Chili Peppers ready to celebrate 30 years
The Red Hot Chili Peppers describe their enthusiasm and love for music that has kept them going for so long.PT2M1S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2cyjt 620 349 January 18, 2013
You probably couldn't tell from the purple hair the diminutive bassplayer who answers to the name Flea was wearing under his new-looking Fedora. It probably wasn't obvious in the chilled-by-yoga demeanour of singer Anthony Kiedis. But this is the year we can officially describe the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the grand old men of rock.
It is 30 years since Kiedis and Michael "Flea" Balzary formed the band in Los Angeles as beer-guzzling, funk-loving punks with a propensity for stripping down to socks (not necessarily worn on the feet) and a vision for the future which didn't get much past the next bong or the next gig.
Now though, contemplating another tour of Australia as the headliners on the country's biggest rock festival, the Big Day Out, they are coming to terms with balancing the three Rs: respectability, responsibility and rock.
Age shall not weary them ... the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Photo: Marco Del Grande
"Sometimes, it honestly does kind of trip me out," admitted Flea, a pot of tea at hand. "Not that it feels strange; it feels the same as ever in terms of the hope and potential that lies ahead and the burning desire to try and be better at what we do, but ... in terms of the world of youth culture and music , we're not very kids any more. But my enthusiasm hasn't dampened one modicum of an iota."
At a press conference before they played the first BDO of the summer at Homebush on Friday, the Americans talked whale conservation (they're supporters of the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd organisation), appearing on the Simpsons (a cultural high water mark for Flea) and why playing in the heat can be a good thing ("cold is my enemy on stage," said Kiedis) there were some mixed signals, some proof that longevity doesn't have to mean being a grown up all the time.
As the shy, baby-faced new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who clearly hadn't got the memo about the 45c day ahead of him, tried hiding under three layers of clothing and a beanie and tanned-and-capped drummer Chad Smith had the my-mind-is-elsewhere look of a rich, retired surfer, Kiedis was asked what kept him excited about playing yet another show on yet another tour in yet another country.
Big Day Out 2013 in Sydney
The crowd tries to cool off during the Big Day Out in Sydney. Photo: Edwina Pickles
With a deadpan face Kiedis replied that it was "feeling terrified with a hard-on".