Red Hot Chili Peppers made their return last week with the new single “Black Summer,” and not only was it their first new release since 2016’s The Getaway, but it’s the first following the return of guitarist John Frusciante. In an interview with NME, the band members explained the decision to reunite.
“It was going slowly and without a real definitive drive to it. It was just sort of meandering,” singer Anthony Kiedis said of their initial attempts at writing the new album. “And then both Flea and I had a zeitgeist of a feeling inside of ourselves independently which was: ‘It would be really nice to involve John somehow in this process.’ It had been a long time and he was making himself known in our circles again after having been in his very own circle.”
The last Chili Peppers album Frusciante played on was 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. The guitarist left the band in 2008 while they were on an indefinite hiatus, according to a statement he wrote the following year, which added that his musical interests had led him in a different direction. Therefore, upon his return this time around, he wondered whether or not he’d be able to able to properly contribute to a rock ‘n’ roll record.
“Flea had put the idea [of rejoining] in my head and I was sitting there with the guitar thinking that I hadn’t written any rock music in so long. Could I still do that?” Frusciante admitted.
Flea described parting ways with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who played with the band from 2009 until 2019, as “emotionally difficult.”
“But artistically, in terms of being able to speak the same language, it was easier working with John. Getting back into a room and starting to play and letting the thing unfold… was really exciting,” the bassist enthused.
Kiedis praised their creative process while working on Unlimited Love, and further added that this time, the members “really pushed each other in a positive way.”
The album will be out April 1, and the rockers will head out on tour later this year. See all of the dates here.