Near the end of the interview, the subject of John popped up, as this is the first TMV full-lenght studio album that he's not present on. To remind you: he guested on a song on each of the first two albums, then played guitar on almost all the songs on the next albums.
Have you stayed in touch with other frequent collaborators, such as John Frusciante?
Yeah, of course. He’s one of my closest friends.
You’ve definitely recorded some great material together on each other’s albums and other projects; is there any chance that might happen again?
Maybe in the future, but John’s in a different place right now. He’s in a place where he couldn’t care less about putting things out or about something being a product. He’s living by different standards right now with a different philosophy, so he doesn’t want to be a part of anything that he knows is going to end up being a product. A Mars Volta record definitely ends up being a product.
Well, when you’re as prolific in such a short amount of time I think you earn that right.
*Many thanks to Phil Ramirez for the heads-up.