When MTV News sat down with legendary Los Angeles punk-funk icons the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Wednesday, they talked about a lot of things very confidently — their new video, fond memories of L.A.’s Forum , pygmy scientists and the state of music videos today. But the one thing they were clearly nervous about was the upcoming tour in support of their new album, I’m With You .
It’s not performance anxiety: that much you can tell from the loose vibe of the just-unveiled “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” video. The Chili Peppers have seen millions of faces over the past 28 years, and rocked them all (or at least 99.9 percent of them). No, it’s the challenge of playing the new songs from the album in front of their adoring fans without enough time to get them into fighting shape. Also, they’re planning to play the new album in its entirety, top to bottom, on tour.
Regarding his concerns about performing the songs, singer Anthony Kiedis said, “Not having enough days to practice. It’s very dynamic, so we really have to focus on letting each song exist unto itself with all of its beauty. There’s a lot going on.”How did Flea’s hour-long bass groove turn into “Rain Dance Maggie”?
The band wrote a lot of new material for their 10th studio album, and while Flea said the tunes that made the final cut are not necessarily better than those left on the floor, “it was important to us that each song stood on its own emotionally and aesthetically, that held its own spot,” he said. “So we really have a lot of territory to cover in terms of emotional [ground].”
Besides, the simple fact is they’re new songs and the group — including new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer — just don’t know them as well as classics like “Give It Away” and “Under the Bridge.”
They’ve done some of the requisite prep work, according to Kiedis, who said a string of three club shows before their recent Summer Sonic fest headlining set in Japan helped loosen up the muscles.“Maggie” director Marc Klasfeld explains how the “simple and iconic” video was made.
“It was so fun … it was wildly fun,” Kiedis said of the gigs. “We really didn’t know exactly what this would be like, a) because it’s been a long time and b) because we now play with Josh. We felt pretty good about everything that we had done in terms of writing and recording, but no one really knew and it was just as good as one could have ever dreamt of … It was like being 21 years old and not being able to sleep the night before a show.”
Check back on MTV.com for highlights from the Q&A, including the band discussing the early inspiration for their iconic videos, where they feel they belong in music history, whether Anthony Kiedis will ever join Twitter and more!