Inside RHCP’s Funk Factory
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis and new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer talk about the new album, ‘I’m With You’, the second departure of John Frusciante, and their upcoming world tour
In the five years since their last studio album, Los Angeles funk rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers had taken a long hiatus. And it was a rather uneventful one at that, except for longtime guitarist John Frusciante stepping down and their touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer taking over. RHCP release their tenth studio album, I’m With You, on August 30.
It’s been five years since Stadium Arcadium. How important was that to you ”“ to take an extensive break for the first time in over a decade?
Anthony Kiedis: Wow, well it just was. I mean, it was important, but it just happened. And, you know, five years it was certainly not all break. Because we toured for a year and a half for Stadium. There was really a legitimate two-year break. And then for the last 18 months we’ve been writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing. So the two-year break was great. It allowed everything to shift and start over again.
All in all, how refreshing was that experience?
AK: It was great. I needed, 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 the pieces to find where they needed to be. It gave John [Frusciante] a chance to make his move. And us the chance to find Josh [Klinghoffer] and just be human beings without obligations or 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.
And you became a dad, which is probably quite a challenge”¦
AK: You have a kid?
No, but most of my friends do. And I can see what impact is has on them. So it really is a life changing experience really, isn’t it?
AK: It’s great, it’s great. I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t try it on until I was 45. And it fit perfectly so, you still got time.
However, it is really difficult to find someone who’s able to handle that lifestyle aka the constant travelling.
AK: Yeah. I got lucky. Yeah, I love it; it’s the coolest thing ever.
And his name is Everly?
AK: My son’s name is Everly Bear.
After the Everly Brothers?
AK: Not literally specifically. But technically. But I did look at an Everly Brothers CD sitting at 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 their songs and so yeah, I felt very comfortable giving my son that name. Even though he’s not named after them.
As a dad, are you different than your old man? I mean, you’ve had your first sexual encounter at the age of 12 and smoked dope at 13 ”“ all of which would be impossible these days, wouldn’t it?
AK: Different time. I’d”¦ you know I’d”¦
Josh Klinghoffer: It’s really not impossible!
AK: No, not impossible. I mean, it’s probably more the norm today than it was back then – in some circles. But yeah, my son is getting his own special upbringing based on my experience and where I’m at today. And, you know, I wouldn’t trade my childhood, but that’s not the childhood I’m looking to introduce him to.
And how has becoming a father inspired you for this album – lyrically?
AK: It 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 that I could be that busted up and, you know, psychically kind of bent. And just coming home to the beach and kind of letting it all go was inspirational. And 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. I mean, really, you know, the chemistry that we got to kind of reinvent as a band was, was a great ride, so.
I went through the album twice. And it seems like you’re torn between looking for marriage in a song like ”˜Factory Of Faith’, and for great sex in ”˜Even You Brutus?’. Also there’s real heartache in there as well – in ”˜Meet Me At The Corner’. So where are you at emotionally?
AK: Good point! I’m in all of those places. Yeah, you know, you don’t have to be in one particular place – relationship wise. I think I’m a little bit in all of those places. And”¦
JK: That’s the beauty of a collection of songs. I think you could sort of be in one place for a second and then be in another place in a second, and realise it’s all you or for the creator and the listener.
AK: Good point.
Apart from that there’s some irony in there as well: ”˜The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie’ comes with that great line ”˜I want to rock you like an Eighties cock.’
AK: Yeah, I guess. I mean, irony was not intentional. But yeah, it just came out like that, you know. Referencing the Eighties is a fun thing to do.
JK: Putting the kibosh on cock-blockers.
AK: Yes, putting the cock-blockers in their place. And then getting cock-blocked for saying cock-block by the British radio. They’re cock-blocking our cock-block.
AK: They are, you didn’t hear about that?
AK: British radio does not love the word “cock” on the radio.
JK: Come on!
AK: Come on! [puts on British accent] Yeah, yeah, we’re having to warble our cock for the Brits, yeah. Hopefully, the original will rise to the surface. Because it is a poignant moment in the song. You know, you can kind of hang your teacup on the word “cock” when it comes by. And it’s a contributing factor. Like it’s a kind of a little”¦ a moment in the song.
And for the rest of the world it will be edited, like cut out?
AK: Yeah, they, Rick [Rubin, producer] wanted me to come up with another word.
