John Frusciante, who was a guitarist for Red Hot Chili Peppers for a total of 15 years between 1988 and 2009, released new music on Bandcamp and Soundcloud Tuesday, he announced on his official website via a letter detailing why he chose to make the new tracks available for free. He also wrote about his idea of the “audience.”
“Even when you make music purely for the sake of doing it, as I do, it sometimes helps to have friends who’s ears and taste you have in the back of your head when you’re making it,” he wrote. “but this can also put you in a straightjacket, just as aiming your music at the masses can. Therefore, in Jan 2014, I decided to stop having an ‘audience’ in this sense.”
He went on to clarify that “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.” “Thinking this way gives me a certain freedom and stimulates growth and change,” he said. “It is a state of mind that has been extremely useful to me from time to time throughout these last 27 years of being a professional musician.”
But just because Frusciante doesn’t have you specifically in mind when he’s recording doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you to listen to it.
“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,” he said. “Selling is the making money part, and artistic expression, creation, is the giving part … 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. It is my pleasure to give you this music.”