Flea says Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill “shaped my approach to music profoundly”

The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist has looked back on his friendship with the late musician

Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Flea has looked back on his friendship with Andy Gill, saying that he “shaped my aesthetic and approach to music profoundly”.

The bassist teamed up with his RHCP bandmate John Frusciante on ‘The Problem Of Leisure’, a forthcoming tribute album to the late Gang Of Four musician (out May 14). Together the pair recorded a joint rendition of ‘Not Great Men’.

Speaking in a new interview with The Guardian, Flea recalled how Gang Of Four’s debut album ‘Entertainment’ (1979) – on which the aforementioned track features – had “opened my mind to everything”.

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Gill, who died last year aged 64, went on to produce the Chili’s self-titled first record (1984) – a process that was fraught with disagreements. Later, Gill accused the band of “ripping off” a Gang Of Four song.

Andy Gill
Andy Gill performing at the Kentish Town Forum to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album ‘Entertainment!’, on September 26, 2009. Credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Back in 2018, however, Gill reached out to Flea to contribute to ‘The Problem Of Leisure’ – which was initially intended to mark the 40th anniversary of ‘Entertainment!’.

“[We] talked about everything, about that remark and why it hurt my feelings – that we had our own thing, but were grateful for the influence he had on us. He said he hadn’t meant it like that,” Flea remembered.

“We talked about the arguments while recording our album and I apologised for anything I did that was offensive and he did, too. At the end, I was able to talk to him on the phone and say, ‘Andy, I love you’.”

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Flea added: “I’m so glad I was able to tell him that, and to mend the fence and re-establish a friendship with someone who shaped my aesthetic and approach to music profoundly.”

‘The Problem Of Leisure’ will also contain covers by the likes of IDLES, Warpaint, La RouxEverything Everything and Gary Numan, as well as a new version of ‘Natural’s Not In It’ by Tom Morello and Serj Tankian.

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