John Frusciante, lover of gear

I've never really felt strongly enough about the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to develop an opinion about them, but I enjoyed this piece in Guitar Player. After a lot of blah ("the force and the drive of Mars, the warrior, which is the planet of manifestation of what you feel is right from inside"), it gets into extreme geek detail about how he played guitar throug a Doepfer modular synth all over the last album. He's using all the good stuff: Numerous Moogerfoogers, reel-to-reel tape phasing, EMT digital reverbs, the new-ish Electro-Harmonix POG, Deltalab delays. Towards the end is the wonderful line: "When we started rehearsing the songs for live performance it was a real bummer, because everything sounded so empty without the modular synth." (Yes, that's his live setup in the picture. Yes, he's got three Moogerfooger low pass filters.)

Shit!!!! if you can't get your unique sound out of your amp & guitar with maybe 2-Toyz, maybe you should quit playing altogether...
Shit!!!! if you can't get your unique sound out of your amp & guitar with maybe 2-Toyz, maybe you should quit playing altogether...

Why? Who made this rule? Sounds pretty boring to me. For me the cool thing about music is experimenting, trying to create new sounds - seems to me like this guy enjoys it too. Oh and I'm not really a fan of their music.
I've never really felt strongly enough about the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to develop an opinion about them NOONE does!

Maaaan it kind of upsets me to see a pedal chain like that used for such middle of the road music...:( i mean, just unplug the guitar and start a harsh noise band already! ^_^
that picture should be lovely for all those tube-amp "every pedal in your signal chain kills your tone" purists. i personally prefer a clean, 3-4 pedalboard.
btw, this might interest you: in the latest tapeop magazine issue, they interview deerhoof, and they recorded their last album using only pods. the guitar sounds are excellent!
Shit!!!! if you can't get your unique sound out of your amp & guitar with maybe 2-Toyz, maybe you should quit playing altogether...

Friend, it seems you miss the point of this blog entirely.

As for the band...I used to love them, way back in high school. Though, of course, now there is little left of what they used to represent.
I play my guitar through my Doepfer system and it totally kicks ass!
Go John!

BTW. John's solo stuff is WAY more interesting than the stuff that RHCP are producing nowadays..
yeah the setup is not a surprise to me at all considering what i've heard about his solo work
I don't mind the RHCP, but I have to say that I really *do* like Frusciante's playing. Very creative, especially when most other guitarrists are just rehashing the old rock cliches.

I can't imagine what on earth you would need 3 lo-pass filters for. Once you've passed the lo once, what are you going to do the other two times?

Maybe we're looking at several "sub-setups?"
I like the Chili Peppers... but not enough to buy any of their albumns... or steal any of their mp3's .. . but it's probably the closest thing to funk that you'll ever hear on a rock radio station.
The interview goes into detail on why the three Mooger lowpass filters... basically, two of them are each set up with specific "presets" to match signature tones used in the studio on a couple of songs... the third is hooked up to expression pedals and is for general live use. Only one would be active at a time... Oh he also talks about using the LFOs on his (multiple?) CP-251's to tweak out the Moogerfoogers live. w00t
You couldn't have posted this at a better time.. I'm seeing them tomomrrow night from second row! yahoo!
All that kit and they won't spring for Autotune ?
frusciante was 21 when they recorded sex magik. there's been a few good songs since that classic album as well. his pedal board is pretty tidy considering the size of that band's repetoire and the range of sound and space he needs to cover in a 3 piece + vox set-up.

yeah they're major label and aren't cutting edge like the late 80s early 90's, but they still creatively shit over most geeks pissing and moaning in the blog. and frusciante is one of the most innovative and influential players of the last few decades.
I remember being addicited to a videotape on the making of BSSM in which Frusicante evangelized a luddite-like guitar-cable-amp approach to everything he and Flea were doing. I believe the quote was something like, "we believe our tones come from our fingers." That album is pretty dry when it comes to effects, and inarguably better than anything they've done recently, so it's hard to endorse this change of heart as bearing out artisically.
"it's hard to endorse this change of heart as bearing out artisically."

