The Red Hot Chili Peppers' long-awaited double-album, Stadium Arcadium, hits stores Tuesday, and earlier this week they confirmed plans for a massive North American tour in support of the record. As such, things are understandably sunny in the Los Angeles group's camp.
But a little rain must fall on every band, even if the band is in rock's upper echelon.
On Tuesday, RCHP bassist Flea discovered that Stadium had leaked to the Internet (it actually began making the rounds on file-sharing networks over the weekend). But rather than get angry or attempt to get even, he just got sad.
"When I woke up this morning, I was confronted with the news that our record has been leaked to the Internet," he wrote in his latest "Fleamail" on the band's Web site. "Well, that's not very nice. If you download it now off one of those file-sharing sites, you will be getting a pale imitation of the record. It will be of ... poor sound quality ... and that will break my heart. It will break John Frusciante's heart. It will break Anthony Kiedis' heart. And it will break the heart of Chad Smith."
There's no word on whether the leak will also break the heart of producer Rick Rubin (see "Peppers Say Return To Sex Scene Yielded Different Magik"), but we'll just go ahead and assume he'd be bummed about it too.
Flea went on to plead with fans not to download the leaked version of the record. He said the sonic quality was something the band — Frusciante in particular — worked long and hard to perfect, and the thought of RHCP fans hearing something less than perfect, well, that "bums" him out too.
|MTV News: Red Hot Chili Peppers RAW|
Gideon Yago revisits the scene of 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik with Anthony Kiedis and Flea. Find out what's the same and what's very different in these RAW video clips, only on Overdrive
"We worked so hard, and so thoughtfully — all of us — for so long, to make this record sound as warm and full from top to bottom. We spent day and night for a year making sure every little sound was just right ... we did not leave a stone unturned in doing that work," he wrote. "For someone to take it and put it out there with this poor sound quality is a painful pill for us to swallow ... and I know that — as sensitive as John Frusciante is about sound — the idea of anyone getting and hearing this thing that way will devastate him."
It's not exactly groundbreaking news that Stadium Arcadium found its way onto the Net; just about every anticipated record — and, well, many that aren't — ends up on file-sharing services before its intended release date. Some, like Hawthorne Heights' If Only You Were Lonely, hit the Web a couple of months before its in-store date. In fact, by industry standards, the fact that Stadium made it this far without being leaked is something of a minor miracle.
But don't try to tell that to Flea, who, despite prepping for the band's upcoming headlining tour (see "Red Hot Chili Peppers Reveal Stadium Arcadium Tour Dates"), seems to have found time to stew over the leak.
"I think we are selling something really cool and we put all we had into it. Twenty-eight songs, two hours of the best that we can offer. And I think it is a fair deal for everyone," he wrote. "For people to just steal a poor-sound quality version of it for free because some a--hole stole it is sad to me. It is stealing from us and that is lame. Everyone has to live with their own conscience on that one. Let it be your guide."
For complete digital music coverage, check out the Digital Music Reports.