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The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new Danger Mouse-produced record is ‘In the home stretch’

Parker Hall

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back after a five-year hiatus, and they have brought a different sound with them. The Southern California rockers’ newest cut, Dark Necessities, launched today, and it melds the band’s stereotypical funk-rock sound with piano instead of shredding lead guitar.

The five-minute single is the first song to be made public off of the band’s upcoming album The Getaway, which will come out via Warner Brothers on June 17.

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The Getaway will be the first album from the band since 1989’s Mother’s Milk that wasn’t produced by pop and hip-hop icon Rick Rubin, and the personnel change is likely the biggest reason the single sounds so much different than the band’s past material.

Instead of Rubin, the Chili Peppers employed the talents of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich for mixing work and Dangermouse for production, a pair that combined to lend the group a much more developed aesthetic, at least on this first single — a big leap from the stripped-down sound of previous efforts from the band.

The song features female background vocals, subtly layered instrumentation, and a less in-your-face drum beat than is typical of the Chili Peppers, but it does retain the classic slap bass sound of the group’s famed bass player, Flea.

Time and album sales will tell whether the new direction was a good move for the band, but so far it feels like a fresh reboot — a reinvention of a band that many people love, but whose material was thought by many to be on a stalling trajectory.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers begin a tour in support of the new album this month in Ohio, and will be on the road both nationally and internationally for the entire summer, when they will play virtually all festival dates. Despite the official mid-June release date, it is likely that the group will perform much of the new material during their early tour dates.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are getting close to finishing their eleventh studio album, according to frontman Anthony Kiedis. And perhaps even more exciting, the Southern California rockers have been working on the record with famed producer Danger Mouse.

Kiedis declared the band was, “In the home stretch” during a recent interview on a radio show called Jonesy’s Jukebox, hosted by The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones.

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Danger Mouse replaced legendary rock and hip-hop producer Rick Rubin on the project, who has worked with the band on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, By The Way, and Stadium Arcadium. According to Kiedis, the Danger Mouse took a more involved approach to making the record, preferring to write songs with the band directly in the studio.

“We had written two dozen songs before we got with him,” Kiedis said about Danger Mouse. “[He] is like, ‘Let’s keep a few of those, but let’s go write all new songs in the studio.’ We’re looking at each other like, ‘Dude, we kind of already wrote the songs, bro.’ He’s like, ‘No, I like to write new ones in the studio.’ So, in honor of accommodating this new process, we wrote all new songs, and it’s a good thing we did.”

According to an interview last December with the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist Flea, the new record had all of the instrumental tracks complete, but just needed Kiedis to record vocals. With vocals now finished, it simply needs to be mixed and mastered, and listened to by the band.

“We’re going to go back and listen to the songs, and see if we can beat them,” Kiedis said of the album.

The band is scheduled to perform at music festivals throughout the summer, and will headline the Reading and Leeds festival. The new record doesn’t have title or a set release date yet, but will be out before the end of the year, with many fans hopeful it will hit stores before festival season.

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