Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante reveals why he left the band in 2009

9 March 2022, 19:15

John Frusciante with Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2006
John Frusciante has talked about leaving Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2009. Picture: Frank Mullen/WireImage/Getty

By Jenny Mensah

The classic RHCP guitarist has revealed in a new interview how he was "off-balance" and got "into the occult" during his last years touring with the band.

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John Frusciante has opened up about the circumstances surrounding his departure of Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2009.

The classic guitarist parted ways with the band for the second time after touring their Stadium Arcadium album and has since reunited with them, replacing Josh Klinghoffer in 2019.

Now, speaking to Classic Rock, the Black Summer rocker has revealed he left the band over a decade ago due to being "off-balance mentally".

"I became quite off-balance mentally those last couple of years we toured," he told the outlet.

"As the tour went on, I got deep into the occult, which became a way of escaping the mindset of tour life.”

The Under The Bridge guitarist added: “The occult tends to magnify whatever you are, and I was an imbalanced mess.”

READ MORE: QUIZ: Do you know the lyrics to Red Hot Chili Peppers' Can't Stop?

Frusciante also revealed that his reunion with the band started off at bassist Flea's house when the pair admitted they missed playing together.

“We’d never really talked about it [the split] much," recalled Flea. "At one point my wife and his girlfriend were in the other room and we were sitting alone, and I said, ‘John, sometimes I miss playing with you so much.’ And I started crying when I said it. And he looked at me and I saw the tears in his eyes,” he continues.

“And he said, ‘I miss it too.’ There was just this moment, but in that moment I remember thinking, ‘Man, you know…’”

READ MORE: These early Red Hot Chili Peppers photos will warm your heart

Despite the band having a lot of admiration and love for Josh Klinghoffer, who replaced Frusciante in 2009 after becoming his on-tour understudy, the band also spoke about their unmistakeable "connection" with their classic guitarist.

“Look, he's an amazing musician, he's a kind and thoughtful person,” said Flea.

He added, speaking of the guitarist who featured on 2012's I'm With You and 2016's The Getaway: "I could go to him when I was hurting and crying on the road when I was in my own miserable neuroses and depression. But we had a language with John that we developed when we were all much younger. We can do things without really speaking about it, we have this connection. That was harder with Josh, and for Josh too."

Just as he rekindled the spark with Frusciante, Flea was also the one to break the news of Josh Klinghoffer's departure and Frusciante's return at the end of 2019, writing: "The Red Hot Chili Peppers announce that we are parting ways with our guitarist of the past ten years, Josh Klinghoffer. Josh is a beautiful musician who we respect and love. We are deeply grateful for our time with him, and the countless gifts he shared with us.

"We also announce with great excitement and full hearts, that John Frusciante is rejoining our group".

See their full post below:

Unlimited Love, the band's 12th studio album and their first with Frusiciante since 2006, is set for release on 1st April 2022 and includes lead single Black Summer and the recently released track Poster Child.

See tracklistlist for Red Hot Chili Peppers' Unlimited Love album:

  1. . Black Summer
  2. Here Ever After
  3. Aquatic Mouth Dance
  4. Not The One
  5. Poster Child
  6. The Great Apes
  7. It's Only Natural
  8. She's A Lover
  9. These Are The Ways
  10. Whatchu Thinkin'
  11. Bastards Of Light
  12. White Braids & Pillow Chair
  13. One Way Traffic
  14. Veronica
  15. Let 'Em Cry
  16. The Heavy Wing
  17. Tangelo

READ MORE: Why Red Hot Chili Peppers' Under The Bridge is Anthony Kiedis' most honest song

Menawhile, RHCP are headed on global dates to support the new album and their reunion with John.

Their dates on this side of the pond include a date at Manchester's Emirates Stadium, two stints at London Stadium in June, plus shows in Dublin's Marley Park and Glasgow's Bellahouston Park.

See Red Hot Chili Peppers full live dates so far here.

See Red Hot Chili Peppers' UK dates here:

  • Wednesday 22 June - Manchester, Emirates Old Trafford with special guests A$AP Rocky and Thundercat
  • Saturday 25 June - London Stadium with special guests Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals and Thundercat
  • Sunday 26 June - London Stadium
  • Friday 1 July - Glasgow, Bellahouston Park with special guests Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals and Thundercat