Adding this on the menu in case people are not aware if the change in band members.
Josh is no longer in the band; John is back.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers announce that we are parting ways with our guitarist of the past ten years, Josh Klinghoffer. Josh is a beautiful musician who we respect and love. We are deeply grateful for our time with him, and the countless gifts he shared with us.
We also announce, with great excitement and full hearts, that John Frusciante is rejoining our group.
On 15th December, a post appeared on the official band Instagram thanking Josh for his contribution over the last 10 years and saying he was no longer the guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It also stated that John Frusciante was returning to the band.
Initially, people thought the account had been hacked and that this announcement was a hoax as it was so sudden and unexpected. It also contains a grammatical error and the white on black is not professional; it looks like a ‘home-made’ statement rather than an officially released management one. To add to the confusion, it didn’t appear on the band’s other social media accounts at the same time, including the official website (it was posted there the following day- UK time at least).
Flea shared exactly the same announcement on his personal Instagram and Twitter accounts shortly afterwards, but many people still weren’t sure it was genuine. Most people only believed it once James Slovak* publicly confirmed it was. Chad posted the same announcement a few hours later.
No details are given on the announcement and it merely states the band is “parting ways” with Josh. No mention is even given of Josh leaving to pursue his solo career which would have been a logical explanation given the recent release of his Pluralone CD.
As for details, the same account is circulating from numerous sources and that John requested to rejoin the band and since that was agreed, there was no longer a position for Josh. If true, whether Josh left of his own accord, or was asked to leave, isn’t known. This would make sense of the lack of details given and that no mention was made of Josh leaving for e.g. personal reasons, but this could be reading too much into the wording of the announcement. The only definite is that John was photographed with Flea in the summer (July) so the two of them have been back in contact recently.
How long John has actually been back in the band again isn’t known. It might be starting with the announcement, or it might have been for a while, or he might have been working with just one band member initially and it’s led from there.
As for the forthcoming expected RHCP album, Flea recently stated during one of his promotional interviews for his memoir, ‘Acid For The Children,’ that an album will be released (next year) in 2020. There have been various mentions that the band are working on an album. The most recent comment about the actual process was, ironically now, from Josh at the Ohana Festival a couple of months ago (29th September), stating work was slow due to family commitments of the other band members. It certainly sounded like he was part of the process then and people at that point assumed he was as there was absolutely no reason to think otherwise. Some fans are now speculating that work had already begun with John prior to the announcement, but again there is currently no actual evidence for this.
Since the announcement, no further details have been released. Flea and his wife have made a number of tweets about loving Josh and his music, but it was just that and nothing about the change in line-up. A production company in LA posted about a forthcoming interview with Josh explaining what had happened. However, this has now found to be have been fake news (the given date for the release has also passed).
(* Hillel’s brother. James, I believe, works for QPrime, RHCP’s management team, and that’s the most likely reason he knew the post was genuine).