Anybody who’s seen Red Hot Chili Peppers live knows how much they put into a show: Anthony Kiedis jumps and leaps while rapping and singing, Flea stomps around as he plays slap bass, Chad Smith becomes a drum dynamo and Josh Klinghoffer leans into his funky guitar lines. The physicality of the show matters as much as the music itself.
So it isn’t surprising that each band member has a unique pre-show ritual to get in the right headspace. In new interviews, each of the musicians explained how he gets stage-ready as they tour Europe for the first run of dates in support of their new album, The Getaway.
Kiedis warms up his voice with exercises and he keeps it in shape with a special diet. “And then I have to run or stretch or do push-ups or wrestle Flea or something to get my blood flowing,” he says. “You can’t go from zero to 100 miles per hour without preparing.”
Flea gets gig-ready by playing for an hour and then running around the arena. “I meditate, I pray,” he adds. “I’m pretty intense about it.”
Smith has a much calmer attitude toward playing live. He likes to take his time getting to the venue, after which he checks out the crowd and the opening band. Then he plays his drums for a bit backstage. “I think the best way to perform is to be relaxed,” he says. “I want to be excited to play.” Hanging out is essential.
Finally, Klinghoffer – who also sings backup vocals – works on his voice and plays as much as possible throughout the day. He also likes to keep to minimize distractions. “I try to no longer entertain guests,” he says with a laugh. “That takes more out of me than playing three shows.”
Although the tour dates that Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced for 2016 so far focus primarily on Europe and Asia, they have a handful of North American gigs scheduled for Canada and a headlining slot at Lollapalooza planned for the summer.