Late last year, it had been announced that the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s original guitarist John Frusciante was rejoining the band, with Josh Klinghoffer departing. The now-former guitarist is speaking out about his recent departure from the band. In a revealing interview with Rolling Stone, Klinghoffer details his termination, which occurred one hour before they had announced Frusciante’s return.
He revealed that he first got a text from Flea asking him to come over to “discuss the state of things,” which Klinghoffer did not have a good feeling about. “There was something in the air and the dreariness of that December day that told me… I remember thinking like this could all disappear.” When he arrived, Flea, singer Anthony Kiedis, and drummer Chad Smith were waiting in Flea’s backyard, ready to deliver the news that Frusciante would rejoin the group and Klinghoffer was no longer needed. “We decided to ask John to rejoin,” and I just sat there quietly for a second and said, “I’m not surprised. I wish I could’ve done something that would’ve made this an impossibility. But I’m really happy for you guys.” I’m happy for John. I wanted to leave the feelings that I had in that moment untouched, which were just the love for those guys. [Pauses] I love those guys deeply. I never saw myself as deserving to be there over John.”
He continued to say “So the moment they told me, I was able to freeze that emotion and protect those feelings toward them and not be, a year later [if] my finances are getting tricky, be like, “Those guys!”
Shortly after the band’s decision, they took to announce the news via Instagram. Klinghoffer then revealed how he felt after the announcement/departure. “I just went home with my coffee and sat outside in the backyard and texted with people for the next three hours nonstop. It truly felt like a death, but how many times do you get to walk away from a death and live the rest of your life? So I sat there in the backyard with a really heavy heart; it was a truly emotional afternoon and this is just something that, for me, is nice to feel because I don’t really get to slow down and smell the emotions very often.”
Klinghoffer went on to say that he had some suspicions prior to Frusciante’s return, revealing that Frusciante had reached out to Kiedis and went to a boxing match with Flea. I just remember one time Flea and him went to some event together like a boxing match and there were pictures of them on the internet that I heard about and I was like, “Could that ever happen? Would that ever happen?” And it’s something that I totally would have thought, “I know what he’s doing: He’s trying to come back.” And I probably would have prepared for more and maybe even brought it up to those guys myself. But basically at the end of the day, it was a total blindside.”
Klinghoffer is now focusing on his solo career. He released his debut album under the moniker Pluralone, To Be One With You, last November and will be opening for Pearl Jam’s U.S. tour starting March 18th. Mxdwn recently premiered its lead single “Shade.”
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz