RHCP Engineer Explains The Reason Anthony Kiedis Had A Studio Set Up In His Hotel Room
Red Hot Chili Peppers engineer Jim Scott recently gave an interview to Daniel Sarkissian, in which he talked about the recording process of the band’s ‘By the Way’ album. He also revealed why Anthony Kiedis decided to rent a hotel room and do his vocals there.
Jim Scott has worked as an engineer with various notable bands like the Rolling Stones, Crowded House, Dixie Chicks, and many others. He first worked with RHCP in the band’s 1999 album, ‘Californication,’ and later on, also in their 2002 album, ‘By the Way.’ The band’s guitarist, John Frusciante, is primarily credited as leading the creative force of the album.
During the interview, Jim Scott reflected on ‘By the Way’s recording process and confirmed that Frusciante generally took control and led the other band members throughout the sessions. When the drummer Chad Smith and the bassist Flea finished their parts, there wasn’t much work left. Then, Scott talked about how the band’s lead vocalist, Anthony Kiedis, performed his own vocal parts.
The engineer stated that Kiedis often wasn’t with them during the recordings as he would prefer finishing them later on after the instruments were done. Thus, they set up a studio for him in a hotel room to complete his vocals there. Anthony Kiedis decided on that because he thought it would cost them less than a recording studio. He would be able to sing only three or four hours a day, so hiring a studio would be unnecessary. Hence, a hotel was a lot cheaper, and it would also allow him to work in a more comfortable space.
Jim Scott speaking on the recording sessions of ‘By the Way’:
“John is a super talented guy. Especially in the ‘By the Way’ record, he definitely led the sessions because once the bass and drums were recorded, there’s not a lot of percussions, there’s not a lot of tambourines and shakers and bongos and that kind of stuff on those records, so Chad was essentially done, Flea was essentially done and Anthony would, I mean there were many times where he didn’t cut any kind of a vocal with us as we recorded the song.
He would do his vocals later or finish the words later, and he would often record. We set up a studio for him in a hotel, and he would do his vocals at a hotel, which was a really good idea because you can’t sing twelve hours a day. For him, to rent a whole studio and only use it three or four hours was cost-prohibitive so we just rented a nice hotel room and set up a mobile recording studio there and the price of a really nice hotel room is a lot cheaper than the price of a recording studio so you could come and go from the hotel room or stay there if you wanted to or just go there and hang out. It was nice and different.”
You can have a look at the full interview below.