While the Red Hot Chili Peppers slumbered, the band’s members have been keeping busy these last couple of years, what with drummer Chad Smith joining all-star group Chickenfoot, frontman Anthony Kiedis developing a series for HBO and bassist Flea enrolling at USC to study music theory. But things are about to change in Pepperland. Smith recently told Billboard the band would reconvene in the studio this fall, and Keidis and Flea confirm to Rolling Stone they are indeed ready to rock again.
“We’ve decided to write some songs,” Kiedis told us at a benefit for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, the Los Angeles school Flea founded. “We imposed a two-year hiatus, which we felt we needed, then we went back to the roundtable and the decision was, ‘Let’s do this.’ ”
There’s no timetable yet on a new album, their first since 2006’s double-platinum Stadium Arcadium, but Flea, for one, is anxious to get going. “After being kind of burnt at the end of our last tour, I feel major enthusiasm and vigor,” he said. “Not like a restlessness, but a really healthy excitement. I’m just into it and ready to go forward.” Offers Kiedis: “The seeds are being planted.”
Smith told Billboard that he and his bandmates “haven’t talked about” a potential producer, but joked that Rick Rubin, the guiding force behind the Chili’s last five albums, “always ends up being the guy.” Sure enough, Rubin made his presence known as a benefactor of the Conservatory and a guest at the August 15th fundraiser by wearing his trademark white T-shirt and jeans to the formal affair.