The Red Hot Chili Peppers are early in the recording process for their follow-up to 2011’s “I’m With You,”which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and hit No. 1 in 18 countries, including the U.K., Mexico, Ireland, Italy and Brazil.
“It’s only been a couple of months, so we’re just starting to write and get in the groove of things,” drummer Chad Smith tells Billboard. “This is my favorite time, being creative, coming up with ideas. You go there at 11 o’clock with something that wasn’t a piece of music, everyone collaborates on something, three hours later you’ve got something that’s a piece of music that wasn’t there before.”
According to Smith it is too early to see any real patterns in the new music, but based on past history and the little bit the band has done thus far he knows there will be some new sounds on there.
“We’re always trying to change and grow and do new stuff. So we don’t make the record that we made three years ago, we’re gonna make something different. And you never know what that is going to be,” he says. “And I’m already hearing stuff that I know people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, that’s something different that I haven’t heard them do before.’ It’s gonna sound like us, but it’s gonna be different.”
Smith was feeling particularly invigorated as he spoke with us on the red carpet for the MAP MusiCares benefit honoring Ozzy Osbourne at L.A.’s Club Nokia. For Smith, who was drumming for singer Beth Hart, being able to play with Hart was a lot of fun.
“I’ve never played with her, we did sound check today and she is an amazing singer, musician and super sweet and I’m happy to be part of it, happy to be part of this event,” he says.
He was also excited to be on hand to support MusiCares, which has personally helped him and his Chili Pepper bandmates. “It’s a very important organization, one that’s close to my heart, guys in my band, myself, we’ve all had issues with drugs and alcohol, it’s great,” he says. “And to have Ozzy as, I call it the drug addict of the year, so they’re gonna present him with the golden needle or whatever it is.”
Being able to play with Hart is one of those things that for Smith invigorates the Chilis. “I think it’s really important to play with different people,” he says. “It’s just fun to play with other musicians, keeps things fresh, especially when you’ve been in a band like we have for 30 years. Flea plays with other people, Josh does, I do.
And then when you come back it’s like you had a mistress and then you go back to your wife, not that I would know.”