AK: And I’m not blocking. [laughs]
JK: Not blocking. You can write it like Chuck Knoblauch, the baseball player.
AK: There you go.
JK: Knoblauch-ing. The verb.
And John leaving the band – again? How did you deal with that? When did you know this was going to happen?
AK: Ah”¦ you know, it depends on how intuitive you were. Those kind of 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, you know, being where he wanted to be. And kind of vice versa. So it was, it was a very kind gesture and it just worked out remarkably well. I believe he’s happy doing what he’s doing, you know. Did for us what we could not do for ourselves. And allowed us to have a new relationship and start from scratch. And it was time to start from scratch, you know. Starting anywhere but from scratch would have been kind of a bummer. So we were forced to”¦ you know, strip down and see who we were and go to work. Which is a wonderful thing to have to do.
After his departure, did you seriously consider changing the band’s name to The Insects? Or was that just a one off?
AK: [Laughs] There’s a little insect in us, I have to tell you. That was such a sweet thing for Ronnie to propose, right?
JK: Yeah, yeah. I’m dying to hear that radio show.
AK: Congratulations to Ronnie Wood, the dubber of the band named Insects, for his accomplishments in the world of radio this year by the way.
On the sliding scale of Chili Peppers albums, how difficult was this record to make?
JK: For me?
AK: For you.
JK: Oh, I don’t have anything to compare it to. It was”¦ it wasn’t difficult at all. The only difficult thing was, you know, at a certain point having to pull back and start, you know, narrowing down all the ideas that we wanted to put down. And like really focus on a smaller amount of material.
So as a guitar player, what is it that you bring to the table? What’s the difference between John and you in terms of chemistry and signature sound?
JK: I don’t know. Being friends with John and knowing him for a long time, I think he and I are similar in certain ways, but also very different people. And we also have different relationships with the other band members in the Chili Peppers. And, you know, that’s all. I mean, I’m just a different person. And everything about that influences the way it’s different, I guess. And I think everyone else is different with me than they may be with him.
You treat him different?
AK: Yeah. [chuckles]
In what way?
AK: I don’t”¦.
JK: I think you treat everybody the same and different according to who they are as people. [chuckles]
AK: Yeah, that’s, that’s, a hard one to put words to. Just rewinding for a moment, then to the difficult question. It was appropriately difficult. I mean, it was a lot of hard work. You know, the coming together with Josh was not difficult. That was really painless and nice. But we definitely, I mean it was a difficult test for the mind and the endurance to go for an entire year of writing and collecting and amassing and fine tuning songs for that long, you know, it took quite a bit of effort and concentration. And just, you know, sticking with something for a long time. And so in that sense it was, it was hard work. But the kind of recreation of chemistry came quite naturally. So that was not so difficult.
Plus you knew what you would get yourself into – he’s been touring with you for Stadium Arcadium.
AK: We knew, and had a great deal of faith in the experience and the skill that we were getting involved with.
And the age factor? Being 17, 18 years younger? I mean, you could be one of their kids?
AK: We tested for that; we made sure. [laughs]
JK: It honestly doesn’t come up in my mind that often. I mean, it used to more before I was playing with them, when I was actually 20, 22”¦ But not with them, with anybody when I felt like that, you know. But I think now I finally admitted to myself that I’m an adult somewhat [laughs]. And, you know, even though I don’t look or act like one most of the time, you know, I think it’s just how I feel about myself. I don’t feel like they’re older than me, and I don’t feel like they’re younger or the same age. I mean, they’ve had experiences and I’ve had experiences, and I think we’re just friends.
But you must have grown up with the Peppers?
Were you a big fan in your 20s or even earlier than that?
So what’s it like being on the stage with them? Not to mention being asked to join?
JK: It’s just incredible, you know. I mean, I haven’t been on stage with them in this context – apart from one song.
You’ve been their support act in 2000 or something like that?
JK: Yeah, yeah. I’m just always grateful for the situations that I’ve found myself in, you know. Be it playing with Bob Forrest and opening for the Chili Peppers or playing with any band that I’m in. At the time I’m happy that the world is there for me to experience like that. And this is, you know, another massive experience that I’m grateful to be a part of.
AK: It’s such a bizarre story if you think about it, that it’s almost so bizarre that it had to happen, you know. The kind of history of John coming from where he came from. And the history of Josh coming from where he came from and those two being friends and musical associates. It’s such a weird tale that it had to happen. You feel that?
