Red Hot Chili Peppers: Flea Talks About Moving on Without John Frusciante

The following is an excerpt from Guitar World's October 2011 cover story on the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Keep an eye out for the issue on newsstands, or purchase in issue in our online store here.

"Josh is a subtle, sublime and poetic musician," Flea says. "He’s not this guitar virtuoso/guitar hero guy. He’s a real all-around musician. He plays drums and piano as well as guitar, so he gets a real big picture of the music and has a real intuitive sense of when something is serving the song or not. He puts chords together in a beautiful, unique, Josh kind of way. At the same time he’s very rooted in traditional songwriting and the traditional way chords move. He really has his own take on it and pumps up the system. And he has a very warm, beautiful sound on the guitar."

But Flea wasn’t always so gung-ho for the new guy. If Kiedis is the band’s self-proclaimed "pathetic optimist," Flea tends to skew the other way. At first he didn’t want to continue the band without Frusciante.

"Oh, I’ve considered pulling the plug a million times," he confides. "That’s nothing new for me. Things get to be a bummer and I start going, ‘Mmm, this is kind of a drag.’ And I just couldn’t imagine doing it without John. When he did up and leave, though, some time went by and I just started feeling this deep love for the band and wanted to continue it. Plus, I missed Anthony. So we got Josh."

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In a career that spans five decades, Alan di Perna has written for pretty much every magazine in the world with the word “guitar” in its title, as well as other prestigious outlets such as Rolling Stone, Billboard, Creem, Player, Classic Rock, Musician, Future Music, Keyboard, grammy.com and reverb.com. He is author of Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits, Green Day: The Ultimate Unauthorized History and co-author of Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Sound Style and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. The latter became the inspiration for the Metropolitan Museum of Art/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll.” As a professional guitarist/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist, Alan has worked with recording artists Brianna Lea Pruett, Fawn Wood, Brenda McMorrow, Sat Kartar and Shox Lumania.