John Frusciante Reveals Why He Left Red Hot Chili Peppers


Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante‘s unreleased 2004 interview with Steven Rosen was recently unearthed just after his new haircut was revealed. Frusciante revealed why he had to leave the confines of RHCP to make solo material.

“I don’t write lyrics in the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I’m a songwriter. What I do in the Chili Peppers has more to do with putting little pieces together because I’m leaving a lot in the hands of three other people. What I consider myself to be above all else is a songwriter and this is why I write songs. In the Chili Peppers, I might write a whole song but it’s still just a guitar part. I’ve been writing lyrics since I was eleven years old and I’ve been getting better and better at it.”

Frusciante put out new music recently. He later discussed Anthony Kiedis, “His vocal answers my guitar part. The guitar always comes before the vocals in the Chili Peppers so when you hear the guitar and the vocals doing the same thing it’s usually because he’s singing along to my guitar. For instance on ‘Don’t Forget Me,’ my idea for the verse was to go back and forth between a real machine-like kind of sound to a real flowing sound. I go back and forth between the left-hand trills to the machine-like thing.

That song is an example of Flea playing the same bass line over and over for like a half-hour while I play different guitar parts over it. And those were probably just the first guitar parts I played. Then he stepped on his fuzz and I stepped on my wah-wah pedal and turned it to the trebliest position and that’s what the chorus. You should try to hear a live version of that song because on the record Rick [Rubin] made the harmonies much louder and turned the guitar down in the chorus. The idea for the chorus of that song is a really overdriven, heavy over the edge kinda thing.”

Flea revealed a disturbing John Frusciante remark a couple weeks ago. Fans on the John Frusciante Reddit recently wondered if he met Jeff Buckley before he died in 1997.

FootieFighter wrote, “John wasn’t really connected to the world at the time Jeff Buckley was alive and in the spotlight so it’s very unlikely they met. But I’ve always wondered what John thinks of Jeff’s music. I’ve never heard him comment on it but I think he likes it because Jeff has that same kind of intense emotion in his songs just like John and his guitar playing was awesome. Jeff could play beautiful songs on guitar but also heavy songs like Ethernal Life and fast songs like Vancouver with really interesting chord progressions and tunings.”

He added, “It’s hard to compare because Jeff left the world after 2 albums. It’s a bit of a mystery how his music would’ve evolved. But the direction he was going in with Songs For My Sweetheart The Drunk (which wasn’t even a finished product) was really interesting. It’s so sad that he’s gone. And because of him and others dying, I’m so thankful John is alive, happy and productive.”

The Reddit user concluded, “I forgot to mention that John did a Tim Buckley cover so there’s actually a pretty big connection there.”

You can listen to the interview with Ultimate-Guitar‘s Steven Rosen below.