The Watt from Pedro show, 25th January 2009

Mike Watt: Yeah, yeah. Did you ever hear about the Maggot Brain?

John Frusciante: George Clinton actually came to my house and I played it for him, the uh, that Before The Beginning and another song that has a sort of early Funkadelic influence. There’s nothing funk about the record, but mixing wise I’m real influenced by the sound of their first 3 records and that sort of haphazard style of mixing. So yeah, George Clinton’s kind of like told me about everything that he was doing when they were doing that track.

Mike Watt: Saying, like, your mother died.

John Frusciante: (Laughs) You should play it like your mother died, yeah.

John Frusciante: Did you ever hear the original version of that? It’s like…

Mike Watt: With the whole band?

John Frusciante: Yeah, it’s the whole band.

Mike Watt: It was done in the mix with mute buttons.

John Frusciante: Yeah he just mixed it like. I guess he made the people in the…you know, like the bass player was like, “You took away the groove of this song!” You know, but to me, it is Billy Bass’ groove and the drummer’s groove, you know. It’s like, uh, it was that way a lot on our record, cuz we’d do basic tracks with me playing rhythm guitar and some songs, like, that didn’t have drums, the basic that that…we didn’t use a click, it would be like, play to the groove of my guitar but we didn’t use my rhythm guitar on most things, you know, um….

Josh Klinghoffer: We replaced it with the stuff that had a lot less time. Like a tempo structure. Keyboards…

John Frusciante: Yeah, but still that’s the groove that’s running through everything. I like those kind of invisible connectors. A lot of people use a click track that way, but when it’s an actual human groove it really creates an unusual link between all the overdubs and stuff.

Mike Watt: Yeah. You know, you’re saying all this experiment in the real time, you know your first solo record, do you ever think about that when you do these things?

John Frusciante: Yeah.

Mike Watt: Cuz that was really, man, that record was really, that record was wild…

John Frusciante: Thanks, yeah, I did a 4-track thing when I was making this record that sounds exactly like it would’ve been on my first record. My head is at a pretty similar place. In a lot of ways I feel like, uh what I did on this record is very similar in a lot of ways to what I would have wanted to do then had I know how to use a studio because it’s a pretty psychedelic album, and that was were my head was at at that time and that’s a lot of what I was listening to. And I just tried to be that trippy on that 4-track, you know, with just like, guitar and voice and backwards, you know…

Mike Watt: Yeah.

John Frusciante: ..flipping the tape over and stuff like that. But um, but yeah, I feel like in a lot of ways I was trying to produce those same kind of uh effects on the psyche of the listener. Uh, with this is what I was doing then. And also, like, my state of mind when I made that stuff on my first record, I wasn’t imagining people ever hearing it. And even though when we started making this record I was thinking of it like a record eventually it just became something to play late at night in my living room to trip my head out and to try to mix in such a way that I would have fun listening to it over and over because I’m just going, “Woaw!” You know, and play it when my friends come over and stuff, just to trip people’s heads out, like, it’s not, I stopped…I’m sort of good at tricking myself that way I guess I started, I stopped really thinking about it as something that was going to be released…

Josh Klinghoffer: Yeah, we didn’t hurry at all, that’s why it took so long.

John Frusciante: Yeah, we weren’t in any kind of a hurry. It really ended up being done in that same kind of spirit as the first record, where I was making it and thinking, this is just for me and my friends.

Mike Watt: I love that record, man. Wow!

John Frusciante: Thanks.

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