The Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ unexpected tour break to let frontman Anthony Kiedis undergo and recover from foot surgery may serve to expedite the group’s next album.
Drummer Chad Smith tells Billboard.com he, bassist Flea and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer got together in Los Angeles during the group’s time off the road — which pushed back the start of the North American leg of its world tour to promote 2011’s Grammy Award-nominated “I’m With You.”
“We just rehearsed and came up with some ideas and new song ideas and stuff and played together for two weeks, and it was really fun,” Smith reports. “It came out great — flowing and really natural and like we’ve been playing together a lot, which we have. We sent (Kiedis) CDs and he’s like, ‘I love this stuff! It sounds great. I love the new jams.’ That’s just good for everything; it’s good for morale, it’s good for the future. The future is bright.”
“Brendan’s Death Song”
So does that mean the next Chili Peppers album will appear in less than the five years between “I’m With You” and 2006’s “Stadium Arcadium,” or the four years between that and 2002’s “By The Way?” “I think so — I hope so, at least,” Smith says. “Normally in Chili Peppers world we never really had this much of a kind of break in a tour. Before, if we had a month off, we would never get together and write song ideas; we always wrote songs when it was time for an album cycle. But everyone just wanted to play. It was great; I came to town, ‘Hey guys, I’m gonna be here for two weeks. You want to get together and play?’ and everyone was like, ‘Yeah! Let’s play!’ So that bodes well for the future.”
That said, Smith expects the group to be on the road for most of the rest of this year. With Kiedis “on the mend,” the Chili Peppers hit the road again on March 29 in Tampa, Fla., before heading to Europe in June, with some U.S. make-up dates in August and in the fall. So a new album certainly isn’t likely until the end of 2013 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the Chili Peppers are also prepping for the release of a another single from “I’m With You” (“Brendan’s Death Song”) as well as the group’s April 14 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Smith says the group, which on that night will also include past drummers Jack Irons and Cliff Martinez, will perform at the ceremony as well as host a private party the night before the inductions. Guitarist John Frusciante, however, will not be attending.
“He didn’t feel comfortable coming, which we totally respect,” Smith says. “We asked him… He said, ‘I’m just not really comfortable with that, but good luck and thanks for inviting me.’ It was all good. He’s the kind of guy, I think, that once he’s finished with something he’s just on to the next phase of his life. The Chili Peppers are not really on his radar right now.”
But, Smith adds, that won’t dampen the celebration in Cleveland. “I’m very pleased about it,” he says. “Music’s not a competition. Yeah, you like to win Grammys and stuff, but (the Rock Hall) is different. It’s not like the flavor of the month or the flavor of the year; it’s for a long career we’ve been fortunate enough to have. I’m very humbled, because the people who are in there…it’s not a joke. It’s very cool. So we’re looking forward to it. It’ll be a fun thing. There’s no pressure, like, ‘Are we gonna win?,’ none of that s***. We can just go and have a good time and celebrate with our friends and our families and our fans.”