Red Hot Chili Peppers are, according to drummer Chad Smith, “almost done” recording their next album. It will be the first to feature guitarist John Frusciante since 2006’s ‘Stadium Arcadium’.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Smith said the band is “getting along great”, and that they are “really listening to each other in a new way”.
After a ten-year absence from the group, Frusciante re-joined in 2019, replacing Josh Klinghoffer. “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 appeared on the band’s studio albums ‘Mother’s Milk’, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, ‘Californication’, ‘By the Way’ and ‘Stadium Arcadium’, all released between 1989 and 2006.
Smith said the group aren’t focusing on trying to live up to the success of any of those albums. “All of our records are just real good snapshots of where we’re at [at] that time,” he said. “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. 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.”
Though he didn’t reveal a release date for the band’s 12th studio album, Smith said that the as-yet-unnamed release would drop before the Peppers undertake their massive global stadium tour in mid-2022.