RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS Release Music Video For New Single 'Black Summer'
February 4, 2022
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS have released the official Deborah Chow-directed music video for their new single "Black Summer". The song is taken from the band's upcoming album, "Unlimited Love", which will arrive on April 1 via Warner.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS's first new LP with guitarist John Frusciante since 2006's "Stadium Arcadium" was once again produced by Rick Rubin who previously worked on "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" (1991),"Californication" (1999),"By The Way" (2002) and the aforementioned "Stadium Arcadium".
The band stated about the new record: "Our only goal is to get lost in the music. We (John, Anthony, Chad and Flea) spent thousands of hours, collectively and individually, honing our craft and showing up for one another, to make the best album we could. Our antennae attuned to the divine cosmos, we were just so damn grateful for the opportunity to be in a room together, and, once again, try to get better. Days, weeks and months spent listening to each other, composing, jamming freely, and arranging the fruit of those jams with great care and purpose. The sounds, rhythms, vibrations, words and melodies had us enrapt.
"We yearn to shine a light in the world, to uplift, connect, and bring people together. Each of the songs on our new album 'Unlimited Love' is a facet of us, reflecting our view of the universe. This is our life’s mission. We work, focus, and prepare, so that when the biggest wave comes, we are ready to ride it. The ocean has gifted us a mighty wave and this record is the ride that is the sum of our lives. Thank you for listening, we hope you enjoy it."
Frusciante said: "When we started writing material, we began by playing old songs by people like Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, THE KINKS, THE NEW YORK DOLLS, Richard Barrett and others. Ever so gradually, we started bringing in new ideas, and turning jams into songs, and after a couple of months the new stuff was all we were playing. The feeling of effortless fun we had when we were playing songs by other people, stayed with us the whole time we were writing. For me, this record represents our love for, and faith in each other."
On lead track "Black Summer", ethereal guitar underlines introspective lyrics as the rhythm unlocks a hypnotic drum groove highlighted by evocative bass. It quietly inhales only to exhale with a massive refrain, "It's been a long time since I made a new friend, waiting on another black summer to end," before a guitar solo echoes to the heavens and back. For the music video, the group teamed up with acclaimed director Deborah Chow (Disney+'s "The Mandalorian", "Obi-Wan Kenobi"). The result continues a tradition of captivating cinematic visuals — with a twist.
The interplay between the band borders on intergalactic once again — yet elevated to another stratosphere altogether. "Unlimited Love" represents the united spirit of four individual souls still fearlessly exploring the future of their eternal friendship and musical congregation.
"Here Ever After" follows a staccato bassline down a rhythmic wormhole as the hook promises, "She's the kinda girl that make you wanna go faster now." And whether it be wrangling wild horns and boisterous bass on "Aquatic Mouth Dance" or the poetic dreamscape of confessional ballad "Not The One", the album twists and turns with gleeful unpredictability. On "Poster Child", a funky riff spiked with wah pedal magic wobbles in tandem with the delivery as a blissful chorus takes hold. "The Great Apes" charges forward towards a primal clarion call. For nearly six minutes, "It's Only Natural" slips in and out of hypnotic harmonies and magnetic grooves. The slinky funk of "She's A Lover" bleeds into a chantable gang vocal and dancefloor-ready refrain, while "These Are The Ways" sees a soft melody give way to guitar and vocal catharsis.
"Whatchu Thinkin'" leans on head-nodding percussion as the vocals flutter with the tempo only for guitar to ignite the chorus. An analog synth choir colors the intro of "Bastards Of Light" while a heavenly crescendo elevates "White Braids & Pillow Chair" beyond the clouds. Hitting the highways, "One Way Traffic" revs up funk at an intersection of airy bass and drums. "Veronica" trades the band's sunny Los Angeles for the South Side of Chicago and a near-cinematic story about the title character. Then, there's "Let 'Em Cry" where trumpet punctuates the momentum before peaking on an emotionally charged guitar solo. "The Heavy Wing" takes flight on a climactic burst of distortion and vocal conjurations. The ride culminates on "Tangelo". Threaded together with delicate guitar and emotionally charged vocals, this otherworldly lullaby leaves off on a vibrant, vulnerable, and vital final note as it slips into the arms of feedback.
"Unlimited Love" track listing:
01. Black Summer 02. Here Ever After 03. Aquatic Mouth Dance 04. Not The One 05. Poster Child 06. The Great Apes 07. It's Only Natural 08. She's A Lover 09. 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
Last fall, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS drummer Chad Smith told Rolling Stone that the four members of the band were "getting along great", and were "really listening to each other in a new way".
"All of our records are just real good snapshots of where we're at that time," he said. "You can't really go, 'Oh, gee, I hope it's as good as...' Then you're starting to have preconceived notions about what you want to write.
"Look, John hasn't been in our group in 10 years. That's a long time. So of course it's going to sound different, but it's going to sound like the four of us because we do have this special chemistry together. It sounds like RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, but it's different and new, and to me that's great.
"We really like it and we're proud of it and it has to start there. If other people like it, great. If people compare it to this or [say] it doesn't sound like that, we have no control over that. But yeah, we're all really happy with the record."
Regarding the return of Frusciante, Smith said: "He is so dedicated. He's so into it. He's working so hard. We're all working hard, but he's in there with all the overdubs and the magic that he brings."
According to Chad, most of the new album was written after the start of the pandemic, with the actual studio sessions taking place earlier last year.
"We could just plow through and write, and that's what we did," he adds. "It was kind of a blessing, because we want to come out with new music and play some new songs. It's going to be great when we finally go out next year and have a record to play, and a bunch of other stuff, obviously."
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS will embark on a world tour this summer. The North American leg will kick off in Denver, Colorado on July 23 at Empower Field at Mile High. It will conclude in Arlington, Texas on September 18 at Globe Life Field.
Frusciante originally joined RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS following the death of founding guitarist Hillel Slovak in 1988. This lineup recorded two highly successful albums that brought the group mainstream popularity: "Mother's Milk" and "Blood Sugar Sex Magik". Sadly, Frusciante fell into a deep heroin addiction that caused him to leave the band while touring to support "Blood Sugar Sex Magik". Frusciante rejoined CHILI PEPPERS six years later, playing on 1999 album "Californication", 2002's "By The Way" and 2006's "Stadium Arcadium" before quitting the band again in September 2009.
In October 2020, Frusciante told the Australian digital radio station Double J that playing with his RHCP bandmates Anthony Kiedis, Flea and Smith once again was like "returning to family. I'm extremely comfortable with those people. It was as if no time had gone by at all when we started playing, pretty much, with a couple of minor exceptions, like how Chad and I gradually got our communication together in a new way. Basically, we're all just as comfortable with each other as we ever were, and it just felt like that right off the bat."