AK: Like they come from a very similar part of the world, which is an odd place to come from for a prodigious musical behaviour at a glance. If you look a little more closely, it kind of makes sense. But yeah, it’s just, it’s so unlikely that it had to happen.
Did John introduce him to the band?
AK: No, no. Robert O’Neill Forrest introduced me to the music of Josh. Bob Forrest from Thelonious Monster later started a band called The Bicycle Thief, which the Italians were very excited about by the way.
So Josh, are you making the Chili Peppers more avant-garde or are they making you more mainstream? Where do you meet? How do you mix?
JK: Oh, I think it’s just an absolute mix. I don’t think I’m one way, and they’re the other. I don’t think there’s a separation. The only real separation is just that I joined a little further down the line there, you know, down the road. But I think what was a constant and important part of this band at the beginning, still exists. It’s not that all four people, who are in the room playing with each other, writing music or jamming on an idea, have their own mix of avant-garde, mainstream, love, fear. Everyone has their own sort of whirlpool of that that they’re throwing into the collective whirlpool. And I think it’s always been that way with any line-up that this band has been.
Which is an interesting point: There’ve been so many different characters playing guitar in the Chili Peppers”¦
JK: It’s incredible.
And they’ve all left their mark on the band’s sound – at least for a while – haven’t they?
AK: Yeah, I mean that’s”¦ you know, I like Josh’s description of that. That makes sense to me. I know I don’t always sit around analysing ourselves quite as thoroughly as we do when we’re put on the couch quite literally. But yeah, you know, it’s part of survivalist nature, it’s part of our loving nature. It’s part of our adventurist nature. We like doing what we’re doing, we like exploring, and mixing it up as it were with all of the different elements that are available to us as little people here on earth. That have fallen in love with music and making it together with our band of friends. So we’ll take what the universe provides.
But this album is quite a departure from the previous three, isn’t it?
AK: I would hope so. I mean, I would feel a bit dissatisfied if it wasn’t. I think that’s kind of the part of the beauty of what happened, that we did get to mix colours with Josh to do something new. And you know, like he said there’s, he’s, or like you said, he’s got an element of avant-garde, but he has an element of a lot of things. And I like those elements, and it’s really fun to kind of listen to Josh and see where he’s coming from. And try to, you know, blend myself into that, you know. It makes for a new recipe.
JK: And this guy I watched him blend his avant-garde into my mainstream pop day after day. [chuckles]
AK: Which I like that combination. It’s a good combination.
So is this a new era then? The grown-up Chili Peppers?
AK: No, I wouldn’t call it the grown up. We’re, we’re always going to be growing. And not necessarily up. But yeah, I mean, we’ve got our shit a little more together than maybe we used to. But not so much so that it still doesn’t have a few rough edges. Uhm”¦ work in progress.
Mind you, you even have a piano on there?
AK: That is very grown-up! [laughs] Africa’s also very grown-up. You’ve got to be slightly grown to”¦ play African piano. Uhm”¦ no, that’s just”¦.
Is it Flea on the grand piano now?
JK: I don’t think exclusively. [chuckles]
AK: He’s more of a upright ragtime guy.
But those elements are a new addition to your sound, aren’t they?
AK: Yeah, I mean we had two piano players in the band for this record. You know, Josh is like that as well. So, sort of the Billy and Elton factor.
JK: And those elements have always been present in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I think from Day One to now as well. Like, you know, I could literally think of Elton John and”¦ you know, African influences in songs of the past or whatever. Just so happens to be right now where the people who are making the music, what kind of music they want to make, and what kind of music they want to release.
So it’s like an extra colour or a new colour used in there?
JK: Just a current colour.
AK: Yeah, but there have been references to African music for quite a while. Including a song from the early, early Nineties called ”˜Fela’s Cock’.
JK: Or ”˜Fela’s Blllppp’”¦
AK: Yeah, ”˜Fela’s Knob’. It just doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t have the same bite to it.
Were you seriously thinking of calling this album ”˜Dr Johnny Skinz’? Was that a working title or just something to fool the press?
AK: Dr Johnny Skinz? Is that the beginning of the long? Yeah, two days ago was the first time I’ve ever heard that title. Didn’t come from anybody that we know of. It was a shock to all of us.
