After a decade in the band, Red Hot Chili Peppers asking Josh Klinghoffer to move aside for the return of John Frusciante must have been a bitter pill to swallow. Kilinghoffer bounced back with stints in Eddie Vedder's solo band (alongside Chad Smith) as well as Pearl Jam's touring lineup, but he's now weighed in with his thoughts on what RHCP did without him.
The multi-instrumentalist confirmed to Brazilian podcast 5 Notas (via Exclaim) that he'd heard both double albums Red Hot Chili Peppers released with John Frusciante in 2022, and he was underwhelmed.
"I had to listen to the new albums… because I was hearing little things about them," Klinghoffer admitted when asked if he'd heard Love Unlimted and Songs From The Dream Canteen.
By his own admission, Klinghoffer didn't finish listening to the latter. "I don't think I finished the second one," he said. "I was trying to cram it in once before leaving on a plane, and I got as far as maybe the ninth song, and I don't think I listened to the rest."
But by that point, he may well have heard enough.
"It's tough, only because I honestly think we were doing cooler music," he told 5 Notas, in reference to the new music he was working on with the band when he was asked to leave to make way for Frusciante's return. "I would love for it to have been finished. I never want to sound negative about anyone doing music," Klinghoffer added, "but I was shocked when I heard their new record."
Nevertheless, Klinghoffer is open to collaborating with his old (former?) friend Frusciante again, like they did in the early 00s.
"Many times I've envisioned one day, even if we don't talk much during the process, I feel like it would be fun to play some of those songs again," Klinghoffer hoped "Or play them live – we never played them live."
"We don't talk much these days," Klinghoffer admitted. "But I've always maintained that I still have an enormous love for him. He's one of my favourite musicians; one of my favourite writers. I'm not against the idea."
Hear Klinghoffer's comments about his former band for yourself in the video below – they come at around the 23-minute mark.