"Artistic expression is always a matter of giving, not taking, or selling" says guitarist
Frusciante surprised fans with the new music, which includes a collaboration with Omar Rodríguez-López of At The Drive-In/The Mars Volta, yesterday (November 24). There are 18 tracks available in total including 8 electronic tracks recorded between 2009-2011.
The guitarist also published a letter explaining why he decided to share his music this way. “Giving people music for free online being so common these days is a good reminder that artistic expression is always a matter of giving, not taking, or selling,” he writes. “Selling is the making money part, and artistic expression, creation, is the giving part. They are distinct from one another, and it is my conviction that music should always be made because one loves music, regardless of whether one plans on selling it or not.”
Offering his music for free follows Frusciante’s claims earlier this year that he had stopped making music for other people and was instead recording with “no intention of releasing” the end product.
Frusciante released an eight-track acid-house record under the name Trickfinger in April. Frusciante, who twice served as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (1988-1992 and 1998-2009), recently told Electronic Beats that he never intended to release the LP and is more concerned with the creative part of the process.
“For the last year and a half, I made the decision to stop making music for anybody and with no intention of releasing it, which is what I was doing between 2008 and 2012,” Frusciante said in the interview. “I felt that if I took the public into consideration at all, I wasn’t going to grow and I wasn’t going to learn. Being an electronic musician meant I had to woodshed for a while, so I have a good few years’ worth of material from that period that’s never been released.”
Describing the new material he’s been working on in private, Frusciante added: “Recently I’ve been making really abstract music out of samples. I don’t have any preconceived idea of what I’m going to do going into it, I just let the samples guide me, and gradually add in synthesisers and drum machines to it to round it out.”
He continued to Electronic Beats: “At this point I have no audience. I make tracks and I don’t finish them or send them to anybody, and consequently I get to live with the music. The music becomes the atmosphere that I’m living in. I either make really beautiful music that comes from classical, or I make music where the tempo is moving the whole time, and there’s no melodic or rhythmic center. It’s just disorienting music that’s falling apart.”
Previously, Frusciante said of his acid house album: “I started being serious about following my dream to make electronic music, and to be my own engineer, five years ago. For the 10 years prior to that, I had been playing guitar along with a wide range of different types of programmed synthesizer and sample-based music, emulating what I heard as best as I could. I found that the languages machines forced programmers to think in had caused them to discover a new musical vocabulary.”