Flea and John were seen chatting at a boxing fight in Los Angeles at Staples Center at the weekend:
This is from the IWY tour but has just been released (we’re pretty sure we’ve not heard it before).
AK Interview with Chuck and Randy:
This week Chuck and I are sitting here with Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony, thanks so much for being here today. It’s been about five years since Stadium Arcadium, and how important was it for you guys to take a much needed break?
AK: Wow. It well just was. I mean it was important but it just happened. Five years. You know it certainly wasn’t all break because we toured , I guess, for a year and a half with Stadium. And there was really a legitimate two year break and then for the last eighteen months we’ve been writing, rehearsing, recording and mixing. So the two year break was great; it allowed everything to shift and start over again.
Well, it sounds like you’ve accomplished one hell of a lot in your time off.
AK:; It was great. I needed it, we wanted it. I think we earned it. I think it was great for everyone and it really allowed us to create something new. And it allowed all of the pieces to kind of find where it needed to be. It kind of gave John a chance to make his move and us a chance to find Josh and just be human beings without obligations and responsibilities when it came to the band which made it all that much more fun when we got back into the band and it didn’t feel like it had at the end of the last tour where it was more satisfying a commitment that we had made to finish touring. We started up again because we wanted to.
Anthony you became a dad. Congratulations. I understand that his name is Everly Bear. Did you name him after the Everly Brothers?
AK: Not literally, specifically or technically. But I did look at an Everly Brothers CD sitting on my coffee table and I loved the look of that word, and I loved the Everly Brothers a ton. I don’t know that vocal harmony gets that much better than they had it going on. And I love there songs. So yeah, I felt very comfortable giving my son that name even though he’s not named after them.
Yeah. I understand that you created a new TV series called ‘Spider and Son’. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
AK: It’s kinda been filed away for the time being. We worked on it for a couple of years and it didn’t pan out with HBO so now we’re kinda rethinking the whole deal. Really this is much more important to me, what I’m doing musically so it sits. It’s collecting dust.
The show- was it based on a relationship between you and your father?
AK:> That’s right. It was based on my father son experience in the early 70s in Hollywood which was a magical time culturally in LA. And my dad just had a bunch of freakish friends and the Sunset Strip was kind of just coming to life and people’s experience with art and drugs and sex and energy was all pretty lively at that time, so we thought we had a good show, but HBO wasn’t so sure. So we’ll rethink it.
So becoming a father. Has it inspired you lyrically for the album?
AK: Umm. You know there was one inspiration after the next really. Being a broken down man at the end of the tour was its own kind of inspiration, like I didn’t know I could be that busted up and psychically kind of bent and just coming home to the beach and letting it all go was inspirational. Meeting my son, and spending time with him and having him sort of change my point of view about life was inspirational. John leaving was incredibly inspirational. Josh joining was wildly inspirational. You know, connecting with the ocean was inspirational. There was no shortage. Really, you know, the chemistry that we got to kind of reinvent with the band was a great ride.
I’ve gone through the album several times and I’ve listened to three of the different songs, ‘Factory of Faith’ seems like were torn looking for marriage or something, and then you have another song, ‘Even You Brutus’ and that seems like you are looking for great sex and then there’s ‘Meet Me In The Corner’ and it seems like there’s a lot of heartache involved with that song. Where are you at emotionally?
AK: Good point. I’m in all of those places. That’s the first time I’ve heard that particular comment on ‘Even You Brutus.’
Yes. In regard to John leaving the band, how did you feel about that? When did you know it was going to happen?
AK: Errr. You know, it depends on how intuitive you are. Those things can always go either way, but it felt great because it needed to happen and it’s hard to have the courage to make those things happen because it’s such a sensitive thing, but he did it in a very gentlemanly way when he did it. You know, he came and had a very calm and earnest conversation about him just wanting to do something else which was more than understandable all things considered. And it was a great relief because there was a certain amount of discord and tension that had built up from him not being where he wanted to be and kinda vice versa, so it was a very kind gesture and it just worked out remarkable well. I believe he’s happy doing what he’s doing. You know it did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves, and allowed us to have a new relationship and start from scratch. And it was time to start from scratch, and starting anywhere but from scratch would have been kinda a bummer; so we were forced to strip down and see who we were and go to work, which is a wonderful thing to have to do.
