Red Hot Chili Peppers


We had previously reported about JOSH KLINGHOFFER talking briefly about his dismissal from The RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, but now he has went into more detail as to what happened with his dismissal from the band. During his discussion with ROLLING STONE Magazine he said he was invited by his band members to “discuss the state of things” going on within the band saying “when I got the text, my heart sank a little bit.”  He’d go onto say “Ttere was something in the air and the dreariness of that December day that told me… I remember thinking like this could all disappear.”

The meeting was held at bassist FLEA’s house where he was greeted by the bassist, singer ANTHONY KIEDIS and drummer CHAD SMITH in the backyard. JOSH KLINGHOFFER would add “it was a total shock. But I’m not surprised.” The exchange with the magazine went as follows:

Walk me through the day of your dismissal.

“I had gotten the text from Flea the day before and we’d put the writing on pause for a while and I just thought we were getting back into the swing of things. We finally came to the communal decision that we would do a record and that was what I thought we were going to talk about mostly.

“I turned up last and they were all sitting in the backyard and Flea seemed somber when I got to the door and he just got right to it and said, ‘We decided to ask John to rejoin,’ and I just sat there quietly for a second and said, ‘I’m not surprised. I wish I could’ve done something that would’ve made this an impossibility. But I’m really happy for you guys.’

“I’m happy for John. I wanted to leave the feelings that I had in that moment untouched, which were just the love for those guys. [Pauses] I love those guys deeply. I never saw myself as deserving to be there over John.

“I had this amazing journey with those guys that was bringing me to this moment where it was ending. I was able to just grab hold to the fact that I really, truly had a great deal of love and respect and gratitude for everything that they allowed me to experience with them the whole time.

“So the moment they told me, I was able to freeze that emotion and protect those feelings toward them and not be, a year later [if] my finances are getting tricky, be like, ‘Those guys!'”

Are you able to share what Anthony said?

“It was mostly Flea talking. Anthony didn’t say much. But I can see in his eyes that it was a very painful decision. And I think of Anthony as a very tender and supportive person.

“And he’s very paternal in that way and I could see that he was caught between his usual wanting to be supportive and carry somebody and having to cut it loose. I think it all comes from Flea’s connection with John.”

How long did the meeting last?

“I was probably there for about 35 to 40 minutes. I said, ‘My nature is to get up and go, but there’s a weight that’s keeping me here because it’s the last time it’ll be just the four of us and I just want to sit here for a minute.’

“We all hugged and Chad texted me before I even got home. He was really heartbroken about the whole thing because Chad and I are very good friends.

“I spent the whole day texting because they released their statement on Instagram [publicizing Klinghoffer’s firing] an hour after [my dismissal].”

Did you know about their statement?

“Not at all.”

You didn’t have any role in crafting that?

“Noooo. No, no, no. It was less than an hour after it happened and at the time I thought, ‘Wow, that is crazy.’ Flea put it up there; it was very clearly his composition. I was totally surprised.

“And it does look exactly like a death announcement. In a way, it saved me from having to tell people so I just went home with my coffee and sat outside in the backyard and texted with people for the next three hours nonstop.

“It truly felt like a death, but how many times do you get to walk away from a death and live the rest of your life? So I sat there in the backyard with a really heavy heart; it was a truly emotional afternoon and this is just something that, for me, is nice to feel because I don’t really get to slow down and smell the emotions very often.”

Josh also talked about John becoming close with the Chili Peppers, confirming the guitarist had dinner with Flea around 18 months ago, which he found surprising, adding that Frusciante had then “reached out to our tour manager. He was definitely showing his face in Chili Pepper world a little bit just with emails and apologizing about past behavior. So every time I would hear a story about that, I thought, ‘What is he doing? Does he want to come back?'”

How come you didn’t go to Flea and say, ‘Should I be concerned?’

“[Pauses] Because we were so far into the writing of a new record and I felt like there was a calendar. There was an album that was more than half written, but I guess I let my guard down because I thought we had done so much work.

“If this had been at the end of a touring cycle and everyone hadn’t seen each other in a month and John was making himself available, I would have thought, ‘Uh-oh, what’s happening? Maybe this is an eventuality that I need to prepare myself for.’ But we were so far into some work.