Inspired by the intimacy and high fidelity of The Old Grey Whistle Test on the BBC, Nigel Godrich created his in-the-studio concert series From the Basement based on a simple premise: "It's just about having friends and close associates you know and just creating a relaxed atmosphere conducive to making something cool," Godrich tells Rolling Stone. "Just showing what it can be." And when the Red Hot Chili Peppers (including Godrich's Atoms for Peace bandmate, Flea) dropped by for a recent Basement session, the vibe was especially warm and communal.
"Flea's a really good friend of mine," Godrich says, "and Josh (Klinghoffer) is a really good friend of mine as well, and obviously I know the other guys in the band just because I've hung out with them socially. But the whole thing was really so much fun. I've wanted to record Chad (Smith) for years, and just being able to do that was a massive treat for me."
In fact, the whole session was a treat, the producer says.
"Everybody sort of came to the party," Godrich says, "and I really appreciate them putting their faith in us. Anthony (Kiedis) was great – it was really a nice day. A lot of laughter, a lot of great vibes, and I really hope that comes across. We ended up doing the whole record, so it was kind of a cool little project. I think it sheds light on (I'm With You) in a different way."
The Red Hot Chili Peppers' episode of From the Basement will be available on all Crackle platforms in the U.S. on Thursday, December 20th. It can be seen now on 3net in the U.S. and in the U.K. on January 12th, 2013, at 10p.m. on Sky Arts 1 and Sky 3D.