It seems to me that your new album, ‘I’m With You,’ it’s quite a departure from your previous three.
AK: I would hope so. I mean, I would feel a bit dissatisfied if it wasn’t. I think that’s kind of a part of the beauty of what happened is that we did get to mix colours with Josh, to do something new . Like you said, he’s got an element of <em>avant garde</em>, but he’s got an element of a lot of things, and I like those elements, and it’s kind of really fun to listen to Josh and see where he’s coming from and try to blend myself into that. You know, it makes for a new recipe.
So, this is the new grown up Chili Peppers?
AK: No, I wouldn’t call it the grown up. We’re always going to be growing and not necessarily up. Yeah, I mean we’ve got our sh*t a little more together than maybe we used to, but not so much so that it still doesn’t have a few rough edges. Work in progress.
I noticed you added a piano.
AK: That is very grown up. [Laughs]. Africa is also very grown up. You’ve got to be slightly grown to play African piano.
Would that be Flea playing the grand piano?
AK: He’s more of a upright, ragtime guy.
In the book, ‘Scar Tissue’, it says you’ve been sober since Christmas 2000. After more than ten years, do you find it difficult to stay away from it all?
AK: Yeah, well, temptation pops up and it fades so quickly. the other day I saw a video, the one I showed you yesterday, and these three beautiful, sexy, stylish girls are in a kitchen and they are all kind of sort of blowing smoke down each others throats, like getting ready to go out. And for a moment, I looked at it and I was like, that looks kind of sexy and fun but that doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried it about 18,000 times and it always ends up disastrously so I’ll just have to enjoy it vicariously and without the smoke being blown down the throat.
How come you never left LA? Well, you must really love this place! It seems like your lyrics basically are all about LA.
AK: Josh is the only band member born and raised in Los Angeles, and you know I guess he maybe he’s part of that garden, even though he’s the one most likely to leave Los Angeles some day. You know, I keep leaving but I haven’t really found anything that feels better. I feel very connected here. I love it.
I agree. Anthony, thanks a lot for being here with us and lots of luck with your new album. I know it’s going to do great. Thank you so much.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers were recently at a meet and greet with Burton snowboards in Oslo, Norway:
Josh Klinghoffer has been interviewed for The Daily Record. During the interview he talks about playing Scotland’s T in the Park Festival following a concert the previous day in Moscow and also the muddy conditions there:
“T in the Park came during a strange week because we had done a lot of travel.
“We had overnighted from Moscow so when we got to T in the Park it was a strange, gloomy, muddy summer’s day after we had just been in Russia. We didn’t know which way was up.
“I remember being a little surprised to return to the mud, though I guess you expect it from time to time up there at T in the Park.
He then goes on to say that he and band were unhappy at how far away the fans were from the stage:
“I remember having a good time at the show, though the crowd were quite a bit further away than usual, which I didn’t like. I like the crowd to be as close to the band as possible.”
He also discusses the whole Fox TV debate where Fox news presenter, Greg Gutfeld, called the Red Hot Chili Peppers the worst band in the worse only to then issue an apology saying he meant to call them the worst band in the universe.
He said: “Much like most of the things they report, they are quite incorrect about that, too. They know they are ridiculous. We don’t need to tell Fox News they’re a joke.”
The Fox presenter’s comments came after seeing an article about Flea meeting a gorilla, called Koko, from the California’s Gorilla Foundation and he compared the animal to Anthony Kiedis (who came off unfavorably in the comparison). Josh explained that he’d heard the meeting between Flea and Koko was going to happen but that he doesn’t feel he’ll be replaced in the band after Koko was videoed playing Flea’s bass:
“I was at a girlfriend’s wedding in the mountains so I didn’t see it straight away. It looks like an amazing experience but it doesn’t look like I should feel threatened.”
The end of the interview talks about how Josh has been received by RHCP fans and that some have not been welcoming after he replaced previous guitarist John Frusciante and how he deals with that reaction.
Josh added: “I still continue to get flak. The internet is a scary place.
“You can’t help but notice a nasty comment on YouTube when you go there to look at a live performance video of yourself or some footage of how the band used to play a song.
“There is lots of lovely footage too but it is funny that people can be so insensitive and think that it means something to post their negative comments online.
“In the back of my head, when Flea initially asked me to join the band, I considered everything – including all the flak I might get from people who are devoted to my predecessor.
“You have to keep reminding yourself that it is make believe and doesn’t really reflect the way everyone thinks – positive or negative. That’s why we are in such a strange political climate.
Source and full article: The Daily Record
Flea: “Next thing I knew two weeks later I was onstage rocking out like a feral beast and I realised that was something for me that was so immediate and so intense and I had a much better chance of girls liking me when I did it.”
Presenter: Girls liked you more playing the guitar than the trumpet?
Flea: “Girls much more, especially back then, liked a guy in a rock band way better than like a jazz kid geek in a suit with a trumpet.”
I’ve finally written up (where does the time go?!) and added the transcript to the Australian interview that was aired on May 29th. The video link has also been updated as the previous one was removed- watch it while you can just in case this version gets removed too! You can find the link and transcript HERE
All members of RHCP are interviewed but Anthony Kiedis and Flea are the main ones featured and there are lots of interesting comments and details about their friendship and the band.
I’ve also scanned and uploaded the latest version of OOR magazine from The Netherlands (06 2016). I knew there was a retrospective photo of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the front and a review of ‘The Getaway’ but I had no idea there was also a 10 page article (it seems to be a history of the band) until I received it today (many thanks to my lovely friend Wil who rushed out to get the magazine and sent it to me!). Lots of pictures- the cover gives some idea as to what may be inside (Warning! Maybe don’t open next to Grandma or young children!). You can see full scans HERE for reference purposes but if you are in The Netherlands and can buy a copy please do.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers played at last night’s (April 13, 2016) gala at the Sean Parker and The Parker Foundation Launch for The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Gala in Los Angeles. Apparently they played Can’t stop, Otherside, Californication and By The Way.
I’ve just embedded a selection of photos- there are looks more on the Getty Images website
(Many thanks to my friend for the information).
Ultimate Guitar are running a lengthy interview with Michael Beinhorn about his career as a music producer and obviously RHCP are mentioned. Here are the extracts from the interview concerning the Chili Peppers:
In 1987, you went in the studio with the Red Hot Chili Peppers to do the “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” album. Was that your first significant production?
I’d done a couple on my own after I left Material but they weren’t really any major things to speak of. I feel like they were more my fledgling attempt to strike out on my own as a producer.
What was that like being in there with the Chili Peppers? Certainly you knew their background and the music they’d made previously?
I didn’t really, hahaha. I remember hearing them one time on the radio and going, “Oh, this is kind of interesting.” But then I later realized I had been listening to the wrong song. I thought I had been listening to a Chili Peppers song when it was actually a Jim Foetus song, hahaha. I had no idea what the Chili Peppers sounded like until sometime played the demo.
What did you think when you finally heard the band?
At that point I was kind of like, “OK. It’s messy but it could be worthwhile.”
Anthony Kiedis was going through a heavy heroin addiction at the time so that must have made those sessions pretty hard, right?
It was interesting because it was really what I needed more than anything at that point in time. It was a true baptism by fire. I went from being someone with very, very little experience as a record producer [into a project like this]. I remember going around to people and trying to get them to hire me. One guy said, “To hire you on a record right now, Michael, would be a crapshoot.” I was like, “What?” but in hindsight the guy was not wrong. I didn’t really know what I was doing.
What were those sessions like?
