Josh Klinghoffer Speaks Up About Problems on His Red Hot Chili Peppers Albums, Slams Rick Rubin for Being ‘More a Hindrance Than a Help’

Right near the end of 2019, Red Hot Chili Peppers announced that John Frusciante is, once again, coming back to the band. This, unfortunately, meant that Josh Klinghoffer is being fired. But we wouldn’t be that off to confidently claim that the swap was imminent and it was only a matter of time until the classic lineup would come back.

Nonetheless, Josh’s contributions are worthy of praise. He has not only toured with the band, giving proper tribute to all of the RHCP classics but has also contributed to two albums, 2011’s “I’m With You” and 2016’s “The Getaway.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dark Necessities [Official Music Video]

But what he explained in a recent interview with VWMusic, he isn’t very satisfied with how these two records turned out. In fact, he says that he’s “conflicted” about them. And on the first one, it’s all due to Rick Rubin and how he, according to Josh, “failed to capture” what these songs should be like.

Asked about two albums and his honest take on the two albums, he offered:

“I feel like this could be a long answer. Perhaps we can do a sit-down tell-all someday. I’m serious; someday, that’d be fun. At this point, however, I might be a little too close to leaving to look back without a heavily biased and potentially warped opinion.”

“I’m incredibly conflicted about my output with that band because I feel like, in both circumstances, producers got in the way of us truly making great music or a great record. I like almost all of the songs that we wrote together, but seldom did we capture them in the best way.

He also added:

“I will say that in the case of ‘I’m With You,‘ I feel Rick Rubin was way more a hindrance than a help. He told me once, ‘I just want to help the songs be the best they can be.‘ I should’ve said, ‘Well, then get your driver to come and get you.‘”


Elsewhere in the interview, Josh also reflected on his work in Pearl Jam and what it’s been like on tour with them. Asked to explain the differences between working in RHCP and his solo project Pluralone compared to Pearl Jam, he replied:

“Everything one does, every situation, every song, or every record is different and requires sensitivity to see that. I try to approach everything with a certain amount of care and hopefully add what’s needed to make it better, or let’s say, take it to another level.

“Making the ‘Earthling‘ record with just Eddie, Chad [Smith], and of course, Andrew [Watt] felt like friends excited about making music together. There was a genuine camaraderie and almost childlike joy and enthusiasm during those sessions. That’s definitely something I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

Photo: Sven Mandel (Red Hot Chili Peppers – Rock am Ring 2016 -2016156230915 2016-06-04 Rock am Ring – Sven – 1D X MK II – 0333 – AK8I1281 mod), Jason Mogavero (RickRubinSept09)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.