The guitarist John Frusciante with Red Hot Chili Peppers is a deadly combination. The band’s reunion with the guitarist for ‘Unlimited Love’ did not disappoint the fans. However, the journey has not been the smoothest as a young Frusciante had to struggle a lot. The 18-year-old Frusciante first joined the band in 1988 following the death of Hillel Slovak and helped usher in a new era. This led to the band reaching new heights of success.
The guitarist recently spoke about the struggles of initial days as part of the band. He told Guitar World in an interview published in the magazine’s latest issue (via Music Radar):
“The first year or so that I was in the band was definitely a struggle…I’ve got something to say that I think could probably be good for guitar players. I think that at the beginning of my time in the band, I had my mind too much on trying to impress people, and I wasn’t trusting myself enough.”
As is only expected of Frusciante’s age at the time and his status of a newcomer with some very big shoes to fill, Frusciante recalls being troubled with conflicting needs to imitate Slovak’s style while drawing attention to his own skill:
“I was feeling all these things — ‘I want to be unique,’ ‘I want to show off,’ ‘I want to stand out’ — and everything I was doing felt forced. I didn’t feel free and I didn’t feel like I was saying anything that I wanted to say. I didn’t feel like I was going deep in myself.
“I decided I was just going to use my guitar to try to support the other people in my band. So I simplified what I was doing. And at the same time, I was also putting a hundred times the amount of personal expression and soul into it than I had before.
“I thought I would play like Hillel, but flashier. After about nine months I realised the flashiness wasn’t impressing anyone, and there wasn’t really a place for it in the band chemistry.”