Thank you to Giovana (Brandy) for kindly scanning and sharing articles from her magazine collection & many thanks to Aline Silva for kindly translating this article into English for us:
Capricho Magazine – April
Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot
The Californian band Red Hot Chili Peppers saw the end pass very close. They have overcome the problems and today, after 17 years together, they still make top-class rock.
Californication, the Red Hot Chili Peppers album released last June, has sold more than 250,000 copies in Brazil and has made three hits: Scar Tissue, Around the World and Otherside. Not bad for a group that almost split. In 1996, after a ten-month tour supporting the album One Hot Minute, the band had a fatigue. Fights were started and the singer Anthony Kiedis once again sank into heroin.
The Red Hot’s career has always had us and downs. In 1983, Kiedis and bassist Flea got
together with two other friends and played the band’s debut show. The first guitar player, Hillel Slovak, died of an overdose in 1987 and the drummer, Jack Irons, went out to play in Pearl Jam. John Frusciante, the guitarist who joined in 1989, left after an argument, three years later. His return, in 1998, was the missing kick off for another restart. In an interview given to Warner, which CAPRICHO publishes exclusively, the Red Hots speak about their career and drugs.
How are you feeling back in the band?
John – I’m very happy. Because my life is like this: I don’t need to think about anything else but making music. So, I’m focused in music the whole day, I don’t live with anybody, I’m not responsible for anybody, I visit the people I love whenever I like, and most of the time I’m on my own, reading books or playing guitar.
Is it important for all to be friends, or is it more productive when there are fights?
Flea – The fights can be productive, I don’t know. Sometimes, being in a band is hard because of the traveling, of the things you do besides playing music, which is the best. If you can live in the group with friendship, then it’s better, otherwise it turns into hell. For us it’s really important to support each other, but we didn’t have this conscience until John
came back. Now it’s very natural and I think it will remain this way. Because the main thing is that we love each other.
So you’re still really friends.
Flea – Anthony and I became friends at the age of 15, now we are 36. And we’ve always been inseparable.
Did many bad things happen between you guys during all these years?
Flea – A lot, but in the latest years Anthony has changed, he’s grown up a lot, he’s become a kinder person. It’s evident. Bad things that used to happen don’t happen anymore. I respect him a lot.
Did those things have something to do with drugs?
Flea – I don’t know. I think they had something to do with him reaching peaks in life. Expect that after every peak, time comes when one thinks they’re great. But he’s very kind now.
Did he say what made him change his life?
Flea – I know he has been struggling with it for years.
John – He laughs at everything now, even knowing it’s not funny. Anthony’s had a lot of things working against him, but still he sought what’s inside himself what’s best, what’s sweeter. And he made it prevailing in his personality.
When you met again in 1998 and played together again, what was the first time like?
John – There was an instant connection, it was wonderful. The song we wrote were very creative and natural. We didn’t need to talk about the subject a lot, discuss it. We were just playing and feeling fine. But definitely it wasn’t like nothing had happened because many things did happen and it’s part of our story. We embraced our story.
When you guys make music, do you play what comes to mind?
John – There are no rules at all, but what happens most of times is we meet and we start playing and making noise. Sometimes, what’s in the air comes, what we feel and, when we realize, an interesting song came out.
Flea – It makes the Red Hot sound different from the other bands sound. We write our songs together, as a band. They’re not product of only one brain.
What does Californication mean?
Anthony – Everybody’s free to create their own definition. To me, the word illustrates the process of the world being affected by what was born and was created in California, its movies, songs, ideas or its own ridicule, the stereotypes.
Several of your lyrics, especially for those who don’t have English as their first language, aren’t very direct. Do you guys think that everybody understands what they mean?
Anthony – The question is, you don’t need to speak anything in English, the language doesn’t matter. The vibration going on when you listen to our song is already enough. People in Japan have the same feeling because the sound of the word is as important as its meaning.