John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:01 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:25 pm
I mean, Hillel's playing and writing wasn't setting the world on fire. John couldn't have known he was the missing ingredient for an international breakout.
I simply cannot understand the Hillel Slovak thing. Clearly I know a lot about the Chili Peppers, even though I hate them, I spent my life reading about music and I know a lot about bands I have no affection for. I'd read the popular music magazines from the UK and infrequently Rolling Stone and Spin and all that.

So I had read a lot about Hillel Slovak and everyone would talk about what a great guitar player he was and I just can not see it. I remember a quote from some Chili Pepper about Dave Navarro and how of all the guitarists in the Peppers that Dave Navarro was the only one that hadn't been a student in some way of Hillel Slovak. This was said to be a detriment of Dave Navarro.

Maybe you had to be there or something.

I will probably never be a big fan of John Frusciante and I loathe the Peppers, but even I can see that he is a very talented guitar player and even more so, he's capable of writing good music.

I didn't always loathe the Chili Peppers. I didn't know anything about them until the rest of the world did with "Give It Away", and that persuaded me to get Blood Sugar and later Mother's Milk. I got a few of the other albums, I am a huge fan of Parliament-Funkadelic- I mean, huge, this sort of thing is what I listen to when I drink my beers at night- and thought that the George Clinton produced album would be amazing. My point is I dicked around with RHCP.

Any my viewpoint is I wish that John Frusciante had been in a good band, or a band without Keidis, or had been the singer.
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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by mediocreplayer » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:13 am

Mike gives an incredible primer here -- thank you!

I dont listen to RHCP and do not intend to. No prejudices, just not my kind of music.

Frusciante though, I love. He is a weird dude and that comes across very clearly in his own music. The Empyrean is one of my all-time favorite records. I remember I put it on casually while studying in grad school and after a few tracks was completely mesmerized. But as Mike says, it is not an easy listen, and it unfortunately classified itself into "Records that I love but require a solid emotional investment to get through, so maybe not today" shelf.

His random covers on past RHCP tours can also be beautiful. I learned his "How Deep is Your Love" version and it's a lot of fun to play.

A solid Yea from me.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:40 am

It's daft but I actually like him because he left the RHCPs, a band who never did it for me in my younger years. I did have a bunch of friends who were crazy about that shit though.
I've watched interviews & listened to a fair few acoustic videos of his & like what I hear. Just a very talented & down to earth guy who seems a million miles away from Anthony Keadis, in terms of style & ability (of which Mr Keadis has little).

But, almost contradicting what I've just said, my 1999/2000 trip around New Zealand wouldn't quite have been the same without Californication playing in the van. I gather this was Frusciante's initial return to the band after cleaning himself up and, for the most part, it's not that bad. I'm a big fan of This Velvet Glove and, if you can ignore Anthony Keadis's awful get-up, this is a blinding live version thanks to Frusciante's playing, backing harmonies & presence.
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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by eggwheat » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:13 am

nay..seems like a nice guy, mentions influences I love. Yet his playing does absolutely nothing for me..and doesn’t contain any hint of those influences.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by mbene085 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:56 am

eggwheat wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:13 am
nay..seems like a nice guy, mentions influences I love. Yet his playing does absolutely nothing for me..and doesn’t contain any hint of those influences.
It's perfectly understandable to not like his (or anyone's) playing, but I bolded part of your post to ask...isn't that kind of the thing that everybody aims for? To be able to sound like themselves and not their influences? People complain that a guitarist is derivative when they overtly sound like their influences.

I agree that John just sounds like John. You can listen to a track where he makes a guest appearance and spot his playing without knowing he'd be there, (e.g. Bicycle Thief's Cereal Song).

That whole album, You Come And Go Like A Pop Song (1999), is an absolute gem. It's Bob Forrest (who fronted Thelonious Monster, and was a roadie for RHCP) with Josh Klinghoffer (who's all over John's solo stuff that I linked on the first page). It got a 20th anniversary vinyl reissue that sold out before I realized it existed, which bums me out. Might be my favourite album from the 90's. Can't tell you how many times I listened to it.

Bob works in drug rehab now and seems really happy. He doesn't release much went back recorded some old songs for his 2015 solo album, Survival Songs, including Off-Street Parking, which was one of the strongest songs on the Bicycle Thief release. The solo version digs much deeper into the pain behind the lyrics, and the pedal steel reminds me of a classic 90's Buffy line, "I’m just gonna go home, lie down and listen to country music…the music of pain."

The chorus really distills the essence of what it means for a relationship to end,
And a house is not a home, even with a view and hardwood floors and all that talking, and that not-talking.

