According to drummer Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers are “almost done” recording their next album. Excitingly, the new LP is set to be the first to feature guitarist John Frusciante since 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. The band shared the news in a recent interview, in which Smith said the band were “getting along great”, and that they are “really listening to each other in a new way”.
Following a decade-long absence from the band, Frusciante re-joined Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2019, replacing the guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who joined the group back in 2010. “John’s been back for a while now,” Smith said, “So it feels completely natural. He’s so into it. He’s working so hard. We’re all working hard, but he’s in there with all the overdubs and the magic that he brings.”
Frusciante was a key part of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ sound in their heyday, appearing on studio albums such as Mother’s Milk, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Californication, By the Way, and Stadium Arcadium, all of which were released between 1989 and 2006.
During the interview, Smith said that the group aren’t attempting to emulate the success of those classic albums. Instead, they’re just trying to make something fresh and honest. “All of our records are just real good snapshots of where we’re at [at] that time,” he began. “You can’t really go, ‘Oh, gee, I hope it’s as good as…’ Then you’re starting to have preconceived notions about what you want to write.”
“Look, John hasn’t been in our group in ten years,” Smith continued. “That’s a long time. So of course it’s going to sound different, but it’s gonna sound like the four of us because we do have this special chemistry together. It sounds like Red Hot Chili Peppers, but it’s different and new, and to me that’s great… We really like it and we’re proud of it and it has to start there.”
While a solid release date is yet to be announced, Smith has said that the band’s forthcoming album will drop before the Peppers embark on their global stadium tour in mid-2022. The tour will see RHCP supported by the likes of The Strokes, HAIM, and St. Vincent.