Here I am with this band that basically their record label can’t stand. On top of that, the minute I land to go to work with these guys – I can’t remember who it was who picked me up and I think actually Jack Irons picked me up at the airport – someone along the way casually mentioned, “By the way, two of the guys have got little drug problems.”
That must have freaked you out?
I was kinda like, “Oh.” I was a naive, innocent young man and I’m not sure what this means. I figured, “Well, maybe they’re smoking a little too much pot or they’re doing a little too much coke.” It turns out I’m smack dab in the middle of dealing with a semi-functional and a completely non-functional heroin addict, hahahaha.
There were two guys on heroin?
One of the guys was Hillel [Slovak] who was shooting dope. I think he did it to the extent where he was able to kind of go to work and at least show up and do stuff. But Anthony was absolutely AWOL. He wouldn’t show up for weeks at a time.
Yeah, it was bad. When he did, he would come into the studio and his face would be green. He was all pockmarked from scratching and stuff. He’d have a bag of candy with him and be there for like 20 minutes and go into the bathroom and get sick and leave.
How did you get through that?
It was really tough. It was really tough and it really kind of put me in a high, high stress environment very, very fast. I don’t really recommend that to most people but to paraphrase Marcus Aurelius, “No man winds up in situations he can’t handle.
At the end of the day, “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” album would become the band’s first record to break into the Top 200 and would represent an important step in their career.
Thank you. Again, I wasn’t expecting miracles out of the thing. I was like, “If we can just get through this and everyone is alive at the end of it.” I was like, “I have to make it as good as possible.” I wanted to get them as far away from being too self-indulgent.
What do you mean?
I felt that was one of the things that had plagued them in the past. That they really were not focused on account they used all their influences in a very diffuse kind of way. There wasn’t a focused band sound to them. I thought it was really important to try and find ways to distill what they were doing.
You did push them into different areas to try different musical ideas?
Just in some ways simplify it more and focus it as much as possible.
They must have liked what you did because they bring you back two years later to do the “Mother’s Milk” album.
All of a sudden the band dynamic had changed considerably. You’ve eliminated two key people in the band [Slovak died of a heroin overdose and close friend Jack Irons left because he couldn’t deal with his friend’s death] who are part of this network of friends and some of whom have known each other since before high school. I’m pretty sure most of them went to high school together [Fairfax High School]. They all knew each other from the time they were pretty young so that creates a really, really profound dynamic amongst people. Sometimes it’s a dynamic that keeps people in a really good place and sometimes you might be able to do better.
When John Frusciante and Chad Smith came in on the “Mother’s Milk” album, that really changed the dynamic in the band?
Chad was very experienced as a drummer and he was extremely good. It’s so funny because I had to twist those guy’s arms to hire him too.
Is that right?
They wouldn’t do it, hahahah. They were just hemming and hawing because he was too rock ‘n’ roll for them. I was like, “You’ve gotta be joking. This is the absolute best drummer that’s been into audition and probably the best you’ve played with in the last two years. You’re crazy if you don’t hire this person. Someone is gonna snatch him up in a heartbeat.”
That’s amazing the band didn’t recognize Chad Smith’s talents from the beginning.
He looked all silly and he had a headband on. After a week, they were like, “OK.”
What was it like working with John Frusciante?
John is a different story. He was like this little kid. He was like 17-years old when he joined the Chili Peppers and he spent a lot of his time in his room at home with his mom. I’m pretty sure he’d taken lessons but he apparently sat around transcribing Steve Vai guitar solos for hours. He was a real muso.
Was Anthony Kiedis still doing heroin?
A lot of things had changed. Anthony had straightened out and there was a lot of animosity between him and Flea.
It didn’t help things at all. Yeah, it was really bad actually. They never dealt with it at all. They never went to one another and sat down and were like, “Look, dude. We’ve known each other too long for this to affect what we’re doing.” I really kind of had to keep the show going especially since the two principals, the two original guys in the band and one of whom was the singer, didn’t come to the studio ever.
Anthony and Flea wouldn’t come to the studio?
