Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis recently recalled the band’s first meeting with Rick Rubin and also revealed how the producer ghosted the band for years after witnessing one of their rehearsals.
Anthony Kiedis opens up on Rick Rubin
However, Anthony Kiedis recently told Joe Rogan in a new interview that his band’s first meeting with Rubin took place long before the second Frusciante record – “Maybe 1985.” At the time Chilis were just starting to make serious waves within the music industry, and most of the band’s members were beginning to develop substance abuse problems. Kiedis began:
“I was basically a junkie, but still showing up to work from time to time, which was the basement of the EMI studios on Sunset Boulevard. They gave us a little basement to rehearse in.
“They had signed us, but we were going nowhere very slowly, couldn’t get out of our own way. But we were still making a buzz, there was still something exciting about us that caught people’s attention – and it caught Rick Rubin’s attention.”
As the singer noted, Rubin was working with the Beastie Boys at the time – “they were exploding with success and greatness,” Kiedis reminisces – and had decided to take the NYC rap-rock trailblazers to one of the Chili Peppers’ rehearsals:
“And so Rick brought the Beastie Boys to our dingy little rehearsal spot, and he sat there, and we rehearsed while they watched. They’re on these little dirty couches, watching us, and we went through our songs. And Rick stood up and said, ‘We’re gonna go now.’ I was like, ‘Okay, do we talk again? What’s going on?’ [Rubin said], ‘We’ll get back to you.’
“I didn’t see him for years. Years, and years, and years went by.”
According to Kiedis, Rubin got profoundly ghosted by the “dark” vibes the band radiated at the onset of their addiction that the producer refused to collaborate with them until they got clean:
“Eventually, I got clean, and he came back and said, ‘Let’s make a record.’ I said, ‘What happened that day? You came, and we played, and you disappeared, and we never talked to you again!’ He’s like, ‘I thought somebody was gonna get murdered in that rehearsal space. I thought somebody was gonna die. I had to leave.’
“That’s how dark we had become. That’s how dark I had become; he was afraid someone was going to die…He’s like, you guys. were terrifying. You were scary… We had to go.”
However, they had a polarizing effect with his work over the years and Rick Rubin had helped the Chilis create some of their most commercially successful albums to date. Their collaboration began on 1991’s “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” and included every subsequent RHCP album apart from 2016’s “The Getaway”.