New interview with John on Noisey

There is a new interview with John on Noisey, the blog of the long-running Vice portal. He’s talking about hip-hop production, revealing some of his favourite examples that he has not spoken of before, explaining the Trickfinger name and much, much more.

You can read the whole thing at this address and here is an excerpt:

How did you start making electronic music?
About a year before I rejoined the Red Hot Chili Peppers I could see in my head that my style of songwriting and electronic instruments would work really well together, synthesizers and drum machines and stuff and breakbeats. It wasn’t until 2006 that I started to become aware of the instruments that a person like me could really sink their teeth into. So, you know, my discovery of all the old Roland instruments from the 80s, those are the kind of instruments that would appeal to somebody with my kind of mind.

What’s your favorite rap album of the last few years?
Oh I don’t like any, I don’t think.

What’s missing for you?
In the last twenty years, I’ve wished hip-hop had more samples. I love whenever RZA makes hip-hop. He’s my favorite producer. Dr. Dre’s first couple of Eminem albums were, for me, the most ambitious example of an artist trying to preserve the essence of hip-hop without employing the free use of samples. But in general I like older music. When something’s brand new you don’t know what it’s leading to, you only know what it’s coming from. I should point out I don’t make hip-hop because I love hip-hop any more than any other kind of music. I find that hip-hop is a really malleable form that absorbs any other style of music. With hip-hop it can be synth pop, it can be classical, it can be jazz. As long as the beat is hard, melodically the music can be anything.

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  • Jakob

    That is so true, what John says. I mean if the beat is there, it can be anything. So i get the temptation of making hip-hop beats because you can make it in so many ways. Make's me think about fleas statement in Fonky Monks (The video) "Being a red hot chilli pepper is about being free, not being tied down to anything, not trying to fit in into any mold or category". The mindset live's on i guess. Or maybe that's just my mind going wild right now 😉

  • coldcode

    I like how the interviewer doesn't really ask a lot of questions and just lets John speak.

  • Minna

    This referation in the article to the fact that how many times Frusciante's name is linked to the word god made me think something that has nothing to do directly with this interview. Some time ago I was thinking about this woman, whom Frusciante sued, and who was all over the news even in my country. I googled her name some time ago, because I thought about her back then alot and wished her well, for I felt really sorry for her. Doing that Google search made me cry.

    How many times God was linked to Frusciante's name according to this article in an Internet search? This woman on the other hand is portrayed for the rest of her life as a crazy drunk. This made me think that who really in our society is the crazy drunk? The one who don't have lawyers, money and power. You can roam around with a wine bottle in your hands and smoke dope, you can hurt people and hit them from all drections, you can make records that spit hurtful lines about people even when their gone as long as you have money and power, and thus people licking your ass. Who is seen as a God in our society?

    I believe that in true regret and in true apology, in facing what we really are and the ones we hurt, there is more godly in it than in all of the records this world carries.

    And if music is godly and not about the money, why not to give it away free then? Aren't the fruits of God for us all?

      • Minna

        I don’t want to say her name, but I mean the woman who he sued for approaching her wife and coming to his house or something. It happened at least couple years ago if I remember correctly.

        The thing just came to my mind because of the article and that Internet search the writer made on Frusciante’s name and mentioning how many times the word god was linked to it. It came to my mind because I made a Google search with the name of this woman some time ago, because I was wondering how she is doing, and that search had a similar, but reverse effect. That powerfull link isn’t godly but a crazy ass drunk woman. I realized that one opinion defines her for the rest of her life and probably shuts many doors. There it is on Google, for the rest of her life, page after page.

        That just made me think how it is power and position that ultimately determine the weight of our words and actions rather than what our words and actions really are. The emperor might have no clothes, but it doesn't matter, for he is the emperor, thus he must have clothes.

        I know, you can't say this, but I said it, because that is what I truly feel. It would be easy to hold that power up, because that might serve me more.

        • Someone

          And you know what this woman's words and actions really were? By your reasoning, being famous doesn't make you godly, and you are right. But not being famous isn't equivalent to being oppressed, what you assume without knowing what really happend. Or do you know it?

          • Minna

            I of course don’t know what was said and don’t claim to know. Now as you asked I looked into it and the lawsuit according to the press that published it, said something about Frusciante and his wife not being able to avoid her, for they are performing artists and as proof there was a letter in which according to Frusciante the woman was emotional, rambling and saying she is often drunk.