what the .... ? I don't think he's looking for any approval from chin strokers
Hey! CK said it was inarguable. How dare you go ahead and argue with him?
"Maaaan it kind of upsets me to see a pedal chain like that used for such middle of the road music...:( i mean, just unplug the guitar and start a harsh noise band already! ^_^"
or leave it plugged in and start a scfi grindcore band.
gees guys the peppers are deffinately my fav. band and their prob. the only good punk/funk psychadelia band goin around, sure he may use a lot of gear... but i still love em ^_^
way stick with one generic sound when u can make infinite and diffrent amounts of sounds...john is an amazing guitarist...havent heard much of his solo work till right jsut dowloaded some mp3 and the stuff is amazing!! as for RHCP iv loved them and always do..even though i dont agree on where they went with there new album stadium arcadium...but there definitly good songs in that album..and john's guitar sound is unique and the reason i found this blog because im trying to get a similiar sound but with less equipment...all i gota say is RHCP ROCK!
Peppers are by far the most interesting and original thing going in music today. I'm absolutely appauled at reading some of these posts (i.e - "if you can't get your sound out of your amp, guitar and 2 toys maybe you should quit"). This must be the stupidest thing I've heard all day. Tied for first place as the stupidest thing I've heard today is "It really upsets me to see a pedal chain like that used for such middle of the road music". You must have no idea about music at all.

At first glance it seems that people on here are quick to point fingers at the music the Peppers are coming through with and give them no credit as musicians. Until you see them live, you can't even begin to judge their talent. In the past few years I've been to see Ozzy (Zakk Wylde), Aerosmith, Audioslave, and Lenny Kravitz to name a few. The only one of these players who can creatively hold a candle to Frusciante is Tom Morello. Come on people.

On a more positive note, I've been looking to find a good picture of his pedal setup and I've definitely found a good on here. Thanks.
John's solo work is seems to me to be more creative than the what the cili peppers are doing these days, but I still got to give it up to the chili peppers because I grew up on that shit
If people actually listen to Johns/RHCP latest music they would realize that most of the effects are quite subtile and John consistantly uses a basic sound for the majority of his playing.
for fucks sake john frusciante is god! he is in my opinion the greatest guitar player who has ever walked this planet! he can use whatever effects he wants to! and although they may colour the tone of his all valve amps thats his sound and i think its absolutely amazing! im saving at the moment to get an elctro harmonix pog and some lo-pass filters of my own!
and as for this bullshit about the chili peppers, them and theyre music have saved my life so dont go saying stuff like some of you have.
long live the red hot chili peppers.
I'm not even sure that is his setup. He is a very minamalist guy and believes in playing with your fingers not your petals. If they are his petals its only so he can get some crazy sounds for short periods of time, most of his stuff is just played though marshalls with usually nothing inbetween.
All of you guys are idiots except the ones that think JOhn is god because he is. If you have ever seen them live, or even watched a video of him playin you will know what he can do with his guitar and fingers. The reason he uses all those pedals, WHICH IS HIS SET UP, is because h doesn't want all his music to sound the same like all you f ags that play that emo shit that sounds the same everytime you write something. John also has the best solos of anyone besides Jimi Hendrix, and he is just nasty.

maby he uses 3 low pass filters because he has 3 amps up on stage with him! remember he uses 2 Marshall majors and a silver jubilee all you guys are retarded, john is one of the most talented guitar players out there and if you cant see that i would suggest not listening to music
If you guys bothered to listen to any of his live performances you'd realise why he's got such a massive board, the man does things with his guitar that nobody else has even begun to think about doing. Its not easy to be truly experimental in a world where everything has already been done!!!
I'm a fan of RHCP and Frusciante. If you wanna complain about a guitarist and the amount of their equipment, start with The Edge!!! That guy uses a different guitar for every song FFS!
Just because someone uses a lot of pedals doesnt make them a bad guitarist. I'm repremanding everyones love of Satriani, Vai, Hendrix, Slash, Malmsteem and countless others because they all used pedals aswell! SIN I tell you... pedals god whatever next... stop acting like your a guitar god because you obviously arent otherwise you'd be earning the millions like John is
soooo fucking true man john fucking rocks ur sexy mexican maid mutha fucka and his solo work is also very unique
but personlally i like johns solo work alot better than his music in rhcp i think there new album is a lot less phsycadelic sexy funk than say bssm
John is the greatest out there, just check out his playing live. it's sensational. The more recent broadcast would be live earth which his guitar playing was jaw dropping, after seeing them that has held my decision to consider john the greatest guitarist out there, and the guitarist with the most soul that can also play extremly fast even though fast isn't everything playing guitar is about making sounds that connect withh those that feel real music and i feel john has done that as a person on this earth
Seems to me you could get away with just a channle selector, wah, fuzz face and octavia (Know who this set up belonged too?)with maybe a chours/flanger thrown in. But, I guess he is trying to get5 the broadest spectrum of sound possible, as rodge said.
i don't understand those who think that if you use pedals you're somehow cheating. i'm not much of a pedal user myself, but i think if you can use them right, then it actually makes you a MORE talented guitarist. Frusciante is a perfect example of someone who uses his pedals to make music, not just noise. just listen to all the guitar tracks on stadium arcadium. thats what i love about John, sure you can play his songs straight up, and they sound great, but add all the tones he gets, and thats what separates good from great. its hard enough to play with his emotion, let alone juggle all those pedals. not to mention writing the music. he truly uses the whole studio as his instrument. very hendrix...
I think its harder to find your sound with many effects than telling other people how bad he is! Become famous with only one guitarsound and you can say that he doesnt need effects...
jf is pure genius no matter what or how he plays his music is alive if u burnt all the gear and stuff jf would still find a sound that would be unique fresh and creative because he plays from his soul u idiots
John Frusciante can easily make great tone come out of just a guitar and amp. The pedals that he uses enhance what he plays so that the sounds are brought to an even higher stage. The chili peppers are a hell of a lot better than any of the garbage they throw on the radio or mtv and they are even more my favorite band for playin however they want too and not playin so that a mindless crowd will keep paying them.
Shit!!!! if you can't get your unique sound out of your amp & guitar with maybe 2-Toyz, maybe you should quit playing altogether...

