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Red Hot Chili Peppers return as ‘roaring beasts’

By 줄리 잭슨 (Julie Jackson)

Published : July 22, 2016 - 10:17

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Nothing short of impressionable, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first gig in Korea in 2002 still has some people talking.

Back again after 14 years, the American rock band is headlining one of the most-anticipated music events of the year, the 2016 Jisan Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival.

“Each country we go to, we try to get our own perspective of the place we’re in,” said the group’s bassist Michael Balzary -- who goes by the stage name Flea -- at a press conference at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Seoul on Thursday. “The last time I was in Korea, I was absolutely mystified by this country.”

The four-member band’s lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis added, “The last time I was here, I was served food that looked like Flea’s hair. I felt like I was eating sci-fi food.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers pose for a photo at a press conference at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas on Thursday (CJ E&M) Red Hot Chili Peppers pose for a photo at a press conference at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas on Thursday (CJ E&M)

However, after a day of exploring Seoul, it did not take the group long to get reacquainted with the country.

“This time, we walked around Seoul and went to open air markets,” Kiedis continued. “It looked quite inviting, and we felt like we connected with the city for the first time.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, often referred to as simply the Chili Peppers, released its 11th album “The Getaway” last month and it went on to top multiple Billboard chart. It was the first time the band had had music produced by the renowned Danger Mouse (Brian Burton).

“The Getaway” shows how the group is “always looking to grow in different ways,” said Flea.

“We wanted to try someone with completely different musical aesthetics,” said Kiedis. “Danger Mouse is a rare person who was able to match our enthusiasm ... he never stopped pouring his heart into the songs and I think it shows.”

Although it debuted in 1983, the band maintained its youthful vigor over the past three decades. 

“We are a pile of roaring beasts,” said Kiedis, when asked about the ages of the three original members, Flea, Kiedis and drummer Chad Smith.
The 2012 Jisan Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival (CJ E&M) The 2012 Jisan Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival (CJ E&M)

The decades-long career sometimes works against them, posing them with the creative challenge of finding a balance between their classics and new releases.

“When we keep performing the same songs, we get sick of them. We are in the process of figuring out how to get more of the new songs into the set ... to make sense for us and the audience,” said Kiedis. 

“The 13 new songs (from “The Getaway”) are begging to be played live.”

Bringing together some of the biggest names of modern rock, the annual Jisan Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival is from Friday to Sunday.

“It’s a huge honor to play in a country I’ve never been before,” said guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined the Chili Peppers in 2007. “Every time I play with this band, it’s a magical feeling. I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

By Kim Yu-young (ivykim@heraldcorp.com)