This is from the IWY tour but has just been released (we’re pretty sure we’ve not heard it before).
AK Interview with Chuck and Randy:
This week Chuck and I are sitting here with Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony, thanks so much for being here today. It’s been about five years since Stadium Arcadium, and how important was it for you guys to take a much needed break?
AK: Wow. It well just was. I mean it was important but it just happened. Five years. You know it certainly wasn’t all break because we toured , I guess, for a year and a half with Stadium. And there was really a legitimate two year break and then for the last eighteen months we’ve been writing, rehearsing, recording and mixing. So the two year break was great; it allowed everything to shift and start over again.
Well, it sounds like you’ve accomplished one hell of a lot in your time off.
AK: It was great. I needed it, we wanted it. I think we earned it. I think it was great for everyone and it really allowed us to create something new. And it allowed all of the pieces to kind of find where it needed to be. It kind of gave John a chance to make his move and us a chance to find Josh and just be human beings without obligations and responsibilities when it came to the band which made it all that much more fun when we got back into the band and it didn’t feel like it had at the end of the last tour where it was more satisfying a commitment that we had made to finish touring. We started up again because we wanted to.
Anthony you became a dad. Congratulations. I understand that his name is Everly Bear. Did you name him after the Everly Brothers?
AK: Not literally, specifically or technically. But I did look at an Everly Brothers CD sitting on my coffee table and I loved the look of that word, and I loved the Everly Brothers a ton. I don’t know that vocal harmony gets that much better than they had it going on. And I love there songs. So yeah, I felt very comfortable giving my son that name even though he’s not named after them.
Yeah. I understand that you created a new TV series called ‘Spider and Son’. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
AK: It’s kinda been filed away for the time being. We worked on it for a couple of years and it didn’t pan out with HBO so now we’re kinda rethinking the whole deal. Really this is much more important to me, what I’m doing musically so it sits. It’s collecting dust.
The show- was it based on a relationship between you and your father?
AK: That’s right. It was based on my father son experience in the early 70s in Hollywood which was a magical time culturally in LA. And my dad just had a bunch of freakish friends and the Sunset Strip was kind of just coming to life and people’s experience with art and drugs and sex and energy was all pretty lively at that time, so we thought we had a good show, but HBO wasn’t so sure. So we’ll rethink it.
So becoming a father. Has it inspired you lyrically for the album?
AK: Umm. You know there was one inspiration after the next really. Being a broken down man at the end of the tour was its own kind of inspiration, like I didn’t know I could be that busted up and psychically kind of bent and just coming home to the beach and letting it all go was inspirational. Meeting my son, and spending time with him and having him sort of change my point of view about life was inspirational. John leaving was incredibly inspirational. Josh joining was wildly inspirational. You know, connecting with the ocean was inspirational. There was no shortage. Really, you know, the chemistry that we got to kind of reinvent with the band was a great ride.
I’ve gone through the album several times and I’ve listened to three of the different songs, ‘Factory of Faith’ seems like were torn looking for marriage or something, and then you have another song, ‘Even You Brutus’ and that seems like you are looking for great sex and then there’s ‘Meet Me In The Corner’ and it seems like there’s a lot of heartache involved with that song. Where are you at emotionally?
AK: Good point. I’m in all of those places. That’s the first time I’ve heard that particular comment on ‘Even You Brutus.’
Yes. In regard to John leaving the band, how did you feel about that? When did you know it was going to happen?
AK: Errr. You know, it depends on how intuitive you are. Those things can always go either way, but it felt great because it needed to happen and it’s hard to have the courage to make those things happen because it’s such a sensitive thing, but he did it in a very gentlemanly way when he did it. You know, he came and had a very calm and earnest conversation about him just wanting to do something else which was more than understandable all things considered. And it was a great relief because there was a certain amount of discord and tension that had built up from him not being where he wanted to be and kinda vice versa, so it was a very kind gesture and it just worked out remarkable well. I believe he’s happy doing what he’s doing. You know it did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves, and allowed us to have a new relationship and start from scratch. And it was time to start from scratch, and starting anywhere but from scratch would have been kinda a bummer; so we were forced to strip down and see who we were and go to work, which is a wonderful thing to have to do.
It seems to me that your new album, ‘I’m With You,’ it’s quite a departure from your previous three.
AK: I would hope so. I mean, I would feel a bit dissatisfied if it wasn’t. I think that’s kind of a part of the beauty of what happened is that we did get to mix colours with Josh, to do something new . Like you said, he’s got an element of avant garde, but he’s got an element of a lot of things, and I like those elements, and it’s kind of really fun to listen to Josh and see where he’s coming from and try to blend myself into that. You know, it makes for a new recipe.
So, this is the new grown up Chili Peppers?
AK: No, I wouldn’t call it the grown up. We’re always going to be growing and not necessarily up. Yeah, I mean we’ve got our sh*t a little more together than maybe we used to, but not so much so that it still doesn’t have a few rough edges. Work in progress.
I noticed you added a piano.
AK: That is very grown up. [Laughs]. Africa is also very grown up. You’ve got to be slightly grown to play African piano.
Would that be Flea playing the grand piano?
AK: He’s more of a upright, ragtime guy.
In the book, ‘Scar Tissue’, it says you’ve been sober since Christmas 2000. After more than ten years, do you find it difficult to stay away from it all?
AK: Yeah, well, temptation pops up and it fades so quickly. the other day I saw a video, the one I showed you yesterday, and these three beautiful, sexy, stylish girls are in a kitchen and they are all kind of sort of blowing smoke down each others throats, like getting ready to go out. And for a moment, I looked at it and I was like, that looks kind of sexy and fun but that doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried it about 18,000 times and it always ends up disastrously so I’ll just have to enjoy it vicariously and without the smoke being blown down the throat.
How come you never left LA? Well, you must really love this place! It seems like your lyrics basically are all about LA.
AK: Josh is the only band member born and raised in Los Angeles, and you know I guess he maybe he’s part of that garden, even though he’s the one most likely to leave Los Angeles some day. You know, I keep leaving but I haven’t really found anything that feels better. I feel very connected here. I love it.
I agree. Anthony, thanks a lot for being here with us and lots of luck with your new album. I know it’s going to do great. Thank you so much.