put some brains back in there when the brains were getting knocked out of hard rock. Metallica was doing it too, on a certain level, and Bad Brains, but I wasn’t in the weeds. I was just more discovering 1970s bands at that point. When I heard Jane’s Addiction the lyrics were like John Lennon’s in a a weird way. They were esoteric and they made you think.
I remember hearing “Pigs in Zen” and thinking, “He’s talking about pigs fucking right now. This means something, doesn’t it? There’s more to this. He’s not just talking about pigs.” It really made you think. Then Perry Farrell’s Siouxsie and the Banshees–meets–Jon Anderson–on-heroin-and-crack thing was just otherworldly. It was so much scarier than anything pretending to be scary at that point. That song made me think, “What the fuck is he talking about?”