Yeah, a house is not a home when two aren't two, they're one and one. One and one is nothing. One and one means nothing.
Hopefully I can convince someone here to check out the one and only Bicycle Thief album. Kind of like the early 2000s Frusciante stuff, it's an album from people in RHCP's orbit that is full of great songwriting and playing that might appeal to people who don't like the RHCP.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by eggwheat » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:10 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:56 am
eggwheat wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:13 am
nay..seems like a nice guy, mentions influences I love. Yet his playing does absolutely nothing for me..and doesn’t contain any hint of those influences.
It's perfectly understandable to not like his (or anyone's) playing, but I bolded part of your post to ask...isn't that kind of the thing that everybody aims for? To be able to sound like themselves and not their influences? People complain that a guitarist is derivative when they overtly sound like their influences.

Ok what I mean is he singles out very distinctive players as influences that were very original.. So I'm expecting to hear that but actually hear nothing original at all in his playing..it sounds completely stock and uninteresting to me.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by shadowplay » Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:13 am

eggwheat wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:10 pm
mbene085 wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:56 am
eggwheat wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:13 am
nay..seems like a nice guy, mentions influences I love. Yet his playing does absolutely nothing for me..and doesn’t contain any hint of those influences.
It's perfectly understandable to not like his (or anyone's) playing, but I bolded part of your post to ask...isn't that kind of the thing that everybody aims for? To be able to sound like themselves and not their influences? People complain that a guitarist is derivative when they overtly sound like their influences.

Ok what I mean is he singles out very distinctive players as influences that were very original.. So I'm expecting to hear that but actually hear nothing original at all in his playing..it sounds completely stock and uninteresting to me.
I was going to keep schtum on him because I've ranted enough about how much I truly despise RHCP and find them and their ilk physically painful but even if he was as amazing a player as stated it wouldn't matter to me because he's in the fucking dudebro rockist patient zero. I REALLY don't get the whole good player in bad band thing because all I care about is the band, the synergy and I'm not into picking the bits I like out the soup because there's plenty of great music I don't need to sieve the the shit out of.

I don't care much about original in many cases, good is enough for me. I've mentioned really liking Second Still (especially the early stuff) to Philip before and how the guitarist (and bass) is really derivative on the surface but that doesn't matter because I love his playing and I like the band.

I must say I found his woeful attempts at so called acid house roughly as psychedelic as Gary Barlow and well...actually hilarious but I also thank him for getting it right up all the cunts who say 'dance' music is easy to make. It's funny I can think of examples of electronic musicians crossing over to band/instrument stuff successfully but it doesn't seem to work the other way.

D
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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by mbene085 » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:17 am

eggwheat wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:10 pm
Ok what I mean is he singles out very distinctive players as influences that were very original.. So I'm expecting to hear that but actually hear nothing original at all in his playing..it sounds completely stock and uninteresting to me.
I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this. Could you name five contemporaries or predecessors you think sound just like him, if his style is so unoriginal?

He's been in the game a long time, and has influenced many, so I don't think you can count imitators as detracting from originality.

I suspect you might be conflating a few separate issues, namely originality vs uniqueness (which diminishes with imitators) vs how interesting you find his playing.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by tdbajus » Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:09 pm

MayTheFuzzBeWithYou wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:45 am
please make sure to listen to Ataxia as well. It's a cooperation between John Frusciante, Josh Klinghofer (once again - here on drums) and Joe Lally on Bass (Fugazi) - it's probably my favorite work of John. I discovered this very late myself - maybe 4-5 years ago - and it has been on my mobile ever since.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5rDww15zls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aDF5_3Hdh0
Holy fuck, How have I never heard this?
I have a couple of JF's solo experimental records which I thought were cool, but I guess not enough to remember the names without looking them up.

Klinghofer is a hell of a drummer. Funny how JF sounds like Guy when he sings on this.

Brendan and Joe did a record call Messtetics (sp?) that is also quite enjoyable.

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charmonder wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:11 am
can they just issue the instrumental version of the album?

Weirdly, I was just commenting on how there's nothing wrong with RHCP that booting the singer wouldn't fix quite nicely.

JF always kind of makes me think that what Ribot would sound like if he grew up in Socal.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by mbene085 » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:37 pm

shadowplay wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:13 am
It's funny I can think of examples of electronic musicians crossing over to band/instrument stuff successfully but it doesn't seem to work the other way.
I know what you mean, though it does occasionally happen. Damon Albarn is a bit of a unicorn that way, though it of course depends on how you define "electronic." In the sense that he went from a successful 4-piece rock band to a successful project that is heavily reliant on electronic instruments, he did - though depending on the album, it wasn't purely electronic by any means. I'm not a huge fan and don't know his stuff super thoroughly, but I check in from time to time, and know that some albums were almost entirely synths and drum machines while others had other instruments all over them.

