In December the Red Hot Chili Peppers announced that original guitarist John Frusciante, who left the group in 2008, would be rejoining the band in 2020. While that was good news for Chili Peppers fans, it was bad news for Josh Klinghoffer, Frusciante’s replacement.
“The Red Hot Chili Peppers announce that we are parting ways with our guitarist of the past ten years, Josh Klinghoffer,” the band wrote in a statement posted to Instagram. “Josh is a beautiful musician who we respect and love. We are deeply grateful for our time with him, and the countless gifts he shared with us.
“We also announce, with great excitement and full hearts, that John Frusciante is rejoining our group.”
Klinghoffer recently discussed the change on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, describing his ouster as a “pretty simple decision.”
He said the band told him while they were at bassist Flea’s house.
“They just said, ‘We’ll get right to it. We’ve decided to ask John to come back to the band.’ And I just sat there quiet for a second and I said, ‘I’m not surprised.’
“The only thing I could think to say was, ‘I wish I could have done something with you guys, musically or creatively, that would have made this an absolute impossibility.’”
Klinghoffer added that he knows Frusciante’s absence left a hole in the band that no one else could ever entirely fill.
“John and Flea have a musical language,” he said. “I’ll never be able to contend with the history him and John had.”
He went on to say that the news was a “complete shock but no surprise” and confirmed that there is “no animosity” between himself and the rest of the band.
The subject had previously come up in a recent interview Klinghoffer did with Ultimate Guitar. But he was clearly unwilling to share any details about the split at that time.
Asked what lessons he would take away from his experience in the band, Klinghoffer said, “Ask me that another time.”
And asked whether there were any hard feelings, he replied tersely, “I don’t think so. Not from me.”
This is the second time Frusciante has returned to the group. He first left in 1992, returning in 1998.
It was reported a couple weeks ago that the group was working on a new album with Frusciante.
“For now, we’ll mostly be concentrating on new songs and writing a new record,” drummer Chad Smith told Rolling Stone. “We’re all real excited to make new music.”