I think jf himself answers this:
“What I came to realize, however, is it’s really a matter of shifting the energy, and, some nights, I might just as easily create the same effect by jumping around like a maniac at the point in a song where, on the album, I turned on some treatments. Or maybe Chad [Smith, drummer] will just pump up the drums at those points—as long as there is some sort of movement. The band has got such a new energy since we’ve started getting along better, and we’re just flying on stage now. You can put me up there with no effects and a tiny combo amp and I would still feel great—as long as we have that feeling between us.”
grrr!! you just have to listen to a recent live chilis gig to get how good they really are. frusciante is awesome, hes all about the feel, to go through what hes been through, come out the other side and play like that, ya gotta give it to him. and his sound is exactly right for what hes playing, perfect.
all i have to say is what the hell people, why does it matter what effects you use, frusciante is as much of a guitar god on or off the effects, his solo stuff proves that, effects and pedals are a part of the age of guitar, are you gonna say that tom morello isnt a real guitarist because he uses effects like a mofo...i dont think so, for one, its all about how you can make the guitar sound, not what you use to do it
man, i miss the old days when all john had was a wah-wah, a distortion pedal, and a chorus (thats the setup he used for his first two RHCP albums).
What the fuck do you think. This guy's one of the best guitar players of all time, and most of you think of that setup as ridiculous 'cause you can't even begin to understand how to use it.
And if you never saw hime perform live, then obviously you know nothing about his sound. He can be super clean and bright and super dirty and harsh on the same song.
So think before you post bullshit.
you guys are obviously not aware of the dozen of effects that most(if not all) guitarist use in the studio. John is simply bringing the gear he uses in the studio to the stage so he can match the same, or similar tones and sounds.

nothing annoys me more then when a guitarist uses a bunch of effects in studio records but when it comes to live performances all they use is just distortion and maybe one other pedal.
At the end of the day all a guitar is, is a piece of wood with 6 metal strings and a few electronics. why should someone play how "its supposed to be played". John is good for the development and the future of guitar.
he uses gears to make the guitar's music more "alive".
Y'all need to take the blinkers off!
Using effects makes you MORE of a musician in my opinion.... wanting to expand the guitar's sound and possibilities can surely only be a good thing
Yes, the chilis newer stuff is more popular but that doesn't mean they've sold out at all; just that people are realising how amazing they actually are
He doesn't always use effects...most of the time he's playing pretty clean
John is one of the best guitarists to EVER grace this earth
He used less effects in the old days because he could make his playing different to others by playing a different style. Now he's simply making his sound/style different by experimenting more.
He uses pedals because he's NOT middle of the road, unlike those many generic bands around these days!!!!
JF is GOD!!!!
Frusciante is no doubt one of, if not "the" best guitarist of our era. Just watch how he plays, and find me someone else that puts the same type feeling into his instrument. He's unique and his chemistry with Chad and Fleas is amazing to watch.

He doesn't strictly rely on effects to make great music, nor does he restrict himself to one type of sound or guitar. I think his solo work shows some of that versatility.
right on man i agree 100%, it seems to me like most of the people posting these comments consider themselves to be elitists of some sort and through no fault of there own, besides a blinding ignorence that knows no bounds, they fail to see what a remarkable musician john really is.
The chili peppers are brilliant, i hate the way that everyone bitches about them non-stop, the different style of each album is testament to their creativity. I love the By The way album, there's so much emotion on that CD.

John Frusciante is brilliant, i love the tones he creates on their albums and live so why should it matter if he has lots of effects? he's not hiding behind them like Tom Morello they just create a unique tone that suits their songs perfectly.

RHCP forever!!!
you know corky, not everything is about harsh music i enjoy listening to the red hot chili peppers and the sound that john produces
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