Watch our full video interview with Farrell above
Founded by Farrell in 1991, the festival became synonymous with showcasing the alternative scene and musical diversity across the United States throughout the ’90s. Still going strong, the festival now also exists across Europe and the globe – but there has never been an event under the Lollapalooza name in the UK.
“There are two overriding reasons for that,” Farrell told NME. “The first reason was that I didn’t want to come here until I had something that would be unique, that I felt I could contribute to your culture. It’s also a smart business move because I’m now going to crowd in on what you would call a bloody water – if there had been sharks in the water devouring the marketplace.
He continued: “So I’m very, very close to having something extremely unique. In the next two or three years, I will give it a go.”
Speaking to NME about the origins of the festival, Farrell said: “Back then as a young poet, I was not only looking for rhymes but interesting words. I was doing what I normally do on a Tuesday and was on the carpet thumbing through the dictionary and just gaining words and vocabulary. I ran across ‘Lollapalooza’ – which means ‘something or someone wonderful or great’, and the second description was ‘a giant swirling lollipop’.
“So I used the analogy of swirling in the different styles of music with the different colours of races to make this beautiful thing.”
Farrell went on to say that celebrating diversity and representation should come naturally to festivals, adding that he took particular pleasure in seeing communities come together to enjoy Future at a recent event.
“It’s not very hard for me to be inclusive because I love all races,” he told NME. “I don’t just say that. I love seeing different sizes, shapes, colours, dances, muses – that’s truly what makes the world go around. Having that and studying that difference pushes you to go forward and see what they’re up to.
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“I get no greater joy than being at Lollapalooza. As an example, a couple of years ago I had the greatest moment because Future was performing. He was what people were calling ‘mumble rap’. The rap has got so severe and gone into the hood that these cats aren’t even talking to white people any more, they’re talking to each other. The white people called it mumble rap, but they’re not mumbling. They’re just talking to each other the way they do in their neighbourhoods – and it’s badass. To me it’s like modern James Brown.”
Farrell added: “Anyway, so I was out by the soundboard and I saw all these brothers and these sisters dancing next to these really white kids from middle America and they were all just grooving. That was a moment in my heart that I will never forget.”
Watch our full video interview with Farrell above where he also opens up about his new solo album ‘Kind Heaven’ as well as Jane’s Addiction, ageing, his legacy, meeting Tony Blair, the problem with Boris Johnson, playing with Dave Grohl, and much, much more.