Peppers Double The Pleasure With 'Stadium Arcadium'
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will unleash a double album, "Stadium Arcadium," May 9 via Warner Bros. The group recorded 38 songs for the project, and at one point even considered releasing three separateThe Red Hot Chili Peppers will unleash a double album, "Stadium Arcadium," May 9 via Warner Bros. The group recorded 38 songs for the project, and at one point even considered releasing three separate records, but ultimately whittled the material down to a 25-track, two-disc set. Mixing on the Rick Rubin-produced effort is now halfway complete, according to frontman Anthony Kiedis.
"We got together and our initial writing task was to write a short record: an old school, hit 'em and quit 'em, straight to the point record," he tells Billboard.com. "A record with only 11 or 12 songs instead of 17 songs, just for a change. Three months later, we had 38 songs, all of which were meaningful and worth recording and mixing."
At first, the idea of an album trilogy seemed "inspiring and appealing. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized it would be a nightmare," Kiedis admits. "Even if you only release them six months apart, you're waiting two years until the final installment. Nobody had that kind of patience. By that time, we want to be writing new music and making another record. The best we could come up with is squeezing our favorite 25 onto one body."
Kiedis cites "Snow" as one of his favorite tunes from the new album, due to its "really crazy sounding guitar part. It's very busy but rhythmically desirable at the same time. That has grown into one of the epic, kind of great-feeling jams on this record." Another tune, "Wet Sand," goes in a new structural direction. "It isn't so much verse/chorus/verse/chorus with a bridge," Kiedis says. "It has a beginning, a middle and an end, which I like as a change of pace."
Fans are sure to be thrilled by the playing of guitarist John Frusciante, who here eschews the more minimalist approach of the Peppers' past two albums. Says Kiedis, "On this record, he was kind of like, 'Okay, it's time for me to lay it all on the table and really shine as a guitar player.' He's a lot more balls-out. It's very solo intensive -- there's some incredible guitar solos. I guess there's still a little bit of early Beach Boys and early Electric Light Orchestra and intense vocal harmonies. They make themselves known."
Kiedis attributes the creative burst to the fact that "the chemistry when it comes to writing is better than ever. Always in the past, there was a little bit of struggle between Flea, John or myself as contributing writers -- a struggle to dominate. But we are now confident enough in who we are, so everybody feels more comfortably contributing more and more valuable, quality stuff."
The Peppers will "start rocking in May," according to Kiedis, with the itinerary set to visit Europe first. A North American tour will then run from August through November. "Instead of playing outdoor shows, we'll play indoor shows so we can bring a little bit of theatrical love into the arena space," the artist says.
"Stadium Arcadium" is the follow-up to 2002's "By the Way," which debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 1.9 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.