Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers Recording in Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La Studio

Red Hot Chili Peppers are recording or have been recording their studio follow-up to 2016’s Dark Necessities and the first album with John since 2006’s Stadium Arcadium in Rick Rubin’s famed Shangri-La Studio in Los Angeles.

Flea’s instagram story from two days ago features Chad Smith looking at an interesting arrangement of decorative lights. An user on Reddit has identified the lights as being a part of the interior of Rubin’s studio. This further implies that the band is indeed recording new material there, just like John himself confirmed in a couple of recent audio interviews.

Chad Smith in Rick Rubins Shangri-La studio, November 2020

So, that would be the proof for the “pic or it didn’t happen” crowd. Exciting times lie ahead for the recently reunited band. It is not yet clear how big of a rule Rubin plays in this albums production, in comparison to the other classic line-up RHCP albums that he worked on with the band.

For those unfamiliar with the studio, Showtime released a docuseries about it last July.

Rolling Stone have written an excellent review about it.


And most importantly, you get a singular clinic on the creative process, with Rubin acting as a sort of ringmaster and cheerleader during sessions for everyone from the Avett Brothers to ILoveMakonnen, SZA to Santana. Yes, the pearls of wisdom he drops can sometimes veer close to New Age hippie frippery. Yes, it is worth those eye-rolls to be a voyeur to Rubin giving life advice to Lil Yachty, trading old-school war stories with both Mike D. and Chuck D., getting Flea to open up about how the death of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak affected the band dynamic and watching Rick listen to the Ramones’ “stripped” version of End of the Century. We’d suffer a million bumper-sticker platitudes just to observe Ezra Koenig play a section of “This Life” and then deem his work “Shrek,” his shorthand for “this sounds like a Smash Mouth song.”

* Thanks to the Reddit user sofapinheiro who posted the still and dannyfrusciante who identified the studio.

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