            What I mean in a larger sense is that like when he yelled to a fan “Put your f-king stupid sign down, for it made my guitar not to work” or something along those lines, pretty much none said that isn’t that a bit erratic and selfish, like they might have said to an average Joe. Many were “Oh, isn’t he sweet for apologizing and letting that guy play his guitar…”
            This is what I largely mean.

            I mean if I go to some place, the doors won’t open for me automatically, but for some they really do, no matter if they tell the door man to f-ck off. Instead of access denied, the door man gets sacked for bothering “the man”. But this is not the venue to have a philosophical discussion like this, which is understandable.

            And like stated I don’t know what happened, whether the reasons were right or wrong, but I am just saying that I felt sad for that person, because of her life being probably in some ways destroyed by this. I don’t think she deserved a life sentence at least based on the information the press released. I can say how horrible for John, so can’t I also say how horrible for her.

            It’s the media, it’s the power a name has, it’s all we, it’s a lot of things. But mostly it’s about what I feel and your can definitely disagree.

            • coldcode

              To be precise… in the article it is referred to as "guitar god" and not God, which is quite different. Also, John had lot of negative publicity also and most of it based on the actions he had chosen to take. But he also made a lot of good – in my perception a lot more good than bad. I don't care much about his personal life apart from how I'm always eager to hear his insights about life and making music which I find interesting. His music means a lot to millions of people and has changed his and his fans lives. So… it's kind of a sum game, you weigh the actions and the impact they had on other people's lives. Of course people are a lot of times blind to negative impacts leaders have, ergo dictators and distractors like famous people. So… I don't know anything about that woman and I know some things about John but I think he has a right to privacy and everybody chooses their own inner circle people. If that woman couldn't respect that, I'd sue her too. I highly respect the man for what I know and get from him. In the particular case, too bad for the woman but it seems it is her fault.

              • Minna

                I understood it as you, in the Internet people mean of course god as an idol and not God. But I think he also talked in the article about God of some kind in relation to music and Bach and so on.

                According to your logic doing records that thousands of people like, appreciate, love or buy somehow also determines the weight of your other actions. So if I made great paintings, gave money to charity or a lot of people feel good with my jokes, but I used my power to hurt you and your life got thus shattered, the fact I did all that good too, takes all the bad from what I did to you. It's a kind of sum game, you said. But I doubt you’d think that of a person who kills someone you love, even if the killer was e.g. an artist, who made records that made many feel good. I bet the girl who got abused by Gary Glitter or Jimmy Savile or one of the names in that British scandal, thinks that, "hey, it’s a sum game, Gary Glitter made great records (well, not really :D) and many feel good".

                That type of thinking is what I was actually criticizing. Power and position forgive a lot in people’s eyes, even if they aren’t conscious of it.

                • coldcode

                  Oh come on! It's also the quality of actions not just the quantity – that's your interpretation of my comment. And of course it's not that simple. But if you are a shitty person and do intentional harm to others than yeah, I don't care if you're also a great artist. I wouldn't want to support such person. I think (based on limited information and public image) John is a very decent guy who continues to grow and share and is nice to other people. Check out Ian9's commentary from… .

                  "Power and position forgive a lot in people’s eyes, even if they aren’t conscious of it."

                  I don't have to forgive John anything, but if he was just mean to somebody, it's a thing between the two to handle that. You live, you learn, hopefully.

                  I don't know what's your point in all this. I've known a couple of people who like to endlessly debate on pointless topics. In the end it is usually just a waste of everybodies time. I mean if you've got a strong case, bring it on. But don't hang on weak threads trying to prove your point.

                  • Joe k

                    Yeah I agree with you cold code. I think you're taking it way too much to extremes minna when there is no comparison to what you're talking about with killing someone and Gary glitter and so on. It's not even remotely the same thing. And yeah the stalker woman deserved what she got. She was obviously asked to stop and refused to respect someone's privacy. And I highly doubt her life was ruined because of it because I don't see shit on the internet about this case or describing her or anything. I think you're mistaken saying this "trial" was made into a big deal ANYWHERE.
                    But anyway like coldcase said this topic is a pointless waste of time. The interview was very enjoyable!

            • abcd

              Who says you can't say how horrible for her or feel sad that it happened to her? I doubt anyone here would disagree with that statement.

