So John Frusciante announced that he’d quit the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What?! His justifications are heartfelt and clear, and I really respect him for going with his gut even if it may be an unpopular decision among fans who see the band’s dynamic in a certain light.
His letter to fans:
“When I quit the band, over a year ago, we were on an indefinite hiatus. There was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding. They are supportive of my doing whatever makes me happy and that goes both ways.
To put it simply, my musical interests have led me in a different direction. Upon rejoining, and throughout my time in the band, I was very excited about exploring the musical possibilities inherent in a rock band, and doing so with those people in particular. A couple of years ago, I began to feel that same excitement again, but this time it was about making a different kind of music, alone, and being my own engineer.
I really love the band and what we did. I understand and value that my work with them means a lot to many people, but I have to follow my interests. For me, art has never been something done out of a sense of duty. It is something I do because it is really fun, exciting, and interesting. Over the last 12 years, I have changed, as a person and artist, to such a degree that to do further work along the lines I did with the band would be to go against my own nature. There was no choice involved in this decision. I simply have to be what I am, and have to do what I must do.
Sending love and gratitude to you all.”
It’s a good sign that there was no drama involved in his decision — it proves that there are in fact musicians who do not hold grudges against people who they find success with. Simply, it shows respect. This is an essential tool for crafting quality music and continuing to pursue it. If you respect the people you are creating with, it will show itself in the collaboration. Proof lies in the success of RHCP and their kickass songbook. Fruscinante will no doubt go on to make incredible solo albums and develop further as a musician.
I need to listen to “Murders” over and over again, stat.