By Zachary Swickey
Flea, the rambunctious bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers has revealed through an interview with Spinner that he recently thought about quitting the band and leaving his tighty-whitey stage antics behind him.
He said he asked his compatriots for a two year sabbatical in order to regroup his thoughts. “We’ve been going really hard for a lot of years with small breaks here and there, but never a major break,” Flea said. “And I just felt like I wanted to take two years away just to really look and see if the band was something we should be doing.”
Flea attributes his friendship with lead singer Anthony Kiedis, which dates back to childhood, as an inspiration and big reason for his decision to continue making music. “I said, ‘Together let’s do this, let’s make this album, I love you, and let’s f**king rock.’ And as cliché as that might sound, I think for us as a band, and for he and I, both of us, we decided to do it.”
As most RHCP fans are already aware, the group plans on releasing their new album, I’m With You, on Aug. 30, their first with new ex-Warpaint guitarist Josh Klinghoffer – who replaces John Frusciante, who left the group in 2009.
The near-breakup experience of the Red Hot Chili Peppers seems to be a rite of passage that almost every band faces. Some almost breakup in between every album they create. Here are some more groups that claim they almost didn’t make it for a variety of different reasons.
Fighting breakup rumors since 2008, the group went through a turbulent time behind the scenes when singer Hayley Williams and guitarist Josh Farro broke up. In true Taylor Swift-style, some of the songs on Brand New Eyes are even about the experience. Just two years later in December 2010, the band almost ended once again, following the departure of the Farro brothers – Josh and his brother Zac, the group’s drummer. Earlier this year, Paramore divulged to MTV that the group would in fact stay together despite the setback, and they are expected to hit the studio soon to begin work on their next album.
According to Spin, in a 2008 interview with NME (that has suspiciously been removed, but I can personally recall), Chris Martin sent Coldplay fans into a frenzy when stating, “I’m 31 now and I don’t think that bands should keep going past 33. Up until the end of the year, we’ll just go for it in every sense.” Perhaps Martin was just having a foot-in-mouth moment, but it’s hard to argue, considering he’s also said he wants the group to go out “with a blast” and mentioned similar sentiments in another interview. Regardless, 34-year-old Martin is expected to release Coldplay’s still-untitled fifth album later this year, and the group is making the festival rounds this summer.
The Deftones are one of the few bands to come out of the nu-metal ‘90s relatively unscathed, although guitarist Stephen Carpenter and frontman Chino Moreno are known to butt heads – Carpenter likes it loud, while Moreno is into more mellow, experimental music. While writing their 2006 album Saturday Night Wrist, the group came quite close to breaking up when Moreno began facing personal drug problems and a failing marriage. He clashed with producer Bob Ezrin and abruptly left the studio to tour behind his side-project, Team Sleep, all the while the rest of the Deftones camp were left wondering if the group even still existed. With music complete, Moreno eventually came in and scrapped all vocals to start anew with a different producer, his friend Shaun Lopez (of ‘90s group Far). Saturday Night Wrist was eventually released, and the song “Hole in the Earth” is about the inner turmoil the band faced while recording.
Slipknot have been hinting at a breakup since the beginning of the group’s rise. Way, way back in 2003, frontman Corey Taylor revealed to MTV News that the group would go out on a high note with one more album (having released only two at the time) because of his desire to not turn into a band like Gwar – who he believed has lost their relevance. Yet, the group has gone on to record two more efforts (so far). The band almost broke up again (understandably) following the death of bassist Paul Grey and are still divided about their future. But as their return to the stage earlier this month in Athens, Greece, attests, it is likely the group will continue making new music.
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band seem to be as lovable old chums as a group can be, but they became displeased with their own records and were having trouble relating musically at one point. In an ‘09 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Matthews admitted that he felt the group’s 2005 album Stand Up wasn’t true to their sound. “I feel like it should have said ‘Dave Matthews Band featuring [the album’s producer] Mark Batson.” He said the group was in a “holding pattern” and wondered how they could go on if they couldn’t communicate. Eventually all was resolved: “We began to talk openly about everything, and that’s what allowed the music to explode again.”