This month, Red Hot Chili Peppers returned with Unlimited Love, their first album to feature the classic lineup of John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, Flea and Chad Smith since 2006. But the band already have plenty of material for a second album – and potentially beyond.
In a rare interview with John Frusciante, featured in the latest issue of Total Guitar, the returning guitar hero explained how the iconic LA funk-rock outfit ended up generating such an astonishing volume of songs.
“We went into the studio with about 45, and then a few songs got written while we were recording the basic tracks, or while we were in pre-production,” he reveals of the 48 total tracks recorded during the sessions.
“You know, I was ready to stop when we had like 20 – I felt like that was good enough. And there were actually three points during the writing process where I thought, ‘We've got enough songs; I'm gonna stop writing songs now.’ [Laughs]
“But one thing led to another and somebody or other kept encouraging me to keep bringing in more songs. So, before we knew it, we had way more songs than we'd ever written for a record before. And Anthony was writing over everything – I think there might have been only one song he didn’t write the lead vocal for.
“For Stadium Arcadium, we wrote 33 songs or something like that. So it was quite a bit more than we’d ever done before.”
At the time of the conversation, Frusciante was still heavily involved in mixing the rest of the material – some of which he describes as more overdub-heavy than the tracks found on Unlimited Love – but he’s certainly keen that it sees the light of day, even if any future album’s tracklisting remains TBC.
“I definitely feel like we saved a lot of some of the best stuff for the potential next album, so I'm excited about putting that into a shape,” he enthuses.
“We're still mixing the rest of it, so there is no concrete album. But we really love this stuff, so we can’t help but think of it that way in our heads. But you know, I’m still working on it!”
Of course, any prospective release will be on the backburner for now, given the Chili Peppers are set to embark on an extensive world tour, beginning in Seville, Spain on June 4 and ending in Louisville, Kentucky on September 25.
Last week, the band gave a preview of what to expect in a pair of TV appearances and a secret show, which marked Frusciante’s first public live dates with the band since 2007 – and also saw the guitarist debut two new pedalboards.
To read the full Frusciante interview – his most in-depth guitar conversation since his reunion with the Red Hot Chili Peppers – pick up a copy of the latest issue of Total Guitar, available from Magazines Direct.