Red Hot Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante reveals his love of Genesis keyboard player Tony Banks: “I put him up there with the Beatles for coming up with imaginative chord progressions”

Tony Banks
(Image credit: Gina Wetzler/Redferns)

Today marks the release of Return Of The Dream Canteen, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ second album of 2022, and guitarist John Frusciante has suggested a couple of its tracks - specifically, Handful and The Drummer - have a surprising songwriting influence.

Both songs have more than a whiff of British prog luminaries Genesis, and Frusciante has confirmed to Guitar World that he’s a big fan, singling out one member in particular for lavish praise.

“I really love the band Genesis, their prog stuff, as well as their pop stuff,” he says. “And their keyboardist Tony Banks, I put him up there with the Beatles as far as really coming up with imaginative chord progressions all over the place. He's really one of the most masterful chordsmiths that I think we've ever had.”

“He makes these chord progressions that are so fluid, they're more like a melody than they are a chord progression. I definitely became really fluent in that style of progression during the time that I wasn't in the band.”

High praise indeed, and, given what Banks told MusicRadar in 2015, we suspect that the Fab Four comparison would be one that he’d welcome.

“The Beatles are the reason I’m in this business, I think,” the Genesis man revealed. “I bought all the albums from With The Beatles onwards. Rubber Soul and Revolver are just wonderful all the way through.”

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John Frusciante returned for his latest spell in the Chili Peppers in 2019, having previously left the band in 1992 and 2009. Some of his time away has been spent writing and recording electronic music, with releases under both his own name and his acid house alias Trackfinger. 

In 2020, Frusciante released Maya, an album dedicated to his dearly departed cat. This was inspired by ‘90s-style breakbeat, hardcore and jungle.

"I don't have that interest in singing or writing lyrics like I used to,” he said at the time. “The natural thing when I'm by myself now is to just make music like the stuff being released this year. I really love the back and forth with machines and the computer."

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. 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, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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