WGRD 97.9 interview Josh about "The Getaway"
97.9 WGRD Johnnie Walker and Janna we’ve got a special guest on the phone because it’s a big day. Today is the release of the new Chili Peppers album and we got Josh on the phone. How are you doing man?
JOSH: I’m doing ok. Yourself?
JOHNNIE: We’re doing good! Tell us a little bit about the new album “The Getaway”
JOSH: Well, I guess it’s an album that sort of just took a little longer to make than anyone expected. So it went on a bit of a journey different to some of the records the band was made in the past or even the last one that the band made which was my first album with them. We started writing and as usual we wrote together and we all had ideas and we were kind of putting songs together and then we were about to start recording with a new producer for the first time. It would’ve been the first time that band work with a new producer in a long time and Flea broke his arm pretty badly… snowboarding. So we were sort of sidelines for nine months and when we picked back up he started right where we left off. But now we can add the scheduling of the recording was a little broken up for this joint because Brian, Danger Mouse Brian’s producer schedule. So yeah, it was a strange long journey to make this album.
JOHNNIE: So, what I read is that you had that initial batch of songs that you’d written and then you got with Danger Mouse producer and he said “Ok, we’re gonna put all those on the shelf and you’re going to start all over, write all the songs in the studio”. How did that go?
JOSH: It went well, I think. That’s just Brian’s production method. He sort of likes to join the band a kind of. He sort of just kind of comes in and wants to be a part of the writing process and really be with the songs that he’s produncing from the ground up. But we still worked on several of the songs that we had prior to his involvement. I think there is 13 songs on the album and I think we wound up using five or so songs that we worked on from the ground up with Brian. Is sort of the way he likes to produce, he likes to get in there from the beginning of the song. He produced songs that we had before his involvement but I think he really shines when he can hear, when he can see it from the beginning.
JOHNNIE: Around with Josh from Chili Peppers. What you will gonna do with the other songs that you had that didn’t get recorded for this album? You’ll gonna save them and maybe doing later or…
JOSH: That is an excellent question. If it were up to me we’d be in the studio now working on them or we would do it in our first available break which I think it’s in August, our first break from touring the first batches of shows that we are doing. But I don’t know, last time when we did the “I’m With You” record we sort of recorded everything we had or almost everything we had which wound up being about 50 songs and we hadn’t it really cleared, and decided what song should be on the album. So we wound up with this massive batch and I don’t know if that was a good thing or not, probably wasn’t. But instead we wanted realising another 17 songs as sort of seven singles after the record came out. That was what we did last time. This time we only recorded pretty much what we put on the record. So I don’t know what we will do. We certainly can save them later like they’re, you know, there’s great songs. There’s a lot of songs that we all still like so who knows what we’ll do. But if were up to me we would be working on them as soon as possible.
JANNA: We talked about how some of the songs you kind of worked on before and then you had some new ones when Danger Mouse came aboard. Where is Dark Necessities fall in there? Was that kind of a song that you had been working on or did it come to be brand new with Danger Mouse?
JOSH: That was one of the ones we did brand new with Brian. I have a hard time, calling him Danger Mouse because I know him for a long time… That was one that we did with him in the studio. I don’t even remember the moment it was born I feel like I arrived and he and Chad had been working on a drum pattern or something. To be honest I don’t remember exactly how it was born… was born out of a drum pattern and then Flea went on top of that with those piano chords for the other way around or if Flea went first like “I got this chord progression on the piano that I worked on, that I’ve been working on a couple days…” something like that. But I honestly can’t say which came first. All I knew that we had the beginning of the song and then I ran up and started putting the pond and that’s how a lot of the newer songs we workout with Brian happened. It would start with either a drumbeat that he worked on with Chad or a chord progression that either myself or Flea would bringing and then the others would paint around that. Dark was one that’s Flea brought in a chord progression on piano.
JOHNNIE: When you were in the studio with Danger Mouse and you were working on these songs with Brian, is it a jamming sort of situation or somebody put something down and you guys start laying different parts on top of it?
JOSH: Is more the latter that you said, it’s more part by part. The Chili Peppers have always been a band that’s very much focused around the musicians playing together, jamming and writing songs in that way, but to change it up at this time working with Brian helps facilitate that. That’s how he come to working, he likes piece and piece together more like a hip-hop track would be or something. Often songs would start with Chad on the drums. Even songs that we had prior to Brian’s involvement Chad would go out and get interesting drums sound or a drum heel and then we going on top. There are few songs on the record that are us playing together live which is how the band always work and how were still, until making the album I think we were all a litlle hesitant about not leaning on that method but Dark [Necessities] and the title track “The Getaway”, these songs were just kind, they were written piece by piece. One inspiring thing after another, which was very fun to do things that way but it’s just different for the band.
JOHNNIE: That is something that you’re going to keep trying to do or you will gonna try stick mostly with the jamming kind of the way you guys have done it for so long.
JOSH: I guess it really depends. I think having done in this way now brought about some results that people are very happy with, I think everyone had fun. I think the band will just do whatever wants to do when the moment presents itself and I think that there were times during the making of this record where I definitely missed playing with the other guys as much and I’ve been having a great time at rehearsal lately because it’s the first time we’ve actually played together in a long time. I think anything is possible, all these methods and anything you can employ to make a piece of music you like or that moves you is good. It’s also a matter of time these days, how much time people are able to devote, working on a song. Sometimes putting up the first thing that comes into your mind and let that beat the drum part and letting the song built around that. It’s a good way to go rather than kind of working out the chords for a while having the drums just sort of do what they do so later when it gets, you know, starts second-guessing everything. There is good things in all these methods.
JOHNNIE: This summer you guys have a ton of festivals that you’re playing including the big anniversary Lollapalloza show that you guys are headlining.
JOSH: Oh, an annyversary that’s right. 25, right?
JOHNNIE: Yeah, 25 years expanded to four days. Big show.
JOSH: Yeah! I never went to a Lollapalloza, back in the day the first one that I made to was, I want to say somewhere around 96 when I was in an office at a management company, the head of the office was one of the fouders of Lollapalloza. I finally made it to Lollapalloza but I never had made it down to one here which is a big regret of mine.
JOHNNIE: And now you are going back as one of the headliners.
JOSH: Yeah, we played there a couple years ago. It will be great to do this anniversary one.
JOHNNIE: Lots of bands when they get the album done they start touring, they know like “Ok, we’re setting aside like the next two years for touring on this album”. Do you guys have a plan for how many years you guys will gonna working on that?
JOSH: It’s usually something like that. I mean, as far as I know now the next year is booked solid. Exactly one year but then there’s caches of the globe that have not yet been included in any schedule I’ve seen. I would imagine that a year will multiply by at least one. I would imagine the next two years are pretty solidly spoken for. I think there’s a lot of time between some of these breaks to get up to something in the studio.
JOHNNIE: Get the rest of the songs recorded.
JANNA: I was so excited, I was was jumping in to say that I hope that you know maybe would make you to come to see us here in Grand Rapids, we would love to see you guys.
JOSH: We played there last time, which was great. It was my first time in Grand Rapids which is Anthony’s own town. I loved it there was a wonderful little shop, like a secondhand shop right behind the venue that I bought some pieces of art that I still have next to my desk.
JANNA: Very cool! You will have to stop by that shop if you’re ever back in town.
JOSH: Yeah, I will, hopefully.
JOHNNIE: Thank you for calling Josh, thanks for talking about the new album, the tour and everything.
JOSH: Absolutely, thank you for having me. I hope to see you in Grand Rapids very soon.
JOHNNIE: Yeah, hopefully you’ll be here soon. Thanks for calling.