John Frusciante Explains Why He Left the Chili Peppers

(Gibson) Since officially leaving his gig as guitarist in Red Hot Chili Peppers back in December 2009, John Frusciante has kept a low profile. He released the album PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone last year without much promotion at all. Billboard recently got an interview with the reclusive musician, in which he talks about his upcoming EP Outsides as well as his work as producer for the hip-hop group Black Knights.

Frusciante also shed some light on why he decided to leave the Chili Peppers. John said he hadn't thought about quitting the band until Chili Peppers' bassist Flea told him that he wanted to take a two year break after the Stadium Arcadium tour.

"When he said it I was kind of shocked, 'cause I thought we were on a roll, let's just keep moving with this, you know? But once he said it to me, my mind started thinking, 'What would I do with that two years if I had two years to just do whatever I wanted?' And by about four months later I was so excited about quitting the band I didn't even want it to be a two-year thing anymore."

John says he has no plans to ever rejoining the band, let alone playing live: "I really don't think of myself as a performer anymore. It was never something that came naturally to me. It was something that I adapted to, but it was never really an expression of who I was."

Although his main focus today is working with beats and samples, John hasn't completely given up on the guitar. "Same," which is the first track on Outsides, is basically a ten-minute guitar solo.

Take a listen to "Same" here.

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