They had two years off before reforming in 2009, at which point he confirmed he wouldn’t be returning. They replaced him with Josh Klinghoffer a few weeks later, and later released tenth studio album I’m With You.
Now Frusciante reveals he’d made up his mind to leave soon after bassist Flea suggested a hiatus following their Stadium Arcadium tour in 2007.
He tells Billboard: “When he said it I was kind of shocked. I thought we were on a roll – let’s just keep moving with this, you know?
“But once he said it to me, my mind started thinking, ‘What would I do with that two years if I had two years to just do whatever I wanted?’
“By about four months later I was so excited about quitting the band I didn’t even want it to be a two-year thing any more.”
He didn’t attend the Chilis’ induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year and says he has no interest in rejoining the band for a third stint. In fact, he’s lost interest in appearing on stage at all.
“I really don’t think of myself as a performer any more,” he reflects. “It was never something that came naturally to me; it was something I adapted to. But it was never really an expression of who I was.”
Frusciante is set to release an EP called Outsides on August 27. He says of his “progressive synth pop” work: “I needed to specifically make music that I know wouldn’t sell in order to learn things. I’m going to keep doing that for the rest of my life.”