John Frusciante

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John Frusciante : biography

March 5, 1970 –

Influences

Frusciante’s first major influence was Jimi Hendrix. He then saw The Red Hot Chili Peppers (at that point, The was part of their name) in concert in 1985, after which their then-guitarist Hillel Slovak became his second major influence, with Frusciante coming to idolize Slovak. Although Hendrix and Slovak were arguably Frusciante’s most profound influences, he was also inspired by glam rock artists David Bowie, and T. Rex; as well as avant-garde acts such as Captain Beefheart, The Residents, The Velvet Underground, Neu!, Frank Zappa, and Kraftwerk.

He credits his inspiration for learning guitar to Greg Ginn, Pat Smear,and Joe Strummer, amongst others. As an adolescent, he began by focusing upon Hendrix, as well as bands like Public Image Ltd., Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, and XTC.

During the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Captain Beefheart and the acoustic, one-man blues of Lead Belly and Robert Johnson, were among the most noteworthy influences.Page, Scarlet (July, 2004). "Red Hot Chili Peppers: The LA Punks Who Defied Death, Grunge And A Burning Crack Den". Mojo.Mitchell, Ed. "Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues Singers". Total Guitar. February 2006. p. 66 Frusciante cites R&B singer Brandy as a musical inspiration and admires her voice, calling it “multidimensional” and “inspiring.” In describing her voice and signature sound, he said, “You can’t hear [the elaborate harmonies] with your conscious; you have to hear her voice with your subconscious.” He also mentioned that Brandy was the “main inspiration” behind the guitar work on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 2006 album, Stadium Arcadium.

On Californication and By the Way, Frusciante derived the technique of creating tonal texture through chord patterns from post-punk guitarist Vini Reilly of The Durutti Column, and bands such as Fugazi and The Cure. He originally intended By the Way to be made up of "these punky, rough songs", drawing inspiration from early punk artists such as The Germs and The Damned. However, this was discouraged by producer Rick Rubin, and he instead built upon Californication’s melodically-driven style.Apter, 2004. p. 329 During the recording of Stadium Arcadium, he moved away from his New Wave influences and concentrated on emulating flashier guitar players such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen.

With his recent solo work, he has cited electronic music—in which the guitar is often completely absent—as an influence. His electronic music influences include Aphex Twin, Depeche Mode, New Order, The Human League, Ekkehard Ehlers, Peter Rehberg and Christian Fennesz. His interests are constantly changing, as he believes that without change he will no longer have any interest in playing: "I’m always drawing inspiration from different kinds of music and playing guitar along with records, and I go into each new album project with a preconceived idea of what styles I want to combine."

Discography

  • Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt (1994)
  • Smile from the Streets You Hold (1997)
  • To Record Only Water for Ten Days (2001)
  • From the Sounds Inside (2001)
  • Shadows Collide with People (2004)
  • The Will to Death (2004)
  • DC EP (2004)
  • Inside of Emptiness (2004)
  • Curtains (2005)
  • The Empyrean (2009)
  • Letur-Lefr EP (2012)
  • PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone (2012)