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John Frusciante hails newly ego-free Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

John Frusciante has paid tribute to his bandmates in Red Hot Chili Peppers for their ego-free approach to writing and recording new songs for their upcoming twelfth studio album, Unlimited Love, which is set for release on April 1. The guitarist also reveals that the LA quartet recorded “almost 50 pieces of music” with producer Rick Rubin for their first album since 2016’s The Getaway, and that there’s already a “loose plan” in place for a follow-up.

Speaking to NME.com, Frusciante confesses that, after a ten year absence from the band, during which he had largely focussed on making electronic music, he had some initial concerns as to whether he could contribute creatively to the Chili Peppers again after bassist Flea floated the idea of a second return to the group: “I was sitting there with the guitar thinking that I hadn’t written any rock music in so long,” he admits. “Could I still do that?” But the guitarist says that on Unlimited Love, the LA funk-rock veterans “feel fresh, like a new band.”

“I put a lot less of my ego [into it] than I had previously and I think that was true with everybody,” he says. “It wasn’t so much a competition thing as really wanting to give a part of ourselves to one another [and] being excited to listen to what the others were bringing in. Sometimes in the past, like on [2002’s] By The Way for example, or [his debut with the band] Mother’s Milk, one person would feel stifled at the expense of another. This time it felt very much like people who care about each other and are genuinely excited for everybody else to be the best that they can be.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis describes Frusciante’s return to the fold as “monumental” and says he personally was “down for anything and everything” when it came to piecing together song ideas for Unlimited Love.

“I really didn’t want to tell the same old story that we’ve been hearing for the last 50 years in rock music,” Kiedis tells NME.com. “I liked reaching out in 10,000 directions and seeing what was out there. We weren’t limiting ourselves but trying to tap into something that is honest and emotional. Hopefully we’ve said something that hasn’t been said before, or at least said it in a way that hasn’t.”

The video for Black Summer, the first single from Unlimited Love, can be viewed below.

The tracklisting for Unlimited Love is as follows:

1. Black Summer
2. Here Ever After
3. Aquatic Mouth Dance
4. Not The One
5. Poster Child
6. The Great Apes
7. It's Only Natural
8. She's A Lover
9. These Are The Ways
10. Whatchu Thinkin'
11. Bastards Of Light
12. White Braids & Pillow Chair
13. One Way Traffic
14. Veronica
15. Let 'Em Cry
16. The Heavy Wing
17. Tangelo

Both Kiedis and Frusciante have hinted that there'll be even more new music from the quartet before long.

“Don’t be surprised if another wheelbarrow of songs comes your way in the near future,” says Kiedis. “We have a lot of shit to turn people onto.”

“We definitely have enough material that we love,” adds Frusciante, going to say that the next batch of RHCP songs “has a relaxed energy that’s distinct from the intensity of the record that we’ve made here.”

Red Hot Chili Pepers kick off their world tour on June 4 at Estadio La Cartuja in Seville, Spain.

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.