With just three live shows left on their mini-tour and a
year of bad breaks seemingly
behind them, Los Angeles punk-funkers the Red Hot Chili Peppers
are getting ready to
head into the studio to record their seventh studio album, band
Fine said Thursday.
"These are the only [tour] dates for now," Fine said. "The plan
is to get in the studio
before the end of the year and hopefully get the album out in a
timely fashion next year."
Fine said the group has been working on new material in Los Angeles. S
he would not
comment on the Peppers' choice of a producer for their album,
Records honcho Rick Rubin, a frequent collaborator, has been
mentioned as a
possibility. At the 1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert in New York
City, Rubin told
SonicNet Music News that he hoped to produce the next
Chili Peppers album.
The group has not released a new LP since 1995's
One Hot Minute, the only
album in the band's canon to feature departed guitarist
Although the Peppers recently completed a trio of West Coast dates,
they are preparing
for a second swing of intimate shows with thrash-rockers the
Deftones as their opening
act. The conclusion of the mini-tour will consist of stops at
Field of Dreams in Chico,
Calif., on Sept. 18, the Reno Livestock Center in Reno, Nev.,
on Sept. 19 and the
Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium in Stockton, Calif., on
The current string of shows, all at venues ranging in size from
3,000-5,000 seats, was
booked at more intimate venues than the arenas the band normally
These performances may be seen as a chance for drummer Chad Smith
Anthony Kiedis, who have each spent much of the past year
recovering from separate
motorcycle injuries, to get their live chops down before
entering the studio. They could
also give the two musicians and bassist Flea an opportunity
to get used to the return of
guitarist John Frusciante, who replaced former Jane's Addiction
Frusciante re-joined the band this year after a six-year
The mini-tour hit a few sound-related snags at its inaugural
date Sept. 4 at the Santa
Barbara County Bowl, in Santa Barbara, Calif., according to
that venue's general
manager, Sam Scranton. "It was a little raggedy, because
apparently, nobody told their
sound guy when the shows were," Scranton said. "It took a
few songs to dial it in. The
first song was really ragged, and the band apologized for it."
After getting past these snafus, the group played an 80-minute
hit-filled show of mostly
older material, Scranton said. The set included selections from
two of the biggest-selling
albums of the band's 15-year career -- 1989's Mother's Milk
(which featured the songs "Knock Me Down"
and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground") and 1991's
BloodSugarSexMagik (which featured "Give It Away" [RealAudio excerpt], "Under the Bridge" and "Breaking the Girl").
"It didn't feel like the way it would have [felt] if they were a
touring band," Scranton said of
the set, which he characterized as having an impromptu feeling.
"They were just doing
whatever they felt like. For Peppers fans, it was cool, because
they don't normally get to
see them in a venue this size. It definitely felt like a band
playing the dates for the fun of
it." The show was opened by Latin hip-hop/funk band Ozomatli.
Frusciante made his onstage return to the Peppers in June of this year
at a show for L.A.
pirate-radio station KBLT. That was followed by a club appearance
in Washington, D.C.,
and an event-closing surprise performance at the Tibetan Freedom
Concert, also in
Washington, two nights later.
Although the Peppers were tentatively planning to book a South
American tour for late
1998, it has been postponed to allow them to concentrate on
recording the new album,
according to Fine.