JANE'S ADDICTION guitarist Dave Navarro spoke to Yahoo! about "Above Ground", his upcoming all-star concert to raise awareness for mental health struggles and suicide prevention. The event will benefit the Recording Academy's MusiCares foundation. It will feature the all-star lineup covering two classic records: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND's 1967 album, "The Velvet Underground & Nico", and ADAM AND THE ANTS' 1980 LP, "Kings Of The Wild Frontier".
"We have lost a lot of friends this year, due to mental health issues," Navarro said, referring to SOUNDGARDEN's Chris Cornell and LINKIN PARK's Chester Bennington, who died of suicide last year. "I don't have any insight as to what their mental health issues were or weren't, so I don't want to lump them in that category. … I'm not a doctor. I can't sit here and say what they did and didn't have, and what caused them to do what they did. But I would say that going to Chris Cornell's funeral and seeing Chester Bennington sing a beautiful song for his friend, and then [Chester] taking his life a month later, really had a massive impact on me. … I couldn't help but be brought back to the times when I had felt that lonely, that desperate, that suicidal, and I just want to change the playing field [with 'Above Ground'] and let people know that there are options out there. [Suicide] isn't the final answer. It's okay to reach out for help."
Navarro went on to discuss the widely known fact that childhood trauma affects development and is a strong predictor of depression and suicide.
"In some cases [of rock star suicides], drug addiction was a massive factor, but you've got to look at the underlying thing. And usually, drug addiction comes from some early trauma," Navarro explained. "That is something that lends itself to a mental health issue. I mean, trauma sufferers tend to reach for drugs. I can tell you for sure, suffering a massive trauma as a child, drugs were the natural option."
At "Above Ground", Navarro and Morrison will be joined by bassist Chris Chaney (JANE'S ADDICTION), drummers Erik Eldenius (BILLY IDOL) and Josh Freese as well as violinist Lili Haydn, plus special guests Billy Idol, Courtney Love, Jesse Hughes (EAGLES OF DEATH METAL), Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR), Franky Perez and more.
During the intermission between performances, there will be speeches from people in the mental health field and a small memorabilia auction to raise funds, along with art displays and information booths. Revolver Gallery will showcase works by Andy Warhol and MusiCares (currently focusing on the mental health arena and all the challenges that are faced in that field) will be present at the event.