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Josh Klinghoffer: “Rick Rubin was a lot more a hindrance when compared to a help” on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Im With You

Josh Klinghoffer (left) and Rick Rubin

(Image credit: Jim Bennett/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Spotify)

Since his departure from the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2019, guitar player Josh Klinghoffer has kept plenty busy, touring with Pearl Jam (both as their opening act so when a live person in the band) sufficient reason for Eddie Vedder’s solo band.

He’s also released several solo albums beneath the Pluralone name, the newest being this year’s THIS IS ACTUALLY THE Show. With all that going on, Klinghoffer recently sat down with VW Music (opens in new tab) for a discuss Pearl Jam, his solo work and his time with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Interestingly, when asked to think about his two albums with the Chili Peppers 2011’s I’m With You and 2016’s The Getaway Klinghoffer appeared to strike a regretful tone.

Im incredibly conflicted about my output with that band because Personally i think like, in both circumstances, producers got truly in the way folks truly making great music or perhaps a great record, Klinghoffer said (opens in new tab). I love the vast majority of the songs that people wrote together, but seldom did we capture them in the simplest way.

I’m With You similar to the five Red Hot Chili Peppers albums before it was made by Rick Rubin, while The Getaway was helmed by Danger Mouse. Though he acknowledged that his opinion was perhaps “biased” and “warped,” given having less time that’s elapsed since he was replaced by returning guitarist John Frusciante, Klinghoffer expressed particularly strong opinions about Rubin’s role in Im With You.

I’ll say that regardingIm With You, Personally i think Rick Rubin waswaymore a hindrance when compared to a help, Klinghoffer said. He explained once,I simply desire to help the songs function as best they could be.I shouldve said, Well, then get your driver ahead and obtain you.

Rubin is among music’s most legendary producers, and contains caused countless megastars from the worlds of rock, country and hip-hop. Klinghoffer, however, isn’t the only real prominent guitarist who’s gone on record about their problems with Rubin.

In a 2003 interview with Guitar World, AC/DC’s late rhythm guitar dynamo, Malcolm Young, revealed that Rubin’s methods didn’t quite click with the Aussie hard-rockers.

“Whenever we caused Rick [on the band’s 1995 album, Ballbreaker] there is something nearly there,” he said. “Hes not just a real rock and roller, thats for certain. All he concerned about was the snare drum. We’d never get back to him. We thought he was a phony, in all honesty!”

Others, however including Metallica’s James Hetfield have praised Rubin in the pages of Guitar World. The Metallica frontman said in a 2008 GW interview that Rubin’s work alongside that of engineer Greg Fidelman on the band’s Death Magnetic album brought his band’s “sound to a fresh level.”

Klinghoffer’s feelings aside, Rubin did go back to produce both of the Chili Peppers’ 2022 albums with John Frusciante, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson can be an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. Hes been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and contains also written extensively on a single topics for GUITARIST (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though available to music of most kinds, his greatest love is definitely indie, and precisely what falls under its massive umbrella. Compared to that end, you will find him on Twitter crowing about whatever fun new guitar band you should drop everything to listen to at this time.

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