JK: It was a”¦
AK: An internet scandal, if you will.
So why going for ”˜I’m With You’? Is that the sort of response you’re hoping for in the end – from people?
AK: No. It’s more of an offering than a hoping for response. It’s just a suggestion from me to you, rather than me trying to get a response. It’s just you get something without anything in return.
So given past histories, were drugs involved this time or has the band turned into a health club these days?
AK: Does it have to be one or the other? Can it be a health club with drugs? [chuckles]
JK: Can’t health be a drug? [laughs]
AK: [laughs] Yeah, you know, it’s neither really. I mean, we don’t really think about that or consider it a factor or not a factor.
It’s rock & roll. So whatever?
AK: Yeah, it is whatever. Rock & roll can be with or without drugs. It can be with or without health. It can be with or without late nights. It’s anything goes.
You’re turning 49 this year, sir?
AK: Yes, I am.
You don’t look like it though.
AK: Thank you. I can’t wait to hit the 50 mark so I can really carry the flag for”¦ the “half century of life and still living”-crew.
Is that a scary thought or a pleasant experience?
AK: No, I’ve well accepted it. So I kind of look forward to defying the odds of gravity in some way. Still feeling quite buoyant. Humid and buoyant.
But you’re taking good care of yourself these days, with lots of sports?
AK: Sports”¦ no, nothing competitive.
More like trampoline?
AK: Yeah, I got my boy a trampoline. So we bounce on that.
Does it work?
AK: Yeah, I think, I think it does. It makes you happy; bouncing makes you happy, definitely. It loosens up the joy molecules behind your eyes, I think.
Also lots of sleep, motorcycle and swimming?
AK: Sleeping on the motorcycle, swimming in the trampoline, yup.
And being a vegan these days as well?
AK: No, I’ve not really ever forayed deeply into veganism. I respect veganism; I admire it; it makes sense to me. But I eat some non-vegan items in my diet. I get into eggs, most days of the week, I cook up the egg. Sort of a “no harm no fowl” approach. And I eat some fish. Although I am trying to lay off the tuna, particularly the blue fin tuna, as it has diminished to near-extinction. So, yeah, I try to choose my food thoughtfully and do what works for me. But I can’t technically claim veganism today.
In ”˜Scar Tissue’ you claim to have been sober since Christmas 2000. So after more than a decade, do you find it easy to stay away from it all?
AK: 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’re all kind of blowing smoke down each other’s throats, like getting ready to go out. And for a moment I looked at it, and I was like: “Oooh, that looks kind of sexy and fun.” But yeah, that just 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.
You’ve had some near-death experiences as well. Is there anything in life you are still afraid of ”“ when you’ve come to that point, when you’ve gone that far?
AK: Well, I would be lying if I said I was without fear. Sometimes the most mundane confrontations can, you know, excite a little bit of fear. I don’t fancy fear so much, but still figuring out how to reconcile with it here and there.
Will there ever be a second part to the book or a different book? You got something in you?
AK: I’m not thinking about it right now. I’m thinking about going on tour and playing live shows.
And the actor in you? Why has he stopped?
AK: The actor in me left me and got inside of Josh apparently. You should have seen him on the Ellen von Unwerth shoot, acting up a storm.
What are you into these days ”“ as for books, films, and music? What do you find interesting being in this business for so long?
AK: Going to the park with my son is pretty fun. Being in the ocean”¦ being in a band. Watching animated films with my son. I’ve seen every kids’ movie you could possibly mention. Mention 10 kids’ movies, I’ve see them all! Go for it!
AK: Yogi Bear? Oh, yeah. That’s all you got?
AK: Sesame Street, old school, only old school. We haven’t watched the new one, but we have the, the first two seasons of Sesame Street.
It must be fun to go back to all that stuff and relive your own childhood that way?
AK: I’ve gone back to my childhood, that’s it. That’s where I live.
And as for LA, how comes you never left the place? I mean, this is basically all you write about, it’s the foundation for all things Chili Peppers. Like your lyrical garden so to speak?
AK: Josh is the only band member born and raised in Los Angeles. And, you know, I guess maybe he’s part of that garden. Even though he’s probably the one who’s most likely to leave Los Angeles someday. I keep leaving, and I haven’t really found anything that feels better. I feel very connected here, I love it. But yeah, I don’t know, I’ve answered that question so many times. I kind of feel like a bit of a half-drunk record trying to answer it again.
