John Frusciante Shares Tons of New Music for Free, Says ‘Art Is a Matter of Giving’
In an accompanying open letter posted to his website, the erstwhile Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist expounds on a previous interview with Electronic Beats, which he believes was misinterpreted in its dissemination. In that conversation, Frusciante said he no longer had an audience and had decided to “stop making music for anybody and with no intention of releasing it.” Several months later, he’s clarified he wants to share his music with the public but does not want to do so commercially.
“Obviously I have a public audience,” Frusciante writes. “I am aware of them, and they know who they are. When I said ‘At this point, I have no audience’, I meant ‘audience’ in the figurative sense of people who I have in mind when I am creating, who I intend to send my music to or play it for.”
Frusciante reiterates that creating music without an audience in mind and the public expectations that come with that, he’s afforded a much-needed freedom in his creativity -- something he expressed in the interview with Electronic Beats.
“Reduced to a single sentence, it would have been accurate to say that, at this point, I have no particular audience in mind while I am making music,” he writes. “Thinking this way gives me a certain freedom and stimulates growth and change.”
The former RHCP guitarist goes on to explain his motivation for releasing his music for free:
When someone releases music on a label, they are selling it, not giving it. Art is a matter of giving. … Recording artists have been ‘giving’ the public music by selling it to them for so long that we now think of sell-outs as dedicated musicians who love their audience so much that they aggressively sell them products, and sell themselves as an image and personality to this audience on a regular basis just as aggresively. Sell-outs is an antiquated term which, when I was a kid, referred to artists who love making money more than they love making music. The word indicated a lack of artistic integrity. Sell-outs suck, in my opinion. Its a shame its become so normal, expected, and acceptable to be one. When I was a teenager it was very common for people who loved music to insult a recording artist for being, or becoming, a sell-out. I believe that this was a very healthy instinct on the part of music lovers.
Giving people music for free online being so common these days is a good reminder that artistic expression is always a matter of giving, not taking, or selling. … it is my conviction that music should always be made because one loves music, regardless of whether one plans on selling it or not. Creation is the source of life, while making money is what people do for food, clothing, shelter, necessities, and comfort in some cases, and to exercise their greed in others.
Listen to just a small sample of Frusciante's new music below: