July 18, 2019

The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Josh Klinghoffer on new Record Store Day single with Chad Smith

New Album cover

As the lead guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers — arguably the most popular band ever come out of Los Angeles — Josh Klinghoffer has played on many of the world’s most important stages. Klinghoffer is also reportedly the youngest-ever living inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Prior to joining the Chili Peppers, Klinghoffer was a steadily-working musician. His touring and/or studio credits included Gnarls Barkley, Ataxia (alongside RHCP guitarist John Frusciante), Vincent Gallo, P.J. Harvey, and Beck. The multi-instrumentalist has also kept busy over the years with his own band, Dot Hacker.

The latest release from Klinghoffer is the Record Store Day release “Jeepster” b/w “Monolith,” a pair of T. Rex covers recorded by Klinghoffer alongside Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. The two-piece’s tracks will be out on April 13th – Record Store Day – via ORG Music, as limited to 3,000 copies on 7” vinyl.

I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Josh Klinghoffer on behalf of the Jewish Journal and highlights from such are below.

Jewish Journal: Where did the idea for a “Record Store Day 7” come from? Was it something you had already recorded?

 Josh Klinghoffer: I believe it started with Zak Starkey asking Chad to be a part of a T. Rex tribute record he was putting together. We did the songs in a couple of days and sent them along. I think about a year went by and we never heard about that tribute coming together, so we figured we’d throw them out ourselves, with the gracious help of ORG! 

JJ: How long did it take from recording it, to mixing and mastering, to having the artwork done?

JK: They were recorded over a two-day period. “Jeepster” was the initial focus but “Monolith” has always been my favorite T. Rex song, so my idea was to end “Jeepster” by doing the “Monolith” count-off.  Chad had Laker tickets the day we tracked, but I got him to lay down a take or two of drums and did the rest the next day. It was a lot of fun. 

JJ: Will there be other releases from you and Chad?

JK: Perhaps. We’ve talked about doing an annual covers series. Record Store Day is a wonderful thing!

JJ: Record Store Day release aside, what is coming up for you career-wise? More from Dot Hacker?

JK: No Dots at the moment, though I suppose we did finish off an old relic from the first album called “Neon Arrow.” It was meant to be a part of Cassette Store Day, but roadblocks arose. So I suppose that will slide out sometime soon. I’ve been making a record mostly on my own, which I suppose with see the light of day sometime soon. Perhaps.

JJ: If I’ve done my research correctly, you’ve always lived in Los Angeles. What is it that keeps you so loyal to L.A.?

JK: Trust me, I wasn’t always loyal to it. I wanted to leave my whole childhood, and very nearly did in my early 20’s. My whole family is from New York and New Jersey, so I spent a lot of time there visiting as a kid. I suppose music always seemed to be here for me. That last time that I was inches away from leaving L.A., rather than doing that, I went on tour with Sparks in early ’06 and that’s sort of been one continuous ride that made stops in Gnarls Barkley and eventually the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

JJ: Do you have a favorite venue to play live at in L.A.?

JK: Venue in L.A.? I haven’t played them all so it’d be hard to answer. I have love of The Palladium and even more for the old Palace, which is now something entirely different. Name and purpose.  

JJ: Finally, Josh, any last words for the kids?

JK: Yikes, I’m at a loss. Go back in! Runaway! I don’t know… Read… A lot. Don’t have kids.

More on Josh Klinghoffer and Chad Smith’s Jeepster” b/w “Monolith” and other ORG Music releases can be found online at www.orgmusic.com.