The Red Hot Chili Peppers' second comeback parade with John Frusciante made its way to the SiriusXM Garage this week and, as well as an interview for the Howard Stern show, the four-piece played classics Under The Bridge and Give It Away alongside These Are The Ways from new album Unlimited Love.
Stern also asked Anthony Kiedis about the genesis of Under The Bridge, and the singer explained it began as a poem until producer Rick Rubin encouraged him to work on it further. "The whole melody changed when John put guitar chords beneath it… it brought something to it that the song didn't have when it was just acapella," said Kiedis.
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Stern also asked Kiedis about new track These Are The Ways, with the vocalist describing Frusciante's arrangement as "different, it almost felt like a classical orchestra because it just kept crescendoing as the song went further and really all I had to do was fill in some lyrical blanks because John had suggested a lyrical melody and sort of an approach. And all I do is listen – my jobs is to listen to what they're playing and then go drive around in my car and then listen some more. Wait until some words start falling out of the sky and into their place and then write them down and kind of refine it a little bit.
"But it felt like planet earth and the United States Of America in general were going through a bit of an upheaval; a redefinition of sorts [and needed] a moment to take a look at ourselves and see who the hell we had become, and was that ok. So without being heavy-handed or taking either side, I was just like, let's take a look at ourselves right here. This is who we've become. And it's also got a bit of The Who in it. We channelled The Who a little bit."
In a new in-depth interview with Total Guitar magazine for its new issue, Frusciante gave his perspective on the song. “Before I wrote the music for These Are The Ways, I was playing along with Sparks’ album Propaganda,” says the guitarist. “I was just blown away by how seemingly simple but imaginative their chord progressions are. But once I brought it to the band, we turned it into this heavy-duty thing where the drums go from being like Keith Moon to Black Sabbath to Metallica. The end seems like a speed-metal thing to me. With the power of the band, it definitely turned into something else.”
The band ended their short session with Give It Away – "It does not get old and it's a song that has been fun to play 10,000 times without getting too boring," noted Kiedis.