“By The Way”- The Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group’s musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock, heavy metal, hard rock, and psychedelic rock. The band consists of founding members Anthony Kiedis (vocals) and Michael “Flea” Balzary (bass), longtime drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined in late 2009, following the departure of John Frusciante. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have won seven Grammy Awards and sold over 65 million albums worldwide.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have released ten studio albums over their almost 3 decade career. Their sound is unmistakeable, and the two members that have been with the band continuously (Flea and Kiedis) have very unique styles. Even so, having been so successful for so long requires change, and the Chili Peppers are no exception.
“By The Way,” is one of Kiedis’ first departures from his typical vocal style. Until this song, most of Kiedis’ verses were spoken verse with bursts of “rapping”. “By The Way,” represents a departure from this style, containing only 2 such “rapping,” bursts.
Another change in the Chili Peppers music worth noting is the maturation of their lyrics. If you listen to early albums such as Freaky Styley (1985) and Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987) you will find less substance in their songs, which are filled with sexual innuendo and jokes. However following the death of Kiedis’ close friend and band mate Hillel Slovak, Kiedis’ lyrics became much more introspective and personal, as exemplified by the song “Knock Me Down” which was dedicated to Slovak. After witnessing Frusciante’s recovery from his heroin addiction, Kiedis wrote many songs inspired by rebirth and the meaning of life on Californication. On By the Way, Kiedis was lyrically influenced by love, his girlfriend, and the emotions expressed when one fell in love.
The seamless transitions between hard rocking and beautiful melody are trademark Chili Peppers, and as usual they have also managed to put together an awesome music video. Enjoy!