red hot chili peppers

Warpaint’s Emily Kokal joins us in discussing memorable run-ins with our favorite players. Plus, musical obsessions!
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The former Red Hot Chili Pepper opens up about his under-the-radar musical journey, why he traded his Strat for a Yamaha SG2000, and achieving artistic freedom via electronica.

There’s a battle being waged in John Frusciante’s mind. In his musical world of juxtapositions and genre marriages, the traditional spars with the far-out, and mathematical equations somehow compute into expressions of feeling. The guitar will always be a bedrock instrument for the former Red Hot Chili Pepper, but his new weapons of choice are machines. “The Roland MC-202 [an early-’80s synthesizer/sequencer] is one of my favorite instruments,” he says. “The same goes for drum machines, samplers, the computer, and other synthesizers.”

For Frusciante, the main appeal of these instruments is that once you learn to manipulate them, you can produce all types of instrumental sounds instantly. Frusciante actually has six MC-202s, which he uses in various combinations to translate guitar parts into synthesized parts. With multiple machines, he can manipulate a single guitar string per machine, and then endlessly refine each string’s sound.

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