You would think, given everything that went into the making of I’m With You, that perhaps the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be content to ride off into the sunset. After all, their place in rock history is more than secure, and, really, at this point, why would they endure another hiatus or departure from the fold?
Then again, if you really think that, then perhaps you don’t know the Red Hot Chili Peppers. To them, calling it quits has never been an option , and, recharged by the addition of new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and their brand-new album, they’re raring to go another 28 years.
“I feel as excited or more excited about this period — from the writing to the recording to the playing to the anticipation of going on tour — as I’ve ever felt about anything that we’ve done, from the beginning,” RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis told MTV News. “Sitting here, doing these interviews, listening to Josh — I often just go into a daydream of playing these songs live. And it’s the same feeling I got in 1983, when I couldn’t sleep the night before a show, and if I did fall asleep, I’d have a surreal little dream about the show itself, and, you know, I still have that feeling about this record … it’s a good feeling.”
And really, that feeling is the key. Because unlike the thousands of bands that have risen, peaked and crumbled during the Peppers’ career, they’ve never faltered, even during their darkest hours (and there have been plenty of those). But ask them to explain their rather remarkable longevity, and they’ll chalk it all up to one basic feeling: love. It’s what’s pushed them to remarkable heights and pulled them back from the brink more times than they’d care to count. And with I’m With You, that love remains stronger than ever.
“There’s probably 1 billion keys, but love could be the strongest: love of what we do and each other,” Kiedis explained. “And just being fortunate enough to create a band that survives this long kind of generates its own sustainability.”
“And trusting yourself enough to be yourself and to take yourself as far as you can go,” bassist Flea added. “Not ever trying to do any kind of art to fit in to anything else and just being yourself. We’ve gone out of being real cool, not real cool a bunch of times. So believing in that love: That’s the key.”