              It's just a sad story all around. But in the story of that particular case the woman is the only person responsible for what happened, and now she has to live with the consequences. I highly doubt JF himself was eager to get that story out into the media world, that's just what happens to him because he is famous.

              Everything he does or what happens to him is newsworthy. And as for sueing her, I doubt he chose to go down that path because of one random encounter he had with her, it was most likely something that he couldn't get out his mind because she frequently showed up and acted inappropriately.

              I also don't think her life is destroyed by this, it is probably a good experience to learn from for her in terms of what is okay to do around strangers and what isn't. She probably won't become president of the united states after something like this, but I think if she learns how to explain her mental situation in what happened during that period of her life if asked about it and if she truely learns from it she will always find people who help her and open doors for her life again that were closed because of that incident. Of course it probably hasn't made her life easier, but that's just how life is. If you fuck up you better learn from it or life gets hard real fast.

              • Minna

                But as it often happens, things get from our hand and that is truly sad. In that I agree with you completely. We might think that we’ll just give a lesson or we just want a bit of that feeling of power to hide something shattering and woundable inside of us, but alongside a lot of things get broken, even it wasn’t our first plan or we didn’t think it, because we were just thinking our own feelings.

                Like some kids, who bully some lonely kid in school, decide to write something mean to the Internet of her/him, to have power (behind them). This power is: Look, everyone can see it! Look, we can see you, but you can’t see us, Look, we wrote it and you can’t wipe it off. But then from somewhere, sometime, comes this silent companion, looking things from aside, named guilt and regret, and suddenly the world looks different. The kids want to wipe it off now, but they can’t. They can’t, even if they wanted to. They wanted to play god, but now know they aren't.

                So when you write your anger into the world, don’t write it too high. That’s also the reason I will on my part end this discussion here. Thanks for everyone who took part. 🙂

                • Minna

                  Fronted by solitude without decadence or a…
                  Single material thing to prostitute and elevate you to a spiritual plane
                  Where I felt the presence of God
                  No, there's the God they taught me about at school
                  Where's the God that's hidden… by what surrounds us in this civilisation?
                  That's the God I met.

                • VladtheImpala

                  Minna, you are projecting your own issues onto this incident. Please stop. You don't know any more about what happened than the rest of us do. You're also being extremely dramatic right now and making these grandiose assumptions that try to summarize the entire world in a neat little package.

                  Frusciante is indeed God. As am I. As are you. As is every one of us. Not a big deal, really, when you learn to get over yourself.

                  • Minna

                    And similarly you are projecting your emotions (view of Frusciante or whatever) into me.

                    What on earth issues I am projecting to this incident…? You know, tell me.

                    • Minna

                      And what is your last paragraph but a grandiose assumption that tries to summarize the entire world in a neat package…? 😀

                      I also realize that you all are starting to be a bit dramatic 😀 about me just blurting out one slightly critical thought about power and where it can unwillingly lead. So why don't we all stop. 😀

                    • VladTheImpala

                      Yikes! The fact that many people have objected to your behavior in these comments is evidence that what you're doing isn't merely expressing a slightly critical thought about power, but you're psychoanalyzing John Frusciante in an extremely irresponsible manner without any evidence (just your own projections about people's intentions). You're being presumptuous and destructive. And you try to rationalize your behavior and make excuses for it when you're called on it. Just give it up.

                      I'm not going to explain anything to you about the psychology of your own projections. You can deny it all you want, but your behavior speaks for itself – it's all there on the page.

              • trisha

                Wrong about the “guitar god”. Google “John Frusciante is God”, look at how many hits he gets. THEN replace his name with ANY other famous person. No one gets more hits with that term than him. Not Hendrix, not Bowie, not Lennon, not anybody.

                • Chris R

                  Huh? I tried all of them, they all got many more hits than "John Frusciante is God"

                • Nick

                  Use a search engine that doesn't use your search history to doctor its results and see what the result is. It doesn't matter if you clear all your history, cookies, etc, an engine like Google still gives you results based on previous searches. Don't ask me how, I have no idea, but that's how search engines work. That's why ads on youtube and the like seem to be so appropriate to yourself.

              • efgh

                None says these things to JF when he acts like a complete asshole and doesn't give a fuck about other people's rights

        • trish

          I do get your point, but I also think you're exaggerating a little here. Her story was "all over the news"? WHAT? And when I google her name I get ONE page of Google results, and that is it. It's not page after page after page, and you'd have to know her to find out about that incident.

