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Anthony Kiedis on Rick Rubin: “I'll see people look at him like, ‘Shouldn't he be getting to work now?’”

Rick Rubin Anthony Kiedis
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

As well as discussing John Frusciante’s return to Red Hot Chili Peppers for new album Unlimited Love, the band’s frontman Anthony Kiedis has also been telling Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe about their relationship with producer Rick Rubin.

Rubin has produced multiple Chili Peppers albums, and is at the helm once again for Unlimited Love. 

“He is in a constant state of change,” says Kiedis of Rubin. “He's still Rick, he's always going to be Rick, but he is that guy who does not arrive somewhere and say, ‘Oh, I'll just be this guy for the rest of my life’. He arrives someplace, he digs in, he's that guy for a while. But then two years later, he's discovering something new about life, about himself, about how he can approach his job, which is his life, and he loves very much.”

Kiedis also spoke about what makes Rubin a master of his craft: “Not to over harp on the listening thing, but he is the end all of listeners,” he says. “And that is what has made him one of the greatest producers of all time in any genre of music - his ability to hear things. He listens, and he walks away, and he knows the drum pattern. I'm like, ‘how do you know that?’ He hears it all.”

There have been some who’ve struggled to understand Rubin’s production methods, and Kiedis admits that “sometimes it would appear like he's doing very little in the studio,” but he remains effusive in his praise.

“I'll see people look at him like, ‘Shouldn't he be getting to work now?’,” says Kiedis, before adding: “Oh, he's there. He's there.”

“Because he's going into a new place, an abstract place,” he continues, “a ‘what if we tried it completely different?’ And then we have to go, whoa, OK. Let's let go of everything that we had in mind, and try something that we could not have predicted or thought of ourselves.

“And then there's the day-to-day grind with him, which is quite lovely, because he is a presence and a very calming presence and I love him. He's such a good friend and not in the way that the rest of my friends are, but in his own special way.”

Unlimited Love is out now on Warner Records.  

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology.