As inconceivable as the concept of recording and releasing six albums in approximately six months may seem, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, who is in the middle of doing just that, says the incredulity is all his.
“It’s funny to me that I always have to answer this question about why did I record these albums?” Frusciante tells Billboard.com. “I’m a f***ing musician, why don’t more people record albums this quickly? It seems part of my wanting to do it and part of my disappointment that nobody even knows that I’m doing it, is that people don’t need to take the amount of time that they do between albums.”
When the Red Hot Chili Peppers began what was to be a six-month hiatus exactly a year ago, Frusciante spent his downtime going through solo material that had been written but not recorded from as far back as four years prior. After a well-deserved vacation, the New York-born, California-raised guitarist jumped headfirst into the studio and when he was finished last May, he had six albums recorded in a half-year’s time.
Beginning with “The Will to Death” released in June and culminating with “Curtains” due in January, Frusciante has been issuing albums in the order in which they were recorded via the independent Record Collection label. In listening to the material, there are discernable differences between the experimental solo Frusciante sounds (recorded mainly with Josh Klingoffer while Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez offered a helping hand) and the mainstream Red Hot Chili Peppers motif.
“In the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I’m thinking more as a guitar player and as backing vocalist,” says Frusciante. “And on my solo records, it is more about me as a lyricist and as a songwriter. Musically, in the Chili Peppers, we’re looking for more of what can happen when it is the energy of all of us in a room together.”
As for the next studio Chili Peppers project, which the band has almost completely written and is close to going into the studio for a proposed summer 2005 release date, Frusciante says he approaches each band album with a different guitar concept. Considering the Peppers’ impending touring commitments, the guitarist says his only solo show he has planned is an acoustic set at April’s All Tomorrow’s Parties event in England for his friend actor/director Vincent Gallo, who is curating the festival.
“I think by the time the Chili Peppers have another big break, I’d probably try to maybe put together a band and try to play a small tour or a big tour even,” says Frusciante. “But it’s hard to know until I’m actually at that point in time. It’s so far from now. I never really know what I’m going to feel like, I only know that I’ll record another solo record at the beginning of next year whenever the Chili Peppers record is done. Beyond that, only time can tell.”