1. I see in the Photo your Playing the Billy Corgan Fender. I have one as well, My favourite of the nine I have. I find its so versatile. Do you like it as much as I do?
I love that guitar. It’s special to me for the obvious reason that Billy gave it to me but it also happens to be my favorite Strat that I have ever owned. It was perfect for the Spirits in the Sky tour with Billy as he was playing as well. It really cut through well and blended at the same time with the band. In the Peppers I played Strats because their music requires a lot of space and percussive attack and I fell in love with the Strat then, but in Jane’s I need a fuller and heavier sound so I stick to the Ibanez or PRS. The Ibanez is great when we are tuned a full step down because the thinner neck allows more give with the heavier strings I use in that tuning. (A lighter string in that tuning flops and buzzes around on the neck because it ends up being too loose.) When we are in standard or half step down tunings, which we have been using lately, I use the PRS.
2. …But from what you said about The Panic Channel experience + the Strays experience, it sounded as if you wanted to be done with the traditional corporate music industry. (read Joshua’s full question below, very well said and informed)
Excellent question and perfectly outlined. (“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”) Yes, I have had some very bad experiences with the majors in the past decade or so, when it kind of stopped working for a lot of artists. Prior to that my experiences with majors, WB, Def Am, were pretty great. A lot of the bad experiences had to do with the evolution of the market place, Internet and the advent of iTunes and digital downloading… Things that a lot of majors appeared to ignore or turn a blind eye to. They relied on the old model for too long which was basically to throw a bunch of money at something to see if it stuck, then drop it when it didn’t take hold immediately, allowing no time for artist development and cutting into tour budgets etc. In terms of your question, many majors will sign the band and the members individually, so even when one member wants to go off and make a solo record or side project, he is still locked into his original deal. Technically, JA is still with Capitol because we dis-banded prior to delivering a second record, which was our initial deal around the Strays era. The good news for us is that things have so obviously changed since then, that there is more of an understanding of what’s going on at the label. Plus, none of the old guard that headed up our previous efforts are even employed there anymore. It’s a whole new day. (I hope!) The fact of the matter is that regardless of what they can deliver, we are going to have to work as though we are an independent band anyway, watching costs, thinking of new ways to get our music heard and creating a strong online presence, something that we have never really done before. The online presence thing has never been a strong suit of the majors unless you are talking about pop stars. Truly successful online awareness comes directly from the band. People are not as stupid as the corporate world likes to believe. They can easily see through the manufactured and will quickly click away to find something artist driven. Without the presence of the artist driven space, they will simply click away to another artist that has it together. So, to wrap it up… We have had some good experiences and some bad. I have definitely been outspoken when they were bad for sure. Seeing that we have a better understanding of things and Capitol appears to have a better understanding of things, the timing could actually be just right.
3. If you can, how would you describe the sound and vibe of the new material? Is it comparable to the early sound or Strays era? How has the evolved and what does Duff bring to the table? Thanks!
It is too early to really tell. We have been writing, recording rough demos and moving forward without really going back over stuff. It’s been more of: Here is an idea or song… record… Here is another… record… etc… When I say “record” I mean we just press record and document the structure or ideas. Duff has been great to work with. Really solid song writing and a creative and dedicated work ethic. We mainly spend our days briefly going over old stuff and then delving into the new.
4. I know you are not a fan of doing outdoor activities. But would you ever consider going scuba diving or snorkeling?
I’m a certified PADI open water diver!
5. I’ve always wondered what it was like recording “You Oughta Know”. To me, it really shows the chemistry you have with Flea. Did you and Flea record live together on that one? Did you guys have guide tracks already laid out for you to follow or did you get to sort of find your own way with it?
Flea and I did that song together in the studio. It was already written with different instrumentation and we were asked to kind of re-write the music… A lot like a re-mix. The structure of the song was in place but there were no guide tracks, we just had the vocal to work from. It was just a good time and we basically jammed until we found something we were both happy with. Alanis was happy too.
6. Interested in getting your take on the trend in news media of opinionating (is that a word? I guess if they can make up news I can make up words) v. reporting on events.
Well, as long as they report on the facts of the event, I actually enjoy the commentary, especially in terms of political coverage. I see why they do it, opinionated commentary is certainly more entertaining. It sucks in the viewers and gets them all bent out of shape and wound up or makes them feel like they are in the right and part of an elite club, depending on the point. Personally, I watch both left and right slanted news and find my own way on opinion, with twice the entertainment value.
7. I was just wondering whats your whole opinion on John Frusciante leaving the Chili Peppers once again?
Like a lot of the die hard fans I am sorry to see him go. John has been a source of magic for that band that hasn’t been there in any incarnation since Hillel. Still, I understand that as an artist there might be different places he wants to go creatively and I look forward to those efforts. I am also a huge fan of Josh Kilnghoffer and look forward to what he will bring. We still get the band with a new artist who will step into the light and we will still hear from John. Not the worst deal in the world.
8. I was surprised and totally psyched to see (unfortunately not in person) Paulie Z performing with Camp Freddy at one of your Roxy shows. How did this come about and what are the chances of it happening again?
The chances of it happening again are very good. Paulie is on the East Coast but he has an open door invitation to join us anytime he wants. Once in Camp Freddy, always in Camp Freddy, as we say. I met Paulie when I did an episode of his show on IFC, Z-Rock. (Also in season 2) We have remained friends and he is an amazing talent. Seriously one of the best rock singers I have worked with and I have worked with many!
9. Which is more addictive coke or the high you get when playing live?
HAHA Coke! I have never checked the night stand upon awakening and looked for a way to play live, but I have definitely looked over for a line or two! Seriously, they are two different highs. One is a positive and collective, creative thing while the other is damaging, destructive and can eventually become extremely isolating. Let’s go with playing live, shall we?
10. Question about the “Legal Bullshit” that Camp Freddy must obviously have to put up with. . . . Do you guys have to pay AC/DC, KISS, Led Zep, etc
No, there is no issue with that. We once did a recording of a Cheap Trick song for a soundtrack and of course they (CT) were compensated in that case. Bands are free to cover what ever they want in a live setting. However, a recorded version that is put in the market place in another story entirely.