Chad Smith: “New RHCP Album Is Gonna Sound Like Us, But Different”

It’s been an interesting 12 month for funk rock veterans Red Hot Chili Peppers, from receiving death threats over inappropriate use of soccer jerseys, to facing controversy over miming at the Super Bowl, and fielding complaints over exposed nipples, but finally the band are in the studio.

“It’s only been a couple of months, so we’re just starting to write and get in the groove of things,” drummer Chad Smith tells Billboard. “This is my favorite time, being creative, coming up with ideas. You go there at 11 o’clock with something that wasn’t a piece of music, everyone collaborates on something, three hours later you’ve got something that’s a piece of music that wasn’t there before.”

The last we heard of a follow-up to 2011’s I’m With You — the band’s first album since the departure of longtime guitarist John Frusciante, who rejoined the group on 1999’s Californication — the band were set to hit the studio in September 2013 after concluding a tour in support of I’m With You.

Smith says it’s too early to see any patterns in the new music, but there will be novel sounds. “We’re always trying to change and grow and do new stuff. So we don’t make the record that we made three years ago, we’re gonna make something different. You never know what that is going to be.”

“And I’m already hearing stuff that I know people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, that’s something different that I haven’t heard them do before.’ It’s gonna sound like us, but it’s gonna be different,” added Smith. The drummer was one of two members to respond publicly after it was revealed in a Senate Intelligence Committee report that RHCP’s music was used to torture terror detainees.

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