Delving into Navarro's somewhat sordid history, Trust No One is a dense, complex album that not only challenged Navarro as an artist, but also as an individual.
"It's broadened my creative parameters, I suppose. I'm just grateful to still be able to make music and still be motivated to do it," he said.
Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, Navarro became enamored with the guitar at an early age. He joined the L.A. club scene and later formed the band Jane's Addiction with singer Perry Farrell.
Jane's blend of funk, punk, metal and artful mayhem caught on and the group scored a trio of platinum-selling albums before increasing tensions caused it to fold.
After playing in the short-lived band Deconstruction and working with artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Navarro made waves by joining the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The union produced only one album, 1995's One Hot Minute, and he left the group in 1998.
Chalking up another musical relationship gone bad, Navarro moved on, making a contribution to Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals. This collaboration was just another step toward making his own music. "Making a record on my own was just a natural progression to being an artist," he said.
Trust No One unveils Navarro's demons for everyone to see. The album reflects the difficulty he has had in forming lasting relationships and learning how to deal with his haunted past. Navarro's mother and aunt were murdered when he was a teenager and he has often struggled with serious heroin addiction.
But as with many people, music has helped Navarro heal old wounds.
"Music is good for me," he said.
Navarro said the album is an incredibly personal statement requiring a lot of time, experience and patience. But during the album's production, he never put much focus on its reception.
"My job is to create music," he said. "My job isn't to live in the results of what is does, so I was satisfied with it before it came out."
And satisfied he should be. Trust No One showcases an artist whose proven guitar prowess is accompanied by effective singing and deep songwriting.
What's crystal clear is that Trust No One isn't the work of a guitar player who's just been waiting to be thrown into the mix of another band. The album is his baby -- it doesn't serve as a reminder of collaborations past and it is not a reincarnation of his work with Jane's.
"It would be very difficult to create something similar, actually," he said. "And so, having said that, I didn't try."
But now that Navarro has established himself as a solo artist, he seems comfortable once again teaming up with his old band mates. Navarro is touring with Jane's, revived for the second time since its initial split in 1991. It looks like music, no matter what the form, is indeed what Navarro loves to do. "I have been expressing myself creatively through music for about 20 years now," he said. "It has continued to be a great thing for me."
Jane's Addiction will be playing at Alltel Pavilion on Saturday in Raleigh. For more information or ticket prices contact any Ticketmaster outlet or visit www.alltelpavilion.com.
The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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