Frusciante has posted a statement on his web site and his MySpace site saying that, “When I quit the band, over a year ago, we were on an indefinite hiatus. There was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding. They are supportive of my doing whatever makes me happy and that goes both ways.”
This is the second time Frusciante, who joined the Chili Peppers in 1988 to replace the late Hillel Slovak, has left the band. He first split in May of 1992 during a Japanese tour and just before the Chili Peppers’ headlining run on that year’s Lollapalooza tour. He came back to the band in 1998, following rehabilitation for heroin addiction.
The Chili Peppers camp has not commented on Frusciante’s departure, although sources say the group — which has started work on a followup to 2006’s “Stadium Arcadium” — has brought in Josh Klinghoffer, who toured with the band in 2007 and has worked with Beck, Gnarls Barkley, Perry Farrell, PJ Harvey, Tricky and others. He’s also recorded with Frusciante, including on the solo album “The Emyprean,” which came out in January. It’s not known if Klinghoffer is considered a permanent replacement or if he’ll perform with the Chili Peppers at the Jan. 20 MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony honoring Neil Young.
In the online message Frusciante — who’s released 10 solo albums — writes that, “To put it simply, my musical interests have led me in a different direction. Upon rejoining, and throughout my time in the band, I was very excited about exploring the musical possibilities inherent in a rock band, and doing so with those people in particular. A couple of years ago, I began to feel that same excitement again, but this time it was about making a different kind of music, alone, and being my own engineer.
“I really love the band and what we did. I understand and value that my work with them means a lot to many people, but I have to follow my interests. For me, art has never been something done out of a sense of duty. It is something I do because it is really fun, exciting, and interesting. Over the last 12 years, I have changed, as a person and artist, to such a degree that to do further work along the lines I did with the band would be to go against my own nature. There was no choice involved in this decision. I simply have to be what I am, and have to do what I must do.”
He closes with the salutation, “Sending love and gratitude to you all.”