Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante discussed being a ‘bad’ entertainer in his early days as a guitarist before transforming into one of the greatest guitarist of all time in a new Libération French Newspaper interview with Guillaume Gendron. Red Hot Chili Peppers just hired a Smashing Pumpkins producer for their new album.
What binds your heterogeneous solo work together is undoubtedly this unfiltered intimacy. On Maya , we hear the same musician as on Niandra LaDes ?
“When I was 18-19 (age at which he joined RHCP), I hoped to become an entertainer. But I was very bad at it! So I had to learn to present myself without any sort of filter or character. My means of expression have changed constantly, but the person I am – the one who lives through music – has remained constant.”
By turning to the machines, do you think you have destroyed for good the image of the “guitar hero” that weighed on you for a long time?
“I guess too many people took pictures of me on stage! Guitar is what I have always used to understand music, to come to a form of truth that I cannot touch otherwise. For the rest, all the attempts that I could have had to cultivate a posture, including that of the ‘guitar hero,’ failed miserably.
Coming back to the guitar, there are mental traps that conventional instruments can lead you into, which I became aware of as a teenager: imagining that a riff is good because it is difficult to play, which ‘a vibrato necessarily brings feeling… So I have always tried to learn melodies generated by machines on my guitar, relying on the style of ‘anti-heroes’ guitarists. That said, the guitar has its limits. And when it comes to creating sounds, [two synthesizers].” John recently discussed the pandemic forcing an RHCP hiatus.