MusicRadar interview 2008/2009

Joe Bosso: A reader by the name of “Vivi” says: Four years ago you said that your lyrics were a big joke. Do you still feel the same way?

John Frusciante: I think that’s being taken out of a context like, like, um…I like to play games with my lyrics and make things that are sort of amusing to me…umm…to offset ideas with other ideas in ways that you never would in a normal everyday speech, you know? Ever since I started really having fun writing lyrics, it’s always been in a way to sort of put ideas together that seem in contrary to one another or to do things with words, like I said, that you’d never, there would be ways that you’d never be able to put them together in a everyday speech, but somehow the ideas are informed by the the quality of music that-that they’re joining with and just like in poetry where the meter sort of gives a meaning to the words, I think that even, it happens in a more powerful way when you’re writing lyrics, you know? And I think you should always be having fun when you’re doing things, so it’s like…they’re not ideas that make me LAUGH or that I think they’re silly or something (Mhm…). They’re just ideas that I find amusing and they trigger some sort of a echo in my, in my head that makes me feel good, you know? Ummm…

Joe Bosso: “dalgard” asks: How much you play in a particular day? Do you have any kind of a set process for your playing?

John Frusciante: You know, it’s always different. I mean, sometimes I’ll spend a lot of time with another instrument, besides the guitar; and that’ll have just as much dramatic of an effect on my guitar as if – as if, as if I was playing guitar. I remember the time we were doing that By The Way album, I was playing piano a lot and it really helped the way I saw chords on the neck of the guitar, just because chords make more sense with the sound of piano and you can get a bigger picture of ’em than on the guitar and then you can push yourself with doing certain types of stretches to incorporate the same types of intervals that are really easy to grab on a piano…you can apply those to the guitar, you know? It’s always different, but and-and also, sometimes it’s just good to be thinking about music is to be actually doing it, you know? Sometimes just sitting there, listening to music a lot, you can learn just as much as from playing. But, um, when I was a kid, I used to practice somewhere between, like, eight and fifteen hours a day… (Mhmm) and…and I’m not really any different now; whether it’s one instrument or the other, or whether it’s mixing, or whether it’s, like, messing around with the synth or something, it’s…I’m doing music – all day long, every day. And-and in the Chili Peppers I was always just…it would be an all-day thing for me, you know. It would be, like, waking up…if we were writing a record, I’d just wake up, you know, practice, go to the rehearsal, play for four hours, come back, eat dinner, play all night, listen to record. It’s just…it’s just all I do, I’m not, I’m not really too interested in doing just anything else, you know? (Hahaha).

Joe Bosso: I did an interview recently with Chad Smith who basically said that there was about a year or so before the Chili Peppers were going to be active again. Is that basically the plan?

John Frusciante: No, there’s no plan!

Joe Bosso: Okay.

John Frusciante: Yeah, there’s no plan.

Joe Bosso: So, you guys havin’…

John Frusciante: YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO STOP THE TAPE RECORDER!

Joe Bosso: Okay.

John Frusciante: The official…or…or you can leave it on and I can just say, the official, the official news is just that there’s no plans to do anything and we’re on a hiatus of an undefinite…of an indefinite length. (Mhm…) Yeah, there’s, there’s just absolutely no plans to do anything and, and uh, yeah, that’s it. Yeah, we worked really hard for ten years and, um, you know, there’s other things in life.

Joe Bosso: Well, I think your new record is fantastic, it’s really a great experience.

John Frusciante: Cool, man! Thanks so much for your support!

Joe Bosso: Absolutely! This is Joe Bosso, with MusicRadar, the place for music makers, and I’ve been speaking with John Frusciante. John, thank you very much for spending all the time with me here.

John Frusciante: Cool, man.

Joe Bosso: Alrighty, you take care?

John Frusciante: Cool, yeah, have a good night!

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