Kiedis, Anthony

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Anthony Kiedis, famous for being the lead singer of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, goes into depth on the instability and stability of the band, and life as a whole.

DM) To start the ball rolling, in your latest book, 'Scar Tissue,' you seem to really expose everything.

AK) It may seem like everything's exposed, but everything is not exposed. I exposed things that maybe people didn't expect me to expose. That was for a very intentional purpose-- not to have been shocking, but hopefully to have people relate to the human experience of our commonality. I just didn't hide the ugly things that most people do when they talk about themselves.

DM) Was it cathartic to write such a book?

AK) It should have been and would have been if not that I'd spoken with close friends about most of the ugly stuff. The first time you do that it is very cathartic and cleansing. Getting rid of secrets in general is a healthy thing for your soul, but that was not the first time that I said that stuff. It was certainly the most in depth that I've ever done it. It was more work than cathartic to be honest.

DM) I would have thought it would have been emotionally difficult to write.

AK) It did become a bit maddening having to look at yourself in such depth from start to finish.

DM) Is your life that radically different than it was a few years ago?

AK) Hopefully. I like the idea of my life constantly being radically different on some levels. I hope that it's as different seven years from now as it is different seven years from ago. It's still the same little guy going through life trying to make sense of things and trying to do his best with whatever he's in the middle of. Some of the circumstances and feelings are drastically different.

DM) When it came to changes, it seems that a big change came just before and after the hit, "Blood Sex Sugar Magic."

AK) Yes, It was really good fun and a really productive, creative growth spurt for the band as well as for me. There was a lot of growth in the making of that record. For some reason we were in the middle of a record company contract dispute, so we had this extra six months to write music, and there was no pressure of having to make a record since we were in limbo. We kept dong the blue collar thing and going into the studio and making music. There weren't a lot of changes taking place. It wasn't torturous or destructive. It was a natural evolution. Even the making of it was pretty fun--all under the same roof together. It wasn't until the record came out and started to do really well that the wheels started falling off the wagon for us as a band and as individuals. That's where the sweet smell of success turned into the sour and acrid smell of death for most of us.

DM) Did the success of the album cause the downfall?

AK) I can't blame falling apart on success. We've had success where we haven't fallen apart. Certainly, it is a bigger challenge than failure. Then we had the weight of the world's expectations looming about us. Everyone in the band took it in a different way. Flea and I, having been around since 1984, doing the band and not really finding ourselves in that international map eight years later, we had a longer period to get used to the ups and downs of the band. John hadn't been through that. In a way, I think it bothered him more than it bothered Flea and I. That was an imbalance that we had, the difference in feelings.

DM) Does it take strong personalities like you, John and Flea, to have a success of that level?

AK) It's not a mathematical formula, but I think, yeah, you need an unpredictably strong personality, with that much intensity to succeed. If you look at most of the bands over the years that have made an impact with their songs and personalities, it's usually pretty heavy personalities at work.

DM) Did you guys learn from that period how to work better together?

AK) We did, very subconsciously. The art of acceptance was the biggest lesson to learn. You just have to be okay with the people around you dealing with things the way they deal with them and not to deal with them the way they do. Just accept that people deal with things from their own place. That allows the band to keep existing. That was my big faux pas at that time. I couldn't understand how anybody could be acting different than myself in certain situations. That was me being a completely self-centered moron. It's a big learning curve.

DM) Is the band more stable?

AK) I don't think any band is ever stable. It appears settled. I would never be surprised for any band to come to a grinding halt on any given day. I know we all love what we do. I know it's really fun. I know we're getting better as a band, and the songs over the last few months are the best we've ever written. Everybody goes to work and laughs and rocks out. If I got a call tomorrow saying, "It's over," I wouldn't be surprised.

DM) Do you think it's the nature of a rock and roll band?

AK) I think it's the nature of life. You can't predict it. One minute it can be the greatest thing in the world, and the next minute it can change. You just never know.


 

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