If you are a [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Red Hot Chili Peppers[/lastfm] fan, this should be one of the most exciting Mondays of your life! Starting today and for the rest of the week, we’ll be bringing you an exclusive video interview and hot new tracks from Red Hot Chili Peppers’ forthcoming album I’m With You.
This morning, we’ve got a rocking new song with tons of funkitude called “Monarchy of Roses”–plus an exclusive interview with vocalist [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Anthony Kiedis[/lastfm], bassist [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Flea Balzary[/lastfm], drummer [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Chad Smith[/lastfm], and brand new guitarist, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Josh Klinghoffer[/lastfm], discussing the state of the band post-Frusciante, influences behind both “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” and “Monarchy of Roses,” and working with long-time producer and friend, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Rick Rubin[/lastfm].
Anthony and Chad talk about the state of the band.
As a band that has been around for nearly three decades, Red Hot Chili Peppers has, for the most part, been identified as four key members: vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea Balzary, drummer Chad Smith, and ex-guitarist, John Frusciante.
However, once Frusciante left the band (again) around 2008-2009, many posed the question if the Chili Peppers would ever be the same without the undoubted chemistry that Frusciante supplied.
According to Kiedis, newcomer and Frusciante replacement, Josh Klinghoffer, really didn’t have anything to be scared or intimidated by; the band was always going to continue on and Klinghoffer is a welcome part of their sonic evolution:
”Intimidation is not fruitful when you’re on the same team.”
[pullquote quote="I like to lovingly say we joined Josh's solo act--the three of us." credit="Anthony Kiedies on guitarist Josh Klinghoffer"]“And with Josh, I think there was a great deal of equality when we began. I like to lovingly say we joined Josh’s solo act–the three of us.”
“In my heart and mind and spirit, I felt like we were destined to continue. I didn’t question it. I had faith that things would work out because they always do. And I feel like we had a lot left in the tank and a lot more to say.”
“[pullquote quote="I was very inspired by the new chemistry. " credit="Anthony Kiedis"]And, actually, something kind of beautiful happened when John left, which is, it sort of opened this new opportunity and it seemed almost a shame not to take advantage of said new opportunity because it energetically felt like ‘Wow, now there’s a new possibility for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to reinvent; to rebirth.”
“I was very inspired by the new chemistry.”
“Flea went off the school to learn piano and Josh came in with a different vantage point of chordal joy and when we would play improvisationally as a band for hours at a time, I would be inspired in a different way than I ever had before so I was kind of forced into new areas as a singer and found new emotional hot spots.”
Anthony and Chad talk about the album’s first official single, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.”
While it’s apparent that interesting percussion (can you say cowbell?) was definitely a factor in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first single off I’m With You, some of the bands other inspirations behind the song aren’t as readily apparent.
Did you know that at one point it was an “hour-long dance groove?” Kiedis explained:
[pullquote quote="Just listening. That was my inspiration. Listening to what would happen. And being a person who's been around the block a few times. I took notes." credit="Anthony Kiedis"]“It was everything under the sun and really, it was the new chemistry of our band. It was Josh, it was Chad, it was Flea. Kind of that sensation of reinvention was a very exciting process.”
“Everybody did their homework and brought their best to the room. Just listening. That was my inspiration. Listening to what would happen. And being a person who’s been around the block a few times. I took notes.”
“The lyrics I wrote in my bedroom earlier in the day and some of them were on the spot in the studio.”
“We had a strange process of kind of creating a chorus for that song in the studio because originally it was an hour-long dance groove–which we loved.”
Flea and Josh talk about “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.”
Although the rest of the Red Hot Chili Peppers got to work with superproducer Rick Rubin on several albums, Klinghoffer hadn’t yet established such an intimate musical relationship with the infamous bearded music polisher.
At first it was a bit tenuous, but Rubin’s passion eventually made it easy. Klinghoffer elaborated:
[pullquote quote="He's just a good person to have on your team." credit="Josh Klinghoffer on Rick Rubin"]“Well, that was one thing that was strange for me just because they have a twenty year relationship with him and I don’t.
“But I think because of how seamless our writing process and our playing…everything felt the same and I think there was a level of comfortability…I think that was the only thing that was a bit strange because all of a sudden, I felt like the new person, you know.”
“Very quickly into the recording of the record, Rick is a very optimistic and passionate person that is really focused…He’s just a good person to have on your team.”
[pullquote quote="And that's our mission as a band and on this earth is to uplift and touch people with music." credit="Flea"]As well as his good working relationship with Rick Rubin, Balzary’s influences coming into the album were similar to Kiedis’ in the sense that they were more experiential rather than tangible:
“In some ways, it changes all the time because I’m always finding new things that I’m excited about in the world. You know, artistic things; athletic things; natural things; my love of nature.”
“These things really inspire me, these really cosmic things, are always moving and changing, but the one thing that never changes is my desire–and our collective desire–to touch people’s hearts with music and try to really take a creative idea and nurture it and focus on it and breath all of life and magic and divinity into it so it can be this thing that can touch people.”
“And that’s our mission as a band and on this earth is to uplift and touch people with music.”
Download “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” via iTunes here.