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Chili Pepper guitarist two-timing
Wednesday, August 14, 2002

By KIERAN GRANT -- Toronto Sun
The Red Hot Chili Peppers may be into yet another victory lap in the wake of their latest hit album By The Way.

But guitarist John Frusciante's work won't be done until he finishes the album's "spiritual companion piece" -- namely, a solo project he began work on at the same time.

"It still doesn't feel like the cycle is complete yet," Frusciante is saying during the Chili Peppers' recent visit to promote By The Way.


"My energies were equally distributed between By The Way and this other album which isn't recorded yet. A lot of them were written at the same time. Both projects represented two sides of that period of time equally."

Unlike Frusciante's three previous solo albums, including last year's To Record Only Water For Ten Days, the new disc will be recorded in a "real studio with real engineers" instead of at home. It'll also be issued under a band name.

"We haven't figured out what yet," he says. "It's actually a collaboration between me and a friend of mine named Josh Klinghoffer, who's 22 years old. Most of the songs are things that I wrote on my own, but with what he gives to the songs as a drummer and a singer, it's the same as if we wrote the songs together.

"My last record, To Record Only Water, was sort of mechanical. This record is going to be very human. It'll be a good blend of warm human sounds and really cold electronic sounds, each captured by two separate engineers -- one to engineer the electronic things, and the other to do the live recording."

Frusciante has frequently been cited as an integral component in the Chili Peppers. Having replaced original guitarist Hillel Slovak, who died of a heroin overdose in 1988, he was present for the L.A. band's commercial breakthrough Mother's Milk in 1989, and the 1991 smash BloodSugarSexMagic. He quit the band in 1992, apparently sending them into a creative drought while he himself spun out in a drug haze -- but cleaned up and rejoined for 1999's Californication.

Frusciante only takes credit for revitalizing the Chili Peppers in that "it's the result of chemistry, the combination of us playing together. I play a certain way in this band that I can't repeat outside of it."

Still, a seemingly boundless creative drive has spurred him to find different outlets outside of the group, with remarkably different musical results.

"In the Chili Peppers, those guys only want to rehearse three or four hours a day at the most," he says. "I have a lot more energy than that. When we were making By The Way, I would wake up in the morning, do my yoga, practise guitar by playing along with records and learning things from them, getting ideas for songs.

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