Alternative Nation: I couldn't find any information on Josh Klinghoffer: Who is he and what does he do?
Frusciante: He is 24, plays keyboard, guitar, bass, synthesizer, drums and he is really good at playing all these instruments. He was in an L.A. band called The Bicycle Thief which played some shows with the Chili Peppers on the US leg of the Californication tour. He's simply a very talented person and has been a very close friend for the past four years. He's one the very few people who I really like to spend a lot of time with. In many respects he's the person who is closest to me and with whom I can speak honestly about everything. His opinion is very important to me and I value it a lot.
Alternative Nation: Why did you go into a studio this time? So far you've recorded at home.
Frusciante: I've always wanted to go to into a studio to record my music, but up to now I hadn't been ready for it since my songwriting was still in a kind of build-up-phase. I knew which kind of songs I wanted to write, but had to a lot of focussing to do and I had to create a sense of closure. I went into the studio because my music took this direction, it sounded more human and I had to record it with people. I didn't simply want to program everything. I wanted a warm, human sound. It was to become more personal than everything I've ever done before. So far I've never had anyone like Josh, someone I could rely on to come up with his own parts. He's a drummer who finally feels just like me. Chad is a great drummer for the Chili Peppers, but as creative musicians we come from totally different directions. We do overlap in some areas, we both like Black Sabbath a lot or Van Halen, "but in general Chad beats the hell out of his drums, you know?" That's Chad's style, taking his drums apart. My favourite drummers are people like Steven Morrison of Joy Division, Budgie, Siouxie and the Banshees. People who play this drum in the foreground and the other in the background and who turn playing drums into an artistic event. Who turn their beat into a kind of collage. That is the kind of drummer who's interested in my songs. It's not enough if someone simply plays a beat to my songs. I need someone who interacts creatively with the music. Since Josh is also a guitarist he's made the beat a part of the guitar part and the vocal part as well.
Alternative Nation: And why did Chad play the drums on the album and not Josh?
Frusciante: Well, we asked Chat to play the drum parts because at that stage Josh had problems with the studio. Meanwhile he feels quite comfortable in the studio, but at that stage he'd never been in a large recording studio before. He was nervous and I as the producer was very tough, because it was my first time as producer in a large studio and my desire for perfection was too strong. So we thought about it and decided to ask Chad. He tried to play like Josh. He played softer and played the parts we showed him. He played like a studio musician, Josh taught him the drum parts and we explained him the songs. He learned them very quickly and everything worked out very well.
Alternative Nation: Chad played drums and Flea played some bass parts. Didn't Anthony feel somewhat left out?
Frusciante: I've got no idea. At least he never mentioned it. I think he knows that Josh and I worked really hard on the vocals. Anthony is rather a lead-singer, he's not a background singer and he doesn't play any instruments. I think if he felt left out it would have been rather silly. There were no parts he could have participated in. If I had needed someone with a really low singing voice, like a baritone, I would have asked him. I can't sing that low. Not many people know about his talent cause he doesn't do that very often with the Peppers. I thought that I needed such vocals on the album, but in the end I didn't need them after all, but I had initially asked him if he'd do it just in case. He said he'd do it. Maybe on another album. Flea and Chad helping was really nice of them and I like what they've added to the music. I think Anthony knows that they've participated, but that they aren't an integral part of this album. It's not that I rehearsed with Chad and Flea and that we wanted to form a new band. That would be different. But this is mine and Josh's thing and we just asked them for a little help.
Alternative Nation: Compared with "To Record Only Water For Ten Days" this album seems to cover a wider spectrum: There are folk-like songs, singer/songwriter songs and other tracks which are rock tracks while there are also more experimental songs. What was the initial reason to cover this range and to round it up to an entity of it's own? What was the impulse to cover this range on one album and to let it become a unity?
Frusciante: To find a style exciting I do simultaneously be excited about a different kind of music, one that has absolutely nothing to do with the other style. This is how my taste works. At the time when Josh and I were recording we were listening to a lot of cold music such as John Foxx's "Metamatic" album, but also John Biars or "Liege and Lief" by Fairport Convention. We were listening to Kraftwerk and Steeleye Span or the Beatles. And a lot of experimental, electronic music. All this perfectly balanced in my head. I listened to folk on my way to rehearsals and on my way back I listened to electronic stuff. So it makes sense that the music on my album displays a certain variety. I have to balance my music in the same way as the music I listen to. Yet at the same time I didn't want have too many different types of music in the album cause I wanted it to work out from beginning to end. When I get out an album it is because I remember a certain mood and I want to feel it. I wanted to make an album which you can listen all the way through and which pursues a certain emotion. I also need a certain emotional bandwidth and continuous emotions.