But you’ve tried New Zealand for example?
AK: Yeah, I didn’t really live there. I got a place there, and I spent a few months there. And it was a little isolated and lonely.
When was that?
Late Nineties”¦ I held up for peace in the countryside, though like I couldn’t have moved to a more remote place. And thank goodness some mother and her three daughters came along and wanted to rent my guesthouse. ’Cause they were my people, they became my little family. And yeah, I mean I’ve visited a lot of other places. I love travelling and I love spending time away from California. But, you know, it is my root and it is my love, and, you know, I love this whole place – San Francisco, Big Sur, Ventura, LA, it’s just [that] there’s plenty here. There’s more than I could ever tap into, walking down the street as we speak.
Because it’s all here, the beach, the mountains, and all the mystery in between?
AK: Yeah, and, you know I’ve said this before, but it is a place that has an incredibly powerful magnetism for people’s dreams. So, all over the world – whether it’s Russia or Germany or England or New York or Kentucky – they have this weird impulse to go let their dreams loose in LA. So that energy exists here. And you, you go out and you feel it wherever you are. If you walk down Main Street, Santa Monica, right now and you ask everyone where they were from, you know, it would be Planet Earth, it would be everywhere. And that’s how it was for me going to school. Did you go to high school?
JK: For two years.
AK: Two years? Was there everyone there? Like Chinese, Russian”¦
JK: Yes, there was, yeah.
AK: Yeah, I mean, where I came from in Michigan, it was one flavour of everything. And then I came here and there was literally like Chinese, Korean, black, white, Russian”¦ all variety of Eastern Europeans, all in my school. I was like, “This is wild.” And they all came here to start a life, you know, to kind of test their dreams out here, so. Did I mention the Latin world? I feel like I forgot to mention the Latin world there, yeah.
You just got to drive down Sunset ”“ you’re going from Little Russia to Little Armenia to whatever, Koreatown.
AK: Little Thailand, Little Bangkok up in there.
JK: Yeah, Koreatown.
AK: Koreatown is booming.
So it’s 28 years of the Peppers. Ever thought you would come this far?
AK: No, I don’t really think about it. I can’t imagine not coming this far. It’s all I know, it seems rather normal to me. I’m grateful for it, I love it. I thank my lucky stars almost every day, sometimes two and three times a day, but it just seems like I wouldn’t abandon this any sooner than I would abandon my mother and father. It’s just too much history.
Does that make you feel like dinosaurs?
AK: No. [laughs]
Like the bands you used to hate back in the days?
AK: The bands I used to hate”¦ I don’t think we’re anything like the bands I used to hate, not even close.
Are you planning on something special for your 30th anniversary which will probably be around the end of this tour?
AK: The 30th anniversary. I’ll leave that up to Josh.
JK: Something special.
AK: Yeah”¦ probably something rather tiny and intimate, you know.
JK: Maybe put out another record.
AK: That would be perfect.
So you’re going on tour soon starting with festivals in Japan?
AK: Starting with a show in Hong Kong.
JK: Then onto Japan, then South America, and then Europe to follow.
AK: And we have quite a few shows in Germany in October, if I recall.
That means this tour will at least run for a year and a half?
JK: At least.
AK: Yeah, yeah I think a year and a half sounds about right.
How are you going to mix the old with the new? What can people expect this time around?
Will it be the new album in its entirety?
JK: Don’t know for sure. But I’m sure pretty much everything will be touched upon.
AK: Is there anything on our new record we wouldn’t play?
JK: I don’t think so.
AK: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s a song on there we wouldn’t play. If we”¦
JK: Instrumental logistics might hold some, put some later down the road – but really only a few. We’ve spent 2 weeks prior to this week going through all of them. And from figuring out how to do them ourselves, because we hadn’t played them together in 5 months or so, and we just had a blast doing it, and each day they got better and better and more sounding like themselves. And we knew what we were doing. And yeah, we’re going to play them all.
Will you re-arrange the old stuff for the occasion, or will you add a different flavour to them?
JK: They’re all going to be sort of drum ”˜n’ bass kind of, prepared piano, John Cage meets”¦ you know, Doctor Bastardo.
AK: With a shade of Squarepusher perhaps.
JK: All of them, every single one.
That should make for an interesting show though?
