02/2006 Kerrang! (1093)

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Kerrang 1093



RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS frontman Anthony Kiedis has revealed to Kerrang! that the band’s best is yet to come, as they put their finishing touches to their ninth studio album.

Kiedis and his bandmates — bassist Flea, guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith — are releasing a double album, entitled ‘Stadium Arcadium’, in May, but, according to the frontman, it was never their intention to make a two-disc set.

“We wanted to do quite the opposite,” reveals Kiedis. “Our plan was to do a short, sweet, simple record. Something that was easily digestible.” The band locked themselves away in producer Rick Rubin’s mansion in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, the same place where they made their 1991 breakthrough record ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, to work on the follow-up to 2002’s ‘By The Way’. In just three months, they had written a massive 38 new songs.

“We just ended up writing enough songs for about three records.” Kiedis laughs. “So making a double record just seemed to fit. It’s funny because making this one has been a lot less taxing than our past records have been. The workload was a lot more intense because we wrote so many songs and recorded them all. But we are getting along better, everyone was happy and confident, and when you hear the new songs, you can hear that everybody’s hearts are in them all.

“Cutting down the tracks was excruciating,” explains Kiedis of having to choose just 25 of the 38 tracks. “But we did it in a very scientific way, where everyone was involved in and petitioned for the ones they thought should make it onto the record. It was a long process and everyone had to suffer a bit. There was too much democracy! It would have been a lot easier if they’d have said I could pick them all and I would have bought everyone big, expensive gifts!”

According to Kiedis, the list of confirmed tracks includes ‘Stadium Arcadium’, ‘Snow’, ‘Wet Sand’, ‘Charlie’, and ‘Hey’. But what does the album sound like?

“It sounds good,” he grins. “It’s definitely a body of work that fits together very naturally. Sonically, it’s quite rich and deeper in layer and texture than our past recordings, which has a lot to do with the guitar. John has got over his ‘less is more’ phase and has unleashed his guitar beast within! So it’s a little bit more guitar aggressive.

“But there’s still a lot of vocal harmonies on there too,” Kiedis adds. “Our old school fans are always getting at us, asking if we’re going to go back to funk again, and we never left that, but there are a few songs here where those elements are more pronounced. I think there are many songs that will surprise our fans.”

On the subject of coming back to the UK to tour this year, Kiedis admits that, although the band will be playing shows in the summer, they won’t be appearing at any festivals.

“We’re not going to get down on the festivals this year, maybe next year, though,” he says. “But I’m really excited about bringing this album out on the road and we will be coming to play a bunch of shows in June or July.”

So after being in existence for over 20 years, how exactly do the Red Hot Chili Peppers keep the magic alive?

“I don’t know,” muses Kiedis. “But it is alive and that’s an amazing thing. I love making music with these guys and we always keep pushing ourselves. Without sounding too cliché, there are four people in this band who are all equally involved and are eager to contribute and we all appreciate each other’s input. That works really well for us and it actually feels like our best is yet to come.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers release the album ‘Stadium Arcadium’ on May 9 via Warners.

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