The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been extremely quiet since announcing the return of guitarist John Frusciante via an Instagram post on December 15th. But we recently spoke to drummer Chad Smith about his art and he couldn’t help but spill some news about their future plans.
“I was given strict orders for this interview: ‘Don’t talk about the band,’” he said. “But, yes, John is back in the band, and everyone knows that. We’re psyched. The festivals are the only shows booked. For now, we’ll mostly be concentrating on new songs and writing a new record. We’re all real excited to make new music.”
It seemed fairly obvious that the band would cut a new album with Frusciante, but prior to Smith’s comments fans knew of no plans beyond a handful of festival dates in May and June. It’s unclear if they plan on playing any sort of under-the-radar gigs prior to the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on May 15th. After all, they haven’t played a show with Frusciante since the end of the 2006–07 Stadium Arcadium tour.
That tour ended on August 26th, 2007, at the Leeds Festival in England. The set featured a cross-section of songs from their whole career, including “Can’t Stop,” “By the Way, “Give It Away” and “Dani California.” Like many shows from that era, it wrapped up with an epic jam. This one lasted 10 minutes and you can watch it right here.
Nobody knew at the time that they were watching a milestone gig in Red Hot Chili Peppers history. When the group came back two years later, Josh Klinghoffer was upgraded from touring guitarist-keyboardist to lead guitar player. They cut two albums with him (2011’s I’m With You and 2016’s The Getaway), but neither one generated a ton of fan excitement or hit singles. Expectations are very high for Frusciante’s return to the band this year, and hopefully he decides to stick around permanently this time. He has a bad habit of vanishing without a lot of notice.