Chili Peppers Look Toward Next Album

— The Red Hot Chili Peppers, still racking up sales and awards for last year’s Californication, plan to begin work on a new album in February, according to band bassist Flea.

Flea revealed the plans backstage after the funk-rock veterans won two prizes Thursday at the inaugural My VH1 Music Awards — the appropriately unconventional awards for Must-Have Album and Pushing the Envelope. The group also performed its soulful number “Otherside.”

Flea said he had “absolutely no idea” what the new album would be called or what the music would sound like.

“We always go on different projects that we do with no plan or anything like that. … We feel like if we try to plan on something that it can never be as great as the spontaneity that happens, because that’s really where the magic of music is at.”

Sticking With the Best While he and his colleagues — singer Anthony Keidis, guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith — have not yet discussed producers, he said he could not imagine working without producer Rick Rubin, who helmed their last three albums.

“He’s actually been like an angel in my life. I love him,” Flea said. Meanwhile, Frusciante is preparing for a January release of his third solo record, To Record Only Water for 10 Days.

Solo PepperHe will launch a promotional tour in Europe and may do a single show in each of the countries he visits, he told reporters backstage. The album is a true solo effort, with Frusciante singing, playing guitar and synthesizers, and programming the drums himself.

“It’s probably inspired by the songwriters who I like, like Lou Reed and David Bowie and Syd Barrett,” said Frusciante.

“But instrumentation-wise, since I wanted to do it all myself, it’s kind of inspired by bands like Depeche Mode and New Order …”

Frusciante, who described Pink Floyd founder Barrett’s 1970 solo recording, The Madcap Laughs, as one of his favorite albums, rejoined the Chili Peppers in 1998, six years after quitting and then almost succumbing to a heroin habit.

He was also noncommittal about the tone of the next Chili Peppers album, saying he was “just starting to get vague colors in my head.”

Reuters contributed to this report.