Hahaha. It was an interesting thing but it was funny because all of a sudden they were the cause célèbre at the record company. All of a sudden the president of the record company is going down to visit us at Ocean Way Studios and it’s like, “Oh, sh-t. He only does this for the really big artists. I guess he’s got a lot riding on these guys all of a sudden.” Through EMI Manhattan and they were expecting great things from them.
Full interview can be read HERE
RHCP Current news: Anthony Kiedis and a story about his bedtime babysitting with Cher has made it into the current edition of Q Magazine’s 120 best rock stories article. Check out the details HERE.
For everyone going to see RHCP in Manilla, have a brilliant time! My friends Francis and JMS are going to be there so watch out for two idiots (and maybe a pineapple?!) seriously rocking out! Francis tweeted to Flea a couple of years back about seeing the band in the Philippines and was amazed when he got a reply saying the band should play there… I’m so happy for you both that it’s happening and for everyone else attending! I know a lot of you have waited so long to see the band. BTW We’d love to see any photos!
Finally, this site… I’m really sorry about the pauses- real life just keeps getting in the way and I’ve been having issues over my site domain names but hopefully all is sorted now and I can get going again! All outstanding comments have been approved, new plans are being made for the content of the site and to celebrate the return as a kick off, I’m uploading all of my magazine scans that are outstanding. I have some more to add but I’ve kicked off with a massive upload of John Frusciante articles thanks to the wonderful Stephen Mahon who donated his RHCP magazines to my collection for us all to share.
The following scans have been added:
http://thechilisource.com/autumn-1999/ (total guitar)
(For a full list of the John Frusciante articles we have, please check out his band member page HERE).
If anyone is interested, Richard Alan White has contacted me to say he is selling some of his photographs of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, including Anthony Kiedis, taken at the Mother’s Milk aftershow party on the top of the West Hollywood Hyatt Hotel on Sunset Blvd, back in September (22nd) 1989.
The photos have been locked in a safe for the past 25 years and were recently uncovered by Richard. A double set prints were originally made (some of the original photos were given to Anthony) and then the negatives were put into a vault and basically forgotten about until recently when they were ‘re-discovered’.
If you are interested in finding out any more details such as prices, sizes, print runs and to see more of the images for sale, further information can be found HERE (Please note; these photos are initially for sale for three days only)
I’m trying to play catch up here and one of the things I’ve done is to scan and upload some more back issue magazines featuring the Chili Peppers that I’ve recently added to my collection; so here are the latest offerings 🙂
During the period when you left the band, you were addicted to heroin. How much do you still think of those times?
“If you’re an artist, I don’t think you ever put anything that’s ever happened behind you. Everything that’s ever happened to me culminates in everything I do thereafter.”
There’s a one page interview with John Frusciante where he talks about the pressures of being in the band and discussed the period when he used heroin as being a valuable experience that he doesn’t regret.
There’s also an in-depth interview in Guitar World with Dave Navarro from 1996 talking about his life, Jane’s Addiction and RHCP’s One Hot Minute, a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ discograpy from 1992, a mention in an article where RHCP came third in a list of the funniest moments in rock for their infamous sock wearing (there is also a full page photo for anyone interested…), a review of RHCP in London togther with a news item about Flea & a brief interview with Flea talking about working on ‘Bust a Move’ track.
Then, in the middle of the posh hotel bar, he stands up turns around and drops his trousers. A lot of fidgety hand movements around his groin area follows. The he swings around, trousers and pants around the knees, his arse smiling to everyone present and both arms open wide in declaration.
There’s a forest of black tangled pubes looking me in the eye as Antwan’s kingsize whopper hangs loosely, snug in its white sock. A few heads turn. I break down in laughter and Antwan scoops them all up and puts ‘em away again.
A couple of articles have also been added over on AnthonyKiedis.net e.g a news item about Anthony breaking his wrist in 1997 and a review of the RHCP tour where they were accompanied by the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam and what happened when AK celebrated his birthday. There is also a very early interview from 1988 when AK is mostly interviewed (with a few additions by Flea) and he is discussing wearing socks and sex.