          • Joe k

            Thank you Trisha! Exactly my point. Minna you're being wayyyy dramatic and exaggerated.

            • cynths

              Minna are you that girl who stalked John? Is that why you wont' tell us her name? Tell us, really. Otherwise go fuck yourself and leave JF, our god alone.

  • HypotheticalEditor

    Really liked the first part of the interview. But later on the direction it went was really bumming. I mean the interviewer got clearly advised that it's "inappropriate" to speak of the peppers. And that adds up quite easy because john now seams to be far beyond that state of years ago and (at least how I interpret) doesn't want to speak of something he concluded for himself (years ago!).
    Besides, the questions of the later part of the interview have nearly all been answered in some form or another in past interviews. Personally I want to read something new, something informative, not repetitive while reading an interview. Although it's clear that an interviewer can't possibly know everything the person he's interviewing has ever said in past interviews but a little research of the last interviews given by Frusciante could easily avoid asking questions that were answered about 200-times before [How do journalists prepare for an interview anyway?]. Are there really still that many people that want to hear for the dozenth time what Frusciante found frustrating about the peppers or what was the point why he left "the band"? Isn't it more interesting to get to know about what hes been up to now, what are his (musical) plans/goals for the near future? I don't mean that as a personal/subjective opinion but from the view of an hypothetic editor. Wouldn't it be more fertile for a magazine/website/etc. to actually bring up something new instead of asking/writing something that has already been written tons of times?
    [As said before this refers only to the later part of the interview where the trite topic RHCP starts. Strictly speaking one could also adapt that to how he came to work with Black Knights but let's just be generous at least once in this comment … ^^
    Additional: No, I'm not looking for "beef" and I'm not hating … just my two cents]

  • kyle

    For all his bullshit, Kanye West's past two albums have taken sampling to a whole new level. I get John was probably just making a point about rap in general, but praise must be given to Yeezus 😉

  • Iva

    I don't like getting involved in anon comment rants, but I have to.

    The woman's story was not pushed to the media by John himself. The paparazzi/gossip site TMZ got hold of the news through their sources and just…went with it. The whole idea of somebody working for the court selling writings on legal disputes to anybody is scarier than the incident itself. It's primarily they who don't care if somebody's life is ruined.

    Why are we discussing this woman anyway? Why vent your personal frustrations and then claiming you're not allowed free speech on here? The woman was not covered on this website *because* we did not want to contribute to ruining a person's life, and almost three years later, there is suddenly a random discussion about her.

    At the same time, calling John super-polite, decent et cetera does not make sense either – nobody is universally kind to everybody. He's probably horrible to some folks, as we all are. Neither extreme is good.

    • Luca

      I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU GOT WITH THIS WOMAN?! Please explain to me what shit is going on… making me crazy

      • Nick

        I will say that the original point is kind of valid, and that is famous people can get away with doing some horrible things and still be, for lack of a better word, 'worshiped'.
        Still, the lengthy conversation is pretty unnecessary.

    • Minna

      Claim you are not allowed for free speech? Where did I say that…? 😀 And by the way I never claimed that the media thing was anyone’s conscious trick.

      I said that from the reference to Internet in the interview something came to my mind related to that Internet search, because the woman JUST HAD BEEN ON MY MIND and I felt really sorry for this woman, because the thing had such an effect. Clearly that was a mistake.

      The whole stalker thing just left a big mark on me, because maybe I am kind of naïve and thought that what if I’d approach him somewhere as a fan or write a fan letter and acted goofy or strange in his opinion or something and this what happened to her would happen to me. I don’t think I’d make it alive.

      And actually the news was discussed in the discussion forum and you among others with hindsight where then claiming that you knew all along that the person was “crazy”, like you as a warning had a habit of publishing other “crazies” fan letters that you had mistakenly received, because some people apparently mistook this as the official site. But making their personal letters PUBLIC didn’t seem to bother your morals…?

      None also forced anyone to answer. I tried to answer to all questions posed to me and explain my viewpoint. You asked, why we’re having this conversation, and here I am trying to explain the best I can.

      Many of those who answered also claimed things of me, like that I have personal frustrations, my contributions here are unnecessary, this is just endless debate for the sake of debate and so on, which is fine, but I can’t really understand, why does it bother so much if I state something of John, when I and others are free game.

