Sounds like former Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante is in the giving spirit: the rocker and experimental musician has released a large selection of songs for free on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. The rlease includes a 19 minute group that he called “a bunch of weird anti-rock star guitar solos” and a 37 minute collection made between 2009 and 2011, as well as four other single tracks.
“With the exception of a [vocal and guitar-only version of his song Zone off of his 2014 solo record Enclosure], this is all music which was made purely for the sake of making music, rather than for having it released and thereby sold,” he said in an open letter.
The 45-year-old guitarist was part of one of the best-selling rock bands of all time for 15 years, but he still believes in the value of giving music away for free. “When someone releases music on a label, they are selling it, not giving it. Art is a matter of giving. If I sing my friend a song, it goes from me to her, at no cost.” Frusciante states that the sale of music by successful recording artists is not a form of giving. They sell themselves and their art to an audience as a product, and do so aggressively.
Further solidifying his point, he derided “sell-outs” and explained that he wasn’t writing this music for a particular audience. “Thinking this way gives me a certain freedom and stimulates growth and change. 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.”
While he may not be writing music directly for his fans, he does value them. “I’m glad that the people who continue to follow what I do have kept their minds active and open. And I’m pleased that rock fans are not the only people listening to what I’ve done.”