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Josh Klinghoffer interview (Onet – Poland)

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INTERVIEWER: … about bringing some colours that weren’t in the band… to the band. What do you think you brought into the band?
JOSH: I don’t know, I mean, I have a different voice, so you know, just my voice singing with Anthony or my particular kind of songwriting, I guess. Maybe the way I hear chords or melody… different instruments, maybe using piano a little bit more, synthesizers… Just bring my own sort of personality into the band I suppose, which is what they want from someone who joins their band. They all have such strong personalities and at the same time they all have such a strong identity as a band. John, Hillel and Dave… anybody that played in the band before has their own personality so I just wanted to bring my own.

INTERVIEWER: On “I’m With You” people actually get to know you a little bit better. Was the recording of “The Getaway” easier or more difficult for you?
JOSH: It’s hard to say cause was easier in some ways and harder in a lot of other ways because they were recorded so differently. “The Getaway” was produced by Brian Burton, Danger Mouse Brian, who I’ve been good friends with for over 10 years. With Rick Rubin I didn’t really have a relationship with him when we made “I’m With You”. Making “I’m With You” was a great time, just a crazy thing to be doing for the first time with this band but then making this record, because it was done in a completely different way. We all were finding it difficult at times to just change the method that we’re so used to. Not recording all together all the time. For me, the nature of my instrument in this band I often would go last. Chad would put drums down and Flea would go in… I sort of had free reign to do anything I could thing of. Sometimes it was hard to know which direction was the right direction without vocals yet or with voices in the control room saying yes or no. That was difficult at times but still very fun. I would rather be doing that than anything else.

INTERVIEWER: On “The Getaway” I think your playing in particular is more hearble than on “I’m With You”. What was your approach to that record and it’s actally way funkier, I would say…
JOSH: The new one?
INTERVIEWER: Yeah
JOSH: Well, with “I’m With You” I don’t how it happened to… The weird thing with “I’m with You” is that when we did it we recorded 50 or so songs. We recorded so many songs and it wasn’t until far too long into the process that we decided what songs for gonna be on that album. I think I had a different image of what songs would make it on that album and because of that the guitar playing or the songs that I thought we should go on the album maybe would created a different picture all together.The songs that wound up being on “I’m With You” in total created a picture unlike what I had thought might happen. The whole experience left me just wanting to be a little more simple with the guitar and… Again, like I said, this new album was kind of a struggle with the guitar sometimes to figure out exactly what to do. I had a lot of ideas before we made this album that I’m not sure I actually got to accomplish or explorer with sounds or with parts. But again, that’s fine. That’s what we have on this album. I can do what I was thinking later on I don’t feel like I necessarily had an approach for this album because when we went into the studio with Brian we kind of started a new, we started from scratch a bit. It’s kind of just going with whatever was put in front of me. Like, we are writing songs on the spot so any ideas or an approach I would have to our sounds, plans I have to implement later.

INTERVIEWER: When I was writing a review of your album I actually didn’t know what to say because…
JOSH: It left you speechlees…
INTERVIEWER: Yes, it was like some of the songs sound like the Chili Peppers from back in the day like on the first three records and some other songs people compared to things from “By The Way” and there are also songs that sounds completely fresh and new. How would you describe the album?
JOSH: I think you did a good job and that’s nice to hear that we did…
*** Noises outside hinders the interview ***
JOSH: Do they know that we’re doing…
*** The noises get lower. ***
JOSH: There are songs on the new album like “The Hunter” or “Dreams of Samurai” which don’t sound anything like the Chili Peppers have sounded before. I mean, there’s obviously always gonna be Flea playing the bass, Chad playing the drums and Anthony’s voice but there was moments… In “We Turn Red” I put the guitar down I ran into the control room and I said to Flea: “Sounds like Hillel”. That really sounded like a familiar Chili Peppers guitar sound. I’m still kind of learning this album myself. We had some of the songs for a lomg time before we recorded it but the recordings still almost brand new to me. I kinda have to take a break for a little while… So, a song like Encore we’ve had for a long time. We were playing it on stage, sort of. And we had a chorus that we kept working, rewriting and reworking for almost two years. So where we ended up it’s still brand new to me and it’s shockingly different than it ever was and it’s beautiful. But still really new to me. I don’t know if I answered your question but…
INTERVIEWER: Yeah, kind of.
JOSH: I think you said it very well in your review.

INTERVIEWER: Which song on the album you are most proud of and why?
JOSH: I don’t know… the song “Goodbye Angels” for me is a song that I”m really proud of…
INTERVIEWER: I love that one.
JOSH: Thank you… Hmm, just because I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not but the minute it was written I thought “This sounds like the Chili Peppers” and in the minute that Anthony sang on it to me sounded classic and it sounded like something that has been around already for a while. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but for me it felt good to write a song that felt so at home in this band. Besides that it’s just really fun song to play. We haven’t played it live yet but we practice.
INTERVIEWER: May be today…
JOSH: May be today. Would you like us to?
INTERVIEWER: Yes.
JOSH: That’s ok. I will take it to them. Hmm… I’m also really proud of “The Hunter” because that song is just beautiful, Anthony’s lyrics are really touching and he came up with them over one weekend. I think we left the studio on a friday and sent it to him and by Monday or Tuesday he already come in with this incredible vocal without any of us knowing that he was going to do that. We thought it would take him some, you know, was a new song. That song came together really fast. Flea plays the piano beautifully, I played synth bass along with him. We did that song live, actually. Which was kind of rare for this album. I’m really proud of that one, that we pulled off songs that sounds unlike Chili Peppers. It was pretty simply, pretty fresh and pretty special.

INTERVIEWER: And there is a song called “Feasting on the Flowers”, I know that is Anthony who writes the lyrics but I was actually kind interested, maybe you could tell me a little bit more about it. Do you know what is the story about? Because as a fan, when I heard the song I thought about Hillel immediately.
JOSH: To be honest that’a one song that I don’t really know the lyrics yet but I will look into them. That song came together also really fast. That was the first song that I played on this album ’cause Chad went into the studio a couple days before the rest of us just to kinda get familiar with Brian and how he likes to work. I went by to say hi to Brian over the weekend and just kind of take a look and like “Excited about work this week. Can’t wait to start!” He pulled up the drum track andI picked up the guitar and I just came up with the riff, like that. The song sort of wrote itself in a matter of seconds. An then later on down the line Flea came up with the bridge, It’s just one of those sonfs that sort of appeared out of nowhere. But the lyrics I have not yet familiarize myself with them fully yet. Which I’m sorry to admit it.

INTERVIEWER: No, it’s fine. I have to do this…
JOSH: Looks like a yearbook…
INTERVIEWER: Yeah, because you guys did a book for your fans so this is a book for you from your polish fans.
JOSH: Oh! It’s for me? That’s is really kind of you Poland. Thank you so much.
INTERVIEWER: There are pictures of your polish fans.
JOSH: Are you in here?
INTERVIWER: No, unfortunately. But I’m in your book of fans [Fandemonium].
JOSH: Oh, you are… I have one of those.