By now, you’ve probably seen the cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ I’m With You, a minimal, macabre work by British artist Damien Hirst that’s a long way from the hyper-color, freak-out cover of The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, to say the very least (and, as any art major can probably tell you, sort of recalls Hirst’s own “Lullaby Spring” too).
Now that you’re familiar with the artwork that will adorn the album, you may be wondering about that title — after all, I’m With You is the first Chili Peppers effort since 1989’s Mother’s Milk not to take its name from a song on the album. So why did they decide to break from tradition this time out? Well, as they told MTV News last month (in an interview you’ll be seeing plenty more of in the very near future), it had everything to do with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and a single scooch.
“We thought of calling it a song title off the record, and when I mentioned that to [producer] Rick [Rubin], he said, ’That just makes it seem like we don’t have enough ideas,’ ” RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis said. “And I didn’t even stop to think of the fact that every one of our records is like that, and I don’t think ’shortage of ideas’ was ever our primary dilemma, considering the mountain range of scraps we left behind. So, as an experiment, I started making lists of titles, and all of them, in retrospect, were quite lame, and none of them really captured the spirit of this record, which we had all very much fallen in love with.
“And then Josh showed up one day, maybe a day before there was some sort of deadline for a title, and he wrote [’I’m With You’] on a piece of paper,” he continued, “And very subtly scooched it [in front of me], and I was like, ’What’s that?’ And we all kind of put our eyes on it at the same time and went: ’That is the title of our record.’ ”
Klinghoffer said the title came to him almost out of nowhere but that it seemed perfect — not just for the band’s new album, but for where they are at this point in their careers too.
“It seems pretty open, pretty apropos to where the band is, what the band’s doing, how the record wants to be related to, or related with,” he explained.
And, though it may not be the most traditional Chili Peppers title, I’m With You has already taken on new life as a de facto rallying cry for the band’s fans. And that’s an added bonus no one in the band could have ever predicted.
“It’s open, and there’s not really a negative connotation. It’s inviting. The first time I heard a non-one-of-us mention it, it gave me the best feeling you could imagine,” Kiedis said. “Unbeknownst to me, the news [of the album’s title] had hit the radio, and some kid came up to me and he shook my hand and he said, ’I’m with you!’ And I was like, ’Why are you saying that? Where did you hear that?’ He said, ’I’m with you!’ And then I realized that he must’ve heard it on the radio or something, and it was just a great feeling.”
What do you think of the album title? Let us know in the comments below