      • Joe k

        Minna, if you have such problems with John and think he is a negative person who uses his power to his personal gain then why are you on this site and why are you researching anything that he is involved In such as the case you are discussing? Also if he should just give his music away because of his viewpoints on it how would anyone who makes music make a living or put food on the table? So you can't view music as a spiritual thing just because you make a living from it? Ridiculous

        • Minna

          What I get from his or someone else's music is something he did not put there, but that is in me. The love comes from me and is in me. I am in no gratitude for "artists" or as I like to say music makers, poetry makers and so on, personally, anymore than I am in gratitude for the person who made the road I walk.

          I also like alot music that was probably made just for money, or from very selfish "not so pure" and "godly" purposes, but I might still get alot from it, because the thing is in me. I (not you, which is fine) just find his statements about not making it for money and so on very hypocritical. I agree that money has too much power and it sadly turns everything into power positions. Like when I was a student living with couple hundreds a month, I couldn't buy records at all and hear the music I wanted to, because I didn't have that power.

          I understand your and others reactions, but the thing is I am not saying you can't like him or something. That love is in you, not in me. I love even myself at times despite that I make alot of mistakes. But on the other hand I don't want others to turn the blind eye to my mistakes, just because they don't want to see or are bought silent, because I want to see to learn to become better, to truly reach for "god" in me or whatever they call it. And even from this discussion I've learned something. And that is not ridiculous.

      • Iva

        You have quickly turned this into a personal attack and neither of your claims are true. But that does not metter. The point wasn't that you're a problem for having started this particular thread drift, but that we should not be discussing it in comments on an interview. I understand that you won't get the audience you want on the message board, but this is not the right place for what-ifs. This is an off-topic. So, please, stop. And stop manipulating people for your own pleasure.

        • Minna

          I agree that maybe I should have discussed it in the forum, but the thing is that this no agenda or personal attack looking for audience (which I doubt is very large), the thing just came to mind after reading that article thus I wrote it here, on a whim, as it came to my mind. I also think that you can't understand the thing that for some odd reason this woman is on my mind sometimes, like some of you think Frusciante. That's why you all are writing on a forum dedicated to him. And then when I wrote my true feelings (about this "enemy"), I realized that in some way it is normal to think Frusciante and defend him, but it's not normal to think a "nobody", let alone to think things from their perspective in relation to "somebody".

          I've mentioned Frusciante in couple points but other than that I've talked very generally about power, so in my opinion it didn't turn into personal attack, because it wasn't that to begin with, but it did turn into me starting defend my right for this feeling (which I still hold) and I should have hold myself back from answering, because I realized that at some point it turned into a social war game, where people gang up and don't anymore even talk directly to you. But what I wrote certainly was no more a personal attack than you accusing me of manipulating people for my own pleasure or anyone else trying to "insult" me to gain power in this discussion.

          I've read pretty horrendous things said of Frusciante and his wife here (mean comments about look and so on, I remember even you calling her previous lady with a very negative term used to insult someone's looks) but for some odd reason they go unnoticed. I don't really get why my single comment about me thinking that woman and BELIEVING that in other situation the thing might have been solved some other way, better way for all, got everyone so flamed. Really. The whole point was that when you are famous, things might happen very differently than they happen to me. When I am being "attacked", where are all people defending me against the personal attacks? If it would be John behind this statement, you all would be grooming me the best you can.

          Sorry for making your news thread into what it shouldn't be. It should be about nice interview, modern day Da Vinci, so humble and so on. I know the song, but I don't hear it.

  • Untitled #6

    John could mention someone besides Autechre and Venetian Snares once in a while! I suppose it wouldn't be like him to give us more than the breadcrumbs to dig deeper, though.

    By the way, the new Venetian Snares album: a little tamer, and a lot of orchestral string samples. Looks like they have both rubbed off on each other a bit.

    • untitled #6

      P.S. re: above

      don't you guys have anything better to do? there's a big wide world out there!

  • Errol

    The part about not liking any new rap album seems strange and presumptious. I see his point but there is are a lot of less mainstream albums that are exceptional, but maybe he is only speaking of the mainstream. Crazy how John keeps referencing worship and church etc. I wonder if his wife is influencing him. A good thing I think.

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