Red Hot Chili Peppers: Flea on life after John Frusciante

Flea (left) discusses what Josh Klinghoffer (center) brings to the Chili Peppers
Flea (left) discusses what Josh Klinghoffer (center) brings to the Chili Peppers

The release of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' new album I'm With You is but a couple of weeks away. The long-awaited CD will give the world a true sense of what the band sounds like with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer filling the void left by the departure of John Frusciante, who quit the group in late 2009.

"Josh is a subtle, sublime and poetic musician," Flea told Guitar World. "He's not this guitar virtuoso/guitar hero guy. He's a real all-around musician.

"He plays drums and piano as well as guitar, so he gets a real big picture of the music and has a real intuitive sense of when something is serving the song or not. He puts chords together in a beautiful, unique, Josh kind of way. And he has a very warm, beautiful sound on the guitar."

Enthusiastic as he now sounds, the bassist wasn't always so hot on continuing as a band after Frusciante split. "Oh, I've considered pulling the plug a million times," Flea confided. "That's nothing new for me. Things get to be a bummer and I start going, 'Mmm, this is kind of a drag.' And I just couldn't imagine doing it without John.

"When he did up and leave, though, some time went by and I just started feeling this deep love for the band and wanted to continue it. Plus, I missed Anthony. So we got Josh."

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.