Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea Talks ‘Monarchy of Roses,’ Thom Yorke


Story by Cat Badra

‘Monarchy of Roses’ is the latest single from funk-rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Monarchy of Roses,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ latest single, presents a familiar, intoxicating combination of funk and punk rock, buoyed by bass player Flea’s always-groovy bass lines. Maybe it has something to do with his education at the University of Southern California during his downtime after the release of Stadium Arcadium and the subsequent world tour, but his chops and musical elasticity seem at the top of their funk-rock game.

Flea says he and new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer were pining over having a song like “Monarchy of Roses” of the band’s new album, I’m With You, for a while. “When Josh joined, he and I jammed a couple times in my basement, and we played a part that was psychedelic and hard rock and then broke into a festive, disco-type section,” Flea told Bass Player Magazine. “He and I had talked about how cool it would be to see someone play Sabbath-y type music and then break into a full-on Michael Jackson, disco groove. For me, those two feelings really belong together; I see head-banging and disco-rocking as one and the same.”

As for his work with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke in Atoms for Peace, Flea says that Yorke had it on his mind to get together and collaborate for years before Peace ever solidified. “I’ve known Thom for years, and he wanted to get something together mostly to play his record the Eraser, which is mostly electronic,” he said. “He wanted to incorporate that into a live band context, which is really great because the way that music was recorded—with loops and computers and electronics—the grooves and the feels are not natural, human grooves… So it was a challenge to play, but it was exciting to get into it. It opened up something in me rhythmically and harmonically.”

Of course, Flea would be lost without music. “… I love playing music. The more that I learn about it, the more fun it is and the more I love it. It never gets tired,” he said. “It constantly refreshes itself in such an exciting way if you’re willing to not be lazy. I have a lazy streak—don’t get me wrong—but I love learning during time off. It’s fun for me. And I feel so excited to get out and play live and I love the bass. It’s a great instrument.”




Posted by Cat Badra | Alternative, Music, Rock News

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