Published Jun 23, 2011Following the departure of longtime guitarist John Frusciante, the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't waste any time hiring touring axe man Josh Klinghoffer as a replacement and getting to work on their tenth studio LP. The resulting I'm With You is due out August 30, and bassist Flea has opened up about the new record and the band's tumultuous recent years.
When asked about the five-year break between 2006's Stadium Arcadium and the new record in a new Spin interview, he explained, "I just really needed to get away from [the band]. It had come to a point where it felt dysfunctional and not fun... I wanted to get away to give the band a chance to survive."
Once RHCP were back on track, Flea and Klinghoffer took a trip to Africa together, and this visit helped to inspire a new musical direction. "There are a couple African parts on the new songs," the bassist revealed. "One is called 'Take Me Home,' which has a real African feeling, and there's another called 'Ethiopia.'"
He explained that the album has a "violent, rocking sound and it's real funky," but added that it's also the most sweet and sensitive record of the band's career. "There are some beautiful, deep songs that can connect to people's hearts," he said. "It's much more poignant than our other records. Life and death is a major theme."
These subjects are explored on the track "Brendan's Death Song," which is about late Los Angeles punk icon Brendan Mullen. This cut was written on the day Mullen died, which also happened to be Klinghoffer's first practice with the band. Of the new guitarist, Flea described him as a "subtler textural player" who's "not like this Guitar Hero type." Klinghoffer also "sings beautiful background vocals."
In a recent Billboard interview, producer Rick Rubin offered, "[Josh is] stylistically very close to John but has a completely different trip. It sounds like the Red Hot Chili Peppers that you've never heard before."
With the album barely two months away, expect to hear more updates from the Chili Peppers camp soon. The first single, "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie," is slated to hit radio waves on July 18. According to MTV, rapper Kreayshawn will direct the video.
You can read the entire Spin interview here.