The Red Hot Chili Peppers are finishing up their new record in Los Angeles. The band, at work with longtime producer Rick Rubin, are recording final vocal tracks.
"There's heavier stuff than the band's ever done, and there's also a lot of beautiful, soaring melodies," says guitarist John Frusciante, who cites "Only 18" as his favorite track. "I feel like everybody's taking their instrument to a new level."
The follow-up to 2002's By the Way has been a long time in the making, as the Chili Peppers -- Frusciante, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and singer Anthony Kiedis -- wrote and rehearsed for seven months before entering the studio.
"We worked really hard and focused in," Flea says. "I'm very in love with this record."
"There are also a lot of fucked-up aspects to it," Frusciante adds. "All kinds of flaws and dirt that I like to hear on records."
Flea and Frusciante took time away from recording to perform at a benefit for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music on Wednesday night. The Chili Peppers will take the stage together -- along with Weezer -- in Las Vegas on July 2nd to celebrate the city's 100th anniversary.
And, according to Flea, fans may have an extra incentive to head to Sin City: "We'll probably play some new stuff."
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies