Flea Explains Whether Anthony Kiedis Could Overcome His Insecurities

Ahead of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ North and South American shows, Flea shared his views on Anthony Kiedis‘ growth as a vocalist in an interview with Bass Magazine. He revealed the frontman’s initial insecurities about singing and said:

“Anthony is a very interesting casework as a musician because he doesn’t even think of himself as one. In the beginning, he wanted to call the band Idiot & the Three Geniuses. He’d say, you guys play music, and I’m just here yelling. But as time has gone by, he keeps getting better.”

The bassist shared his thoughts about the singer’s improvement and went on:

“It’s awesome to me because most singers are gifted naturally when they’re young; they come out in rock bands, and they’re good-looking, and they can sing high and low, and they’ve got it all in the beginning. For Anthony, pitch and rhythmic concept and all of this stuff was new to him because he had never thought about it.”

Reflecting on the band’s early days and rise to fame, he pointed out:

“We just kind of did the band as a joke, and all of a sudden, it blew up from the start. Pretty instantly, we started selling out clubs in L.A., and suddenly he was in this position of being the lead singer in a band. But over time, he just keeps becoming more musical.”

Then, the RHCP founder delved into Kiedis’ shift in style:

“He used to rap in an almost chanting kind of way; then John came in and was really good with creating melodies and choruses, and Anthony started singing these flowing melodies with beginnings and ends and arcs that flow. They are now vehicles for inflection and musical sensibility and sensitivity.”

He praised his bandmate by saying:

“I’m so proud of Anthony for his diligence and focus through the years in a way that’s much different from anyone else. Now I get so much inspiration from what he writes that it can affect how I play.”

Over the years, Kiedis also took part in the band’s songwriting. In fact, he and Flea also wrote songs for other artists like Nina Hagen at some points.

So, during the recent talk, the bassist mentioned RHCP’s song-making process as well. When asked whether he ‘consciously’ used the vocalist’s melodies as a basis for his bass lines, he explained:

“It’s not always conscious. I just react to what’s going on around me. Usually, the music comes before the vocals. Sometimes we don’t really know what the vocal is when we go in to record a song because he’s still writing.”

Then, he went on to add:

“Oftentimes, I’ll be playing a melody on the bass, and he’ll pick up on it and start singing to it. Then I might go back and write a counter-melody, and we can go in circles like that until we find what sounds best harmonically. Adding John into that mix gives it limitless possibilities.”

You can check out Flea’s recent interview here.