For those who didn’t catch the interview, it’s now on YouTube:
What stopped the unstoppable Red Hot Chili Peppers? Anthony Kiedis rushed to hospital.
Anthony Kiedis: What people think about or assume about using, I couldn’t care less.
Our exclusive with rock’s ultimate survivors…
Presenter: “The Red Hot Chili Peppers are rock ‘n’ roll’s survivors despite their antics on stage and their wild and reckless behaviour off, they’re still together delivering hit albums and ground-breaking new music. Ozzie band member Flea puts their unlikely longevity down to mateship; they live to perform together and absolutely hate missing a show.”
Goes on to talk about them missing the Weenie Roast show because Anthony Kiedis fell ill
Anthony Kiedis: I was crushed that we had to cancel a show. And I can’t even think of a time where we’ve cancelled a show before because I don’t mind playing sick. . I’ve been very sick and played lots of shows. I’d rather play a sick show than no show at all but this was knocking me off my feet and I was white as a ghost, my whole gut section just kind of seized up and I was falling to my knees in pain and so I got taken by a friend to the hospital from the gig. I made it to the gig, I was going to play and then couldn’t do it but feeling better and feeling like maybe there was a reason for me to get sick so I can get stronger than I was before.
Voice over talking about the cancellation [shows a lot of news articles about it] and says people were asking what went wrong? Goes on to say they caught up with the band at a mansion in Malibu. Saying getting ready for a world tour and a the release of another album.
Next section is Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer; them joking about the fact that Josh can’t see anything because of his hair (Chad sweeps it over his face).
The Flea talks about his name: “My full name is Michael Peter Balzary and I love that name but I ended up being Flea so it doesn’t even matter. Like, I’m just going to be Flea for the rest of my life so there’s nothing I can do.” [Explains he got his name from Anthony because he was small and little and always jumping around.]
Voiceover explains that Flea is one of Australia’s red hot musical exports:
Flea: “I was born in Mount Waverley in Melbourne in 1962.”
Voiceover: One of best bassists in the world
Flea: “I left Australia when I was four in 1967 because my father went to work for the Australian consulate in New York but while we were there, my parents re-married. My father went back to Australia and my mother re-married a jazz musician who lived in his parents’ basement.”
Then talks about him playing trumpet but changing to bass when his friends in a rock band asked him to:
Flea: “Next thing I knew two weeks later I was onstage rocking out like a feral beast and I realised that was something for me that was so immediate and so intense and I had a much better chance of girls liking me when I did it.”
Presenter: Girls liked you more playing the guitar than the trumpet?
Flea: “Girls much more, especially back then, liked a guy in a rock band way better than like a jazz kid geek in a suit with a trumpet.”
Voice over: Talking about RHCP becoming one of the biggest bands in the world:
Anthony Kiedis: “When we did start playing music, it was not with an end goal in mind at all. It wasn’t for money, it wasn’t for fame. I never grew up with this dream of becoming a rock star.”
Swaps to photos and video clip of them at the start of RHCP. Flea talks about them doing what they want; what makes them happy. Anthony Kiedis talks about it being a gradual ascent- thankfully as overnight can be a burnout.
Presenter asks how they have longevity? Flea replies that it’s the friendship between him and Anthony; “This intense, loving, antagonist thing that we really don’t have any control over and it creates an energy all its own and it’s really the thing that it really kinda revolves around.”
Voice over introduces the fact that Flea and Anthony met at high school and that Hillel Slovak was also a founding member. From day one the Chili Peppers pushed their music and their bodies to the limits.
Anthony Kiedis: “At a pretty young age, I started hanging out with my Dad in adult way by going to clubs and seeing music and getting high and just hanging about with other adults.”
Presenter: But your drug experiences extending from there. Tell me a little about that.
Anthony Kiedis: “Heroin I stumbled into one time when I was 14. Interesting experience. I think my body was kind of built to tolerate that to a certain degree.”
Talk about losing Hillel Slovak being a dark time (‘Under the Bridge’ playing in the background).
Anthony Kiedis: “Certainly a dark time for sure.”
Voice over: Hillel Slovak died from a heroin overdose.
