Red Hot Chili Peppers

Chad Smith on RHCP’s recording process, future and John Frusciante

RHCP together in 2006In an interview for, Chad Smith talked about Red Hot Chili Peppers quite a lot. This probably is the only article where he spoke about the whole thing more than just saying they would be back in October.

CraveOnline: How are you gearing up mentally for the Chili Peppers to kick back into gear?
Chad Smith: It’s all good! I’m ready, it’s gonna be fun. We haven’t played in two years, so that’s the longest we’ve ever not played together.

CraveOnline: There’s been a lot of concern over that, since you’ve been gone for so long. And John (Frusciante, RHCP guitarist) made a couple comments a while back on how he’s got no intention of diving back in…
Chad Smith: Yeah, he wasn’t too anxious to get back & get going. But one way or another, we’ll get going.

CraveOnline: How do you reconcile all those personalities at this advanced stage in your careers?
Chad Smith: I just try to do what’s right for the music in whatever situation I’m in. I just feel like it’s always fun to play different stuff and keep shit fresh. I just have to play, man. I just can’t not do it. I’m fortunate that I’m able to find people as passionate as I am about playing music and keeping it fun. It’s important to be artistically fulfilling, but at the same time you gotta enjoy yourself, man. It has to be a fun thing.

CraveOnline: In terms of relating to or playing off the different guitarists you’ve worked with through the creative and recording process, is there a comparison to be made? Dave Navarro is a very different player than John, but your One Hot Minute album was so damn good.
Chad Smith: Dave is more of a reactive player.. or at least he was with us, where John will initiate a lot of the ideas, come in with parts and ideas and such. With Dave, if you presented him with an idea, then he could come up wiht all kinds of stuff. But he wasn’t a real instigator in that regard. And that’s not taking away at all from his abilities as a musician – people just work creatively in different ways.

CraveOnline: The Chili Peppers’ creative approach seems to be very improvisational.
Chad Smith: Right. The way that we were always used to was just jamming and improvising, and Dave’s not a real jamming and improvising kind of person. Some stuff came out of that, but Flea was more the catalyst in coming up with ideas on that one. But that’s the main thing with John – he’ll have guitar ideas at home that he’ll come in with. In all fairness to Dave, he was stepping into a circus, you know? We had our way that we worked, and I think he worked with Jane’s Addiction in another way where Perry (Farrel) and Eric (Avery) would come up with parts and then Dave would come up with his thing. Just different approaches, initially.

CraveOnline: It’s a shame we’ll never see those songs again though, because it’s such a fantastic record.
Chad Smith: Yeah. But John’s… John is John, and there’s nobody else like him. And Dave as well! We’ve just been fortunate to have played with such great musicians. The material just doesn’t find a common place presently.

To read the whole interview, where Smith also discussed his Meatbats, click here.