GW: You've been sort of castigating yourself here. But you've come such a long way - out of total addiction.
Frusciante: Yeah. Drugs are something that I wouldn't recommend to anybody. They don't solve your problems; the just delay you from having to work them out. I've had a lot of positive experiences from taking drugs, but unless that kind of activity is combiend with some sort of severe discipline, I think a person's taking a big risk.
There were numerous times that I could have died. I used to shoot cocaine to the point that I didn't get pleasure out of it until I came close to overdosing. That's when I really felt like it was really worth shooting it. Oftentimes I did overdose on cocaine. There was a guy I was living with at the time, and every couple of weeks one of us would OD on cocaine. We would have these experiences where I would star ODing on cocaine, and I would realize that I didn't have control of my body to get up - that my body was somehow heavy with this spiritual matter that had jumped into my body because it thought I was going to die. Some spiritual beings get pleasure from a person having the fear of death in them, so when somebody's about to die, they rush into their body. I told my friend, "Pick me up." He thought I was just being silly. He thought it was just my mental state that made me think I was too heavy to get up. He's a pretty strong guy, but when he grabbed hold of my hand and tried to pull me up, he couldn't do it. He fell on top of me.
Numerous times, the two of us were saved by what I figured out from beings of high intelligence whispering in my ear - techniques on how not to die from overdosing on cocaine. I just don't think a lot of people are going to have the same experience. I've seen a lot of people die from drugs, having no control whatsoever. And now I believe that the best kind of high is what you can get from doing things like meditation. Eating right, keeping active, mediating - nothing can be better for a person's music than this. That and always tring to hear a wide variety of music.
GW: Are you still doing Ashtanga [yoga]?
Frusciante: No. It was having bad effects on my back. Lately I've been so stressed out that I can't do any exercise. The whole time we were making this record, I was running and meditating. But even that's too much for me right now. I'm so stressed out with mixing the album doing press, videos, photo sessions... It's just nonstop lately. That really drains me.
Luckily the musical stress level has died down. I thought I was going to come up against a lot of resistance to what I was doing with the mixes. My vision for the album was to retain all the raw power of the band playing live in the studio but also to have additional guitars and sonic effects enhancing what was already there. But on the rough mixes it didn't really sound like that, so there was a lot of tension building, because some people though, Oh, John's going overdub crazy, or, He's turning it into a Beach Boys album.
The main problem was that we'd been listening to the band's basic tracks on a slave reel [ a multitrack tape containing a rough submix of the master tape and onto which overdubs are recorded that will be mixed in with the master recording at a later time]. It was transferred badly, so the mix sounded really dull, while the overdubs were much brighter. That was freaking people out. But when we synced up the overdubs on the slave reel to the original 24-track master eel, everything sounded awesome. It's not that the overdubs ended up being softer; it was that the band sounded so much burlier. So we all ended up loving the final mixes. There hasn't been a single intance of somebody not wanting to use something that I'd done. It all ended up serving the song well. So that was cool.