AK: Yeah. The whole catalogue is open to us. So that’ll kind of probably figure itself out over time. Right now we’re learning our favourites from each record. And you know, it’s both a blessing and a curse. ’Cause we have tonnes of material to choose from. But you can’t choose it all, all the time. So every night we’ll have to get into the business of crossword puzzling which songs are going to make it onto the set list. And it will be an embarrassment of riches. And hopefully it’ll be at least half new material. Hopefully, the new stuff will seep into the consciousness to the point where people will be happy to receive new information, new songs.
Unless you do it like some of your peers and tour with just one album. Like 20 years of ”˜Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ – performed in its entirety?
AK: Yeah, now we wouldn’t”¦
JK: Wacky stuff could happen.
AK: Yeah, I would rather play this new record in its entirety. That would be fun for a show. Have you ever done that, played a record in sequence – live?
JK: I have”¦ Yes, I have.
AK: You have?
JK: I have. I did it with Sparks. I did it with Sparks. And what was Sparks’ huge hit in Germany? They’re a band that had different hits”¦ ”˜When Do I Get To Sing My Way’.
So could you be tempted to do something similar for the 20th anniversary of ”˜Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ ”“ this autumn?
JK: We do have a gig on the 20th.
AK: [laughs] Ah”¦ It’s, you know, I’m excited about our new stuff.
And that album turning 20? How do you feel about that?
AK: I didn’t feel anything about it until people started asking me about it. I mean, I knew that we did it a long time ago. It’s not a milestone to me.
AK: No. I still like playing those songs. I’m still proud of that record. It was a really amazing experience and a real growth spurt for us. And I like the music that we made, most of, it at that time. And it’s still relevant in our set list today. That’s kind of cool that it feels current and fresh when we play it now.
Well, if the media calls that the milestone or landmark album of the Chili Peppers, does that imply the rest of your catalogue is not as relevant then?
JK: You know what they say about implying? It makes a fly out of an I. [Chuckles] I don’t”¦ I think that, I think that the following one was a milestone and the previous one to that was a milestone. I think this one’s a milestone. I think they’re all, you know, very important at their time they came out. And, you know, they all stand out in everyone’s career. But you know, especially this band there were incredible changes going on – each record to the next. And members and personalities and instrumentation and influence, you know. I think each one is very much its own milestone. Flea said yesterday the last one, Number Nine, was a huge milestone for him, just Number Nine.
AK: Being the ninth?
JK: I don’t know why, but”¦
AK: Yeah, they’ve all got a milestone up on them. One way or another. I don’t necessarily feel like that was our best record that we made. Even, you know, of that era or of that line-up.
JK: It was the best Chili Pepper album to come out in 1991, I think.
AK: Close, close to the best, yeah.
Josh, as a fan of the band you’ve probably seen the fire hats, the light bulbs, and the socks. Which phase did you like the best? And if you had a choice, which period would you have loved to be a part of?
JK: I love to be part of the I’m With You-period. Socks on heads? [chuckles] I don’t know. Yeah, this period is a great period for this band.
However, the socks had a long-lasting impression, because of that TV show you did back in the days”¦
AK: Did we sock up for that show?
You did. It has being mentioned in every article for at least 10 years.
AK: Loreley. I think that was ”˜85. Yeah, that was the least of the promiscuities.
JK: Where was that, Hamburg?
Germany, Loreley Open Air Festival, ”˜85.
JK: Was George Clinton there?
JK: Watched it on DVD yesterday morning.
Yeah, it was a Rockpalast show.
JK: I have a DVD of it.
AK: Why do you have the DVD of that?
JK: I just, I was in a bootleg DVD place and I came across it. And you know, research or whatever. It’s funny, I hadn’t watched it yet. I put it on yesterday morning, that show.
AK: I did not sleep the night before. I was a wreck, wreck.
JK: Yeah, that’s funny. I was thinking it was”¦ where’s the place in, in Hamburg? Ah”¦ is there a similar venue in Hamburg? Stuttgart?
AK: This was out in the boonies.
It’s a unique place, outdoors at the River Rhine.
JK: Okay, yeah, yeah.
So you were nervous before the show?
AK: No, I was tired. I stayed up all night that night, the night before. Just really like, “Oh, I guess I’ll sleep later.” We were all a bit askew. I wasn’t nervous. I mean good nervous, but not bad nervous.
JK: That’s funny.