Red Hot Chili Peppers Pursued Bowie, Flood For "Californication"

The Red Hot Chili Peppers return to store shelves this week with "Californication," the band's seventh studio album and its first since 1995's "One Hot Minute."

Prior to hitting the studio, the bandmembers felt a rush of inspiration when they reunited with former guitarist John Frusciante, who departed following the release of the Chili Peppers' 1992 album "Blood Sugar Sex Magik."

Fans will be happy to see another familiar name in the LP's liner notes: that of Rick Rubin, the band's longtime producer. Yet Rubin wasn't the Chili Peppers' first choice... not even close. Frontman Anthony Kiedis and drummer Chad Smith recently told MTV News' Kurt Loder that they'd explored several other avenues before returning to Rubin.

"So we basically called about five other people, you know, from David Bowie to [Nine Inch Nails producer] Flood," Anthony Kiedis began. "And they all just pretty much said, 'That's

very nice of you to ask, but I think not.'"

"You called David Bowie?" Kurt Loder asked.

"Yeah, yeah," Kiedis replied.

"He's not even that busy," said Loder.

"According to the letter he wrote me, he's very busy," Kiedis insisted.

Loder said, "He's doing that video game thing--"

"He's got art stuff and online [stuff]," Chad Smith added.

"He's checking his e-mail twenty-four hours a day," Kiedis suggested.

"He's too busy," Smith said.

"But getting Rick, in the end, turned out to be, again, what we needed," Kiedis explained. "When he came around, he fell in love with it like

we had and actually ended up making it his life for two or three months." [RealVideo]

The first single off the new album is "Scar Tissue," [RealVideo] and its video premiered on MTV's "Total Request Live" on Monday. "Californication" hits stores on Tuesday.

For more of Kurt Loder's interview with Kiedis, Smith, Frusciante, and bassist Flea, be sure to check out the MTV Online Feature, "Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californication."