The Red Hot Chili Peppers have undergone a lot of changes over the course of their nearly 40-year career. After making two albums with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, the band announced in 2019 that John Frusciante will be rejoining the band. Since then, the band has teased new material in the works during the pandemic. Today (Feb. 4) the band announces their 12th studio album, Unlimited Love, which will be released Apr. 1 via Warner Records. It is their first album with Frusciante in over a decade.
The album’s Rick Rubin-produced lead single “Black Summer” features a notable accent from frontman Anthony Kiedis as he channels a wistful sailor caricature, singing “it’s been a long time since I made a new friend/waiting on another black summer to end.” Frusciante’s dream-like psychedelic guitar intro makes way for pounding drums, evocative of the band’s epic 28-track Stadium Arcadium, their last with the guitarist before his departure.
Speaking on the inspiration for the song, Frusciante revealed the band’s creative process began by “playing old songs by people like Johnny ‘Guitar; Watson, The Kinks, The New York Dolls, Richard Barrett and others.”
In a press statement, the band said:
Our only goal is to get lost in the music. We (John, Anthony, Chad and Flea) spent thousands of hours, collectively and individually, honing our craft and showing up for one another, to make the best album we could. Our antennae attuned to the divine cosmos, we were just so damn grateful for the opportunity to be in a room together, and, once again, try to get better. Days, weeks and months spent listening to each other, composing, jamming freely, and arranging the fruit of those jams with great care and purpose. The sounds, rhythms, vibrations, words and melodies had us enrapt.
We yearn to shine a light in the world, to uplift, connect, and bring people together. Each of the songs on our new album UNLIMITED LOVE, is a facet of us, reflecting our view of the universe. This is our life’s mission. We work, focus, and prepare, so that when the biggest wave comes, we are ready to ride it. The ocean has gifted us a mighty wave and this record is the ride that is the sum of our lives. Thank you for listening, we hope you enjoy it.
ROCK OUT MOTHERFUCKERS!
Furthermore, Frusciante said, “for me, this record represents our love for, and faith in each other.”
Below, listen to “Black Summer” and keep scrolling to revisit a 1999 performance of “Give It Away” from the Paste Archives. You can preorder Unlimited Love here and check out the band’s upcoming tour dates here.