Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea said the band avoided playing any of its songs during the first jam with returning guitarist John Frusciante.

He noted the coincidental relevance of the date in 2019 that they started back after dismissing Josh Klinghoffer so that Frusciante’s third stint could begin.

“The day of our first rehearsal was, wildly, exactly 10 years from the day he announced he was leaving the band,” Flea told KROQ in a recent interview. “Instead of just getting back into trying to write songs right away, or going to play old Chili Peppers songs to get in the groove, it was fun to just play covers, to do it in a real gentle and easy way.” He added it was “fun [to] play songs from bands that you love. ... It was more to loosely get back into what we were doing, without feeling like we had to go to work.”

The bass player emphasized that Frusciante "has a profound impact on everything that we do, and even when we wasn’t in the band he had a profound impact on everything that we do. He is just the most focused, dedicated, tapped-in musician who’s able to muster this diligence and focus about doing what he does consistently. That just uplifts us. ... Really, the big thing is that we all speak the same language, and when he is in the band we are able to communicate with each other without speaking and create a lot of music in a really fluid way.”

The band will release its new album Unlimited Love – its first with Frusciante since 2006’s Stadium Arcadium – on April 1.

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