John Frusciante on how Kurt Cobain influenced RHCP’s Eddie Van Halen tribute song

The guitarist also shared his love for English rock band Genesis.

John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers Live

Image: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy

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Red Hot Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante recently revealed that Kurt Cobain was one of the sources of inspiration behind the band’s tribute song to late Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

In a new interview with Guitar World, Frusciante shared the influences behind his guitar work on the track Eddie in their latest album Return of the Dream Canteen: “I really love guitar players like Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen for the way that they could make the instrument explode through hand and whammy bar techniques,” he said.

“But I also really like the way people like Greg Ginn or Kurt Cobain play without it being so much about technique – although there are all kinds of unconventional techniques in there – the focus is definitely a more visceral thing.”

“Eventually, by the time we were recording, my concept was to find a bridge between those two conceptions of the instrument: that idea of making it explode with the electricity of the human energy that comes through the strings.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Frusciante also gushed about English rock band Genesis, in particular, keyboardist Tony Banks, whom he describes as “one of the most masterful chordsmiths that I think we’ve ever had”.

“I really love the band Genesis, their prog stuff, as well as their pop stuff,” said Frusciante. “And their keyboardist Tony Banks, I put him up there with the Beatles as far as really coming up with imaginative chord progressions all over the place.”

“He makes these chord progressions that are so fluid, they’re more like a melody than they are a chord progression. I definitely became really fluent in that style of progression during the time that I wasn’t in the band.”

Click here to check out the band’s latest studio album, Return of the Dream Canteen.


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