Q&A: Anthony Kiedis

The Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman discusses a new festival and the state of his band

Kyle AndersonPosted May 19, 2008 12:35 PM

Did you run into any other major problems during the booking?
For some reason, this is the summer of bands getting married. I ran into that twice. I'm very keen on M.I.A., I think she's a rocking live performer. She wanted to play, she was very into it and it seemed like a great deal and suddenly she's getting married. Same with Hot Chip. They have a real groove; they write good songs and have an interesting personality. Except for the fact that they're getting married. Undone by matrimony, but not really undone.

Are you involved in other aspects of the festival besides the booking?
I definitely discovered along the way that I wanted to throw my two cents in to other aspects on how they ran the festival. There were several appealing points, one that it was actually in the streets. That reminded me of when I was a kid and we used to have the L.A. Street Scene, which was a phenomenal experience where I saw James Brown and the Minutemen and the Circle Jerks and all these really cool bands.

What's the status of the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
We're disbanded for the moment. We actually took a very long time to make the Stadium Arcadium record, because we wrote a lot of songs and then got way too married to them and decided we need it to be a double album. Which was a great experience, but it took forever. It was really a grueling, long haul and it followed two other very long hauls, Californication and By the Way. So we kind of started in 1999 with the writing and the recording of Californication and we didn't really stop until the tour ended last year. We were all emotionally and mentally zapped at the end of that run. Cooler heads prevailed and the discussion at the end of our last tour was, "Let's not do anything Red Hot Chili Peppers-related for a minimum of one year, and just live and breathe and eat and learn new things." I was about to have a brand new son. Flea is very inspired to re-up his musical direction and ability and skill and he wants to learn new stuff. John [Frusciante] has been firing away on his own, making different solo projects. And Chad [Smith] joined a jazz band and went to Japan. I'm just home, hanging out with this really cool little kid, learning how to surf. But I'm starting to get just a little bit of a tingle that it would be nice to start thinking about songs and pieces of music. But just pieces.

With a lot of your contemporaries like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails revising how they handle their business, do you see the Chili Peppers doing anything different with distribution when you get back together?
I don't spend that much time trying to figure out that puzzle. One of my friends is Rick Rubin and he lives around the corner from me. Every now and then I get into talks with him about what's happening in that world because he's much more involved and he's trying to figure it out. I'd rather put my energy towards music itself. It is interesting and it's wild to see it changing in our lifetime. I think there is always going to be inspired music and there are always going to be inspired listeners and there is always going to be an inspired method of getting it from A to B. I really don't know what it is and I really don't even care that much, but my mind is totally open to contemplating something completely different and new than as we knew it in the past. But I'm not worried about being the guy who invents the most unique and dynamic method of distributing music. I figure that's going to work itself out.


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