Fans of funk-rock pioneers the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have waited years for the band to get together to record new music, are about to be rewarded for their patience. Following relentless touring in support of the band’s 2006 release Stadium Arcadium, the members of the Grammy-award winning quartet singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, guitarist John Frusciante, drummer Chad Smith decamped to separate quarters to enjoy a long hiatus. In 2009 fans were saddened to learn Frusciante had left the group; touring guitarist Josh Kliffhonger was announced as his replacement. The new lineup will release the band’s tenth album, I’m With You, on August 30th. Cover art, courtesy of famed British artist Damien Hirst, was revealed July 5th on the group’s website.
Over the years the Chilis have undergone an obvious maturation, as the callow street punk attitude, embodied by manic club shows in which the band stormed the stage wearing nothing but strategically placed tube socks, gave way to introspection and lyrics about addiction and loss. Hedonism and drugs were eventually replaced by Buddhism and contemporary art. In the framing of this evolution, it makes perfect sense that the artwork on the latest album be created by Damien Hirst, the one-time “bad boy of Brit art,” whose path to respectability has also been long and storied.