Josh Klinghoffer opens up about John Frusciante's return to the Chili Peppers

(Image credit: Jim Spellman / Getty)

As happy as we are about John Frusciante's return to the Red Hot Chili Peppers after ten years, let's spare a thought for Josh Klinghoffer. The guitarist toured and recorded two studio albums with the band during that decade and has now spoken candidly about his meeting with the band when the news was broken to him. 

During a recent appearance on the excellent WTF with Marc Maron podcast Klinghoffer reccounted the exchange and honestly, we can't help feeling for the guy… 

"I rode my bike over [to Flea's house]," he said. "They just said, ‘We’ll get right to it. We’ve decided to ask John to come back to the band.’ And I just sat there quiet for a second and I said, ‘I’m not surprised.’

"And the only thing I could think to say was, ‘I wish I could have done something with you guys, musically or creatively, that would have made this an absolute impossibility.'”

Nevertheless, the guitarist parted on good terms with the band, completed by drummer Chad Smith and vocalist Anthony Keidis. Indeed, as a fan he's happy for both parties. 

“It’s absolutely John’s place to be in that band,” Klinghoffer added. “So that’s why I’m happy for him, I’m happy that he’s back with them.

It’s absolutely John’s place to be in that band. So that’s why I’m happy for him, I’m happy that he’s back with them.

"If John coming back had happened five years ago, it would have been hard for me, temporally, to weigh against what they had.

"Now, after 10 years, two tours, and almost three albums of writing, I'm really proud of what I did with them. I feel like we did create something."

A bittersweet conclusion then. But Klinghoffer couldn't deny that at the core of the band's classic moments is a chemistry between two of its members; "John and Flea have a musical language," he noted. "I'll never be able to contend with the history him and John had."

In other Chili Peppers news, drummer Chad Smith recently revealed the band are working on new material with Frusciante as well as plotting festival appearances. 

"The festivals are the only shows booked," he told Rolling Stone earlier this month. "For now, we’ll mostly be concentrating on new songs and writing a new record. We’re all real excited to make new music.”

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.