Flea: “Yeah, we lost Hillel and that was unbelievably sad. [Flea clearly very emotional] And er, there were times when, you know, I was really worried about Anthony and he was really strung out and stuff, but you know, he’s a survivor and, you know, we work through things.”
Presenter: Asks if they could have reached so many people without the pain the band’s been though?
Flea: “I don’t think that it’s possible to make good art without profound pain. For me I want to feel everything. I want to feel the joy, I want to feel the pain, I want to feel like the gruelling elements at work (?), I want to feel the fun and the joy and the laughter.”
[Live clip of Give It Away]
Flea: “ Playing for a 100 000 people and people all going crazy and feeling like we’re all throbbing as this one incredible macro-organism, like we’re all bees in the hive working for the same cause, that’s amazing but it’s also amazing to play a little club and have the whole place jumping.”
Chad Smith: “How much fun are we having? OMG it’s the greatest job in the world!”
The presenter then talks to Josh and Flea and asks how much fun it is to look out on an audience of 10 000, 50 000, a 100 000 people and see them having fun with you? Josh replies he never looks out
Josh Klinghoffer: “We had an unfortunate thing happen the other day where we had to cancel a show an hour before playing because there was an illness. And Chad, Flea and I went out to sort of tell everyone sadly we weren’t able to do the show. I saw not a single face. Coz I was actually looking out for the first time. Like sitting there looking which I never do and I thought it would be like nerve-racking to do that and I kept touching my heart and clapping but I couldn’t see a single face.”
Voiceover saying that playing live is the main thing for the band members and that’s why it was such a big thing to cancel the (KROQ Weenie Roast] show and a big deal to some in the media.
Presenter continues and says Loudwire.com basically had you dead.
Anthony Kiedis: “I don’t know. It must have been a slow news day.”
Presenter: Does it make you sad that people jump to conclusions that you’re using again or does it make you happy that fans care for you so much?
Anthony Kiedis: “I felt more care than anything else. You know I got a lot of messages in the mail and it just seemed like people did care. My friends called, people I hadn’t spoken to for years called, but what people assume or think about using, I couldn’t care less. It didn’t faze me at all. I happen to love being sober, I also loved being wasted at times. Being sober for me is a pleasure, I get a lot of joy out of it, it works for me. I get to surf, I get to hang out with my son, I get to play music, I get to be okay.”
Voiceover: For two years Anthony was in a serious relationship with Australian model Helena Vestergaard. They lived together in Los Angeles and split up just over a year ago.
Anthony Kiedis: “So you go through a relationship where you’re madly in love with somebody and things don’t work out much to your surprise because you want them to and you think they should because you’re all in and when they don’t, you kind of look back and you’re like what did I do with the last two years of my life? Maybe that was time lost. And then months pass and you start to heal a little bit and you go to write songs and you have all of this very imaginative poetry, you know, swimming around in your face that wants to come out in the form of songs. And that’s kinda what I got out of the deal.”
Voice over: Says that before Helena, Anthony dated Heather Christie and they have a son, Everly Bear.
Presenter: How has fatherhood changed you?
Anthony Kiedis: “Umm… I get up a lot earlier. Every day. Every day 6 a.m. That’s pretty early to get up on a consistent basis. Er, I’m way better at cooking breakfast than I ever used to be before. I get a best friend who’s more entertaining than I am every day. I guess it’s brought me back to a state of wonder and curiosity and contentment with the simple pleasures of life.”
Presenter: Is that one of the nicest things you’ve done?
Anthony Kiedis: “The nicest by a long shot. Nothing could compare to having a son.”
Voice over talking about Friendship of 40 years
Flea: “With Anthony and I, we’ve been through so much together. Often times we’ve been furious with each other and let down and frustrated and felt betrayed by each other. It’s take faith and it takes work and it takes sacrifice and we have to make ourselves vulnerable and hurt each other’s feelings and criticise each other in order for us to grow and to keep progressing as a band.”
Anthony Kiedis: “Where we are now. And I don’t see us as one of the biggest bands in the world. I just see us as a band. We like what we do. My boys are good and they’re hard-working and they never stop wanting to learn, evolve, learn something new. It’s still fun. You know, I still get excited to go to work. It just keeps getting better.”
Another segment on Chad Smith and his double Will Ferrell. [Video clips mostly from the TV show and first drum off they did together].