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01 April 2022

Red Hot Chili Peppers: “We Have This Thing That’s Special”

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Press/Clara Balzary
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Red Hot Chili Peppers have been interviewed by The Guardian to mark the release of their new album, Unlimited Love. Singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea and drummer Chad Smith spoke to Kate Hutchinson about guitarist John Frusciante leaving and rejoining the band, the gestation of the new album and the way their music will be perceived by future generations.

Smith spoke about Frusciante’s exit from Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2009, “There was no animosity. My take is that he wanted to do his own thing, where you didn’t have to compromise and [deal with] photoshoots and interviews.” When asked whether he thought the guitarist would’ve ever rejoined, Smith said, “I thought that ship had sailed.”

The drummer went on to describe the meeting when the then-guitarist Josh Klinghoffer was told that Frusciante would be rejoining, “Flea was like: ‘We’re gonna have John back. We love you, but we feel like there’s unfinished business. It was hard. Josh sat there, the rug pulled out from under him. There was a pause of about 15 seconds. And then he turns to us and goes: ‘I’m really happy for you guys.’ What a class act.”

Frontman Anthony Keidis described the difference that Frusciante’s arrival made to the band, “We had a momentous shift in chemistry by getting John back in.” Bassist Flea described the months of rehearsals once the four-piece had reunited, “We have a reputation for being a bunch of lunatics, but we take the music very seriously.”

Flea went on to discuss perceptions of the band and how they will change over time, suggesting that each period of the band is ““a growing experience. Every record is a time capsule, and to tie anybody, especially an artist that always continues to evolve and change, to something they did 30 years ago, 10 years ago, even five years ago … People might do something idiotic and have awakenings.”

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