Kiedis says band have moved on after John refused to return and they have a “new dynamic” on next album
Singer Anthony Kiedis says the Red Hot Chili Peppers have recovered from the impact of guitarist John Frusciante refusing to return after their two-year hiatus – and their music is rejuvenated because of the change.
RHCP Touring musician Josh Klinghoffer replaced Frusciante when the four-piece gathered at the end of 2009 to start work on the follow-up to 2006 record Stadium Arcadium.
And Kiedies insists they’re sounding better than ever now they’ve dealt with the adjustment of musical direction.
He tells Spin: “It’s always going to change the chemistry and feeling of the music when such a creative force as John leaves.
“He was something unique that shaped our sound then. But it’s fresh and exciting to have a new, incredible musical mind working with us. We’re still the Red Hot Chili Peppers but we have to adapt and welcome new opportunities. That’s how we’ve survived all these years.”
Frusciante first quit the band hours before a tour date in 1992, and they hired Arik Marshall to replace him, followed quickly by Jesse Tobias then Jane’s Addiction member Dave Navarro. After fighting off drug addiction issues, Frusciante rejoined in 1998. But when the band announced their hiatus in 2007 he made it clear he felt he’d finished for good – and stuck to his principles when his former bandmates tried to persuade him to rejoin.
Kiedis says: “This album has been one of evolution. Before, some of our jams were hit and miss. On this record a decent number of songs were actually thought out and planned in a way we’d never done before.
“Bassist Flea studied music theory at university while we were away. With his new knowledge we explored the writing process with a bit more precision. It’s a whole new dynamic. I’ve been the most open-minded and refreshed than I’ve been in a long time. I guess that comes from a much-needed hiatus and becoming a father.”
The new album’s working title is Dr Johnny Skinz’s Disproportionately Rambunctious Polar Express Machine Head – and Kiedis explains it’s a private joke.
“A friend of ours was reminiscing about an acid trip,” says the singer. “He told us he’d been playing a sold-out show to the planets and moons, that that was the title of his number-one hit. We told him that for as long as the album was under the radar, that would be our nickname for it.”