As for why? Probably has to do with how much time they've spent listening to one vs the other, and the standards of the respective genres. I think you need to spend a lot of time immersed in electronic music to really "get" it enough to figure out how to make it well. Now, of course some rock genres can get really structurally or aesthetically complicated (e.g. math, prog), but if you listen to one Green Day album, you can pretty much go, "Yeah...I think I see what fans of this genre want from this. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. 4 power chords each, and whatever attitude sells it."

There have multiple decades where you could make yourself a hit record with the formula of 2-4 power chords, 4-to-the-floor drums, ABAB or ABABCB structure, bass playing the root note of the power chords, and a simple melody in a major or minor key. Electronic music fans are often a lot more demanding than that, with even relatively subtle changes in production or arrangement sparking conversations about whether an artist is switching genres, blending them, or creating a new one, and the arrangement and sound design is straight up more complicated than figuring out which 4 distorted power chords to use this time.

I say this as a fan of plenty of genres that fall under the rock umbrella. Just thinking out loud about why rock musicians struggle to break out of it compared to electronic musicians struggling to break in.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by BlixaFan » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:07 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:21 pm
Grew up idolizing him. He was by far the best songwriter to ever pass through the RHCP roster, and his playing and arranging (especially layers of guitar) always served the song without descending into self-indulgent wankery like most of his contemporaries in high-profile bands. He was always the gem of that lineup.

His chemistry with Flea was great and their jams were an organic part of their live shows in a way that stood apart from other pop/rock/alternative bands of their era. Saw them live a few times, pretty much to watch John and Flea and their chemistry in action.

When he released his 6 albums in 6 months in the 00's, I listened to them obsessively on my way to and from university. Shadows Collide with People was even better, and the Empyrean was his last hurrah before going off the reservation into electronic music that he is less gifted at creating.

I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a Frusciante fan, or a selective Frusciante-era RHCP fan. I don't know if they will produce anything I'll like in this reunion, but he gets the benefit of the doubt from me. He's immensely talented, fits Flea's playing like a glove, and Chad lays solid foundation for them.

The wildcard is whether Anthony ruins things, as he's not really the "aging gracefully" type. The rapping was a product of its time, and sounds like it. He's never been as good a singer as John's songs deserved (or as John became after getting clean), and his terrible, nonsensical and aggressively sexual lyrics have not aged well, either. John can write meaningful songs fueled by the emotions experienced during a life filled with higher highs and lower lows than most. Anthony just kind of creeps on women or babbles Gavin Rossdale-level word salads when he's not speaking literal jibberish.

I'd be happier to hear Flea and Chad were joining John on a new solo album like they did for Shadows Collide with People, but this might be good, too. Might.

Overall, John gets an emphatic "yea" from me. As a songwriter, lyricist, guitarist, singer, and arranger, he's made some really great stuff, without being the source of the toxic masculinity that makes some RHCP songs cringey or problematic. He's a pretty interesting and down to earth guy when you hear him speak, too, and I've never heard anything bad about him as a person after he got clean.

I hope playing more guitar means he'll start making guitar-based solo albums again, though. That would be the single best outcome from this reunion for me.
you basically said it all for me, much better than i could have. The Empyrean holds a very special place in my heart. an amazing album. and John made me a better guitarist over the couple of years that i was on a big JF/RHCP kick. He will always be one of my favorite guitarists.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by skeletonsmith » Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:30 am

Frusciante is definitely one of my all-time TOP5 artists.
But not in the RHCP, not as a Guitarist. Only solo. There are not many Musicians that meke me feel like he does.
The 6 LP's that came out in 2005 or so, that was such an exciting time.
i think my favourite Record is "To Record only Water.....". Or Ninadra.

Josh Klinghoffer with his "pluralone"-project is getting me more and more. I'd wish they would collaborate again, but that won't happen, i guess.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by FrankRay » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:04 am

mbene085 wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:37 pm
shadowplay wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:13 am
It's funny I can think of examples of electronic musicians crossing over to band/instrument stuff successfully but it doesn't seem to work the other way.
I know what you mean, though it does occasionally happen.
Well, there are a few; New Order, Radiohead, The Cure (circa Japanese Whispers) Underworld, Everything But The Girl, Beloved, Gary Numan, Shamen, The The (and back again), Stereolab, Kraftwerk, Joy Division.

Actually there are loads, I just can't be bothered listing them all.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by budda12ax7 » Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:36 pm

I don't have the hate for them that many do here, funny that I don't own a single cd from them but know a bunch of their songs. I give kudos to Flea, john and the will farell drummer for being dedicated musicians though.

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Re: John Frusciante.....yea....or....nay.

Post by burpgun » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:56 am

I can't remember if I saw someone say this about Pearl Jam or RHCP, but whatever: They're good at what they do, but what they do sucks.

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