Red Hot Chili Pepper’s own iconic bassist, Flea, has been one of the mainstays of the rock arena for over 30 years and he doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. Arguably one of the most famous bass players of all time, he brought the extra groove-laden funk that set RHCP apart from every other alter-native rock act of the time. It was his infectious rhythm that meant the Chili Peppers were a band you could dance to.
There is perhaps no better example of that than on their iconic song ‘Can’t Stop’ a track which, by all intents and purposes, relaunched the Chili Peppers’ career for a brand new audience and a whole swathe of a brand new generation. Taken from the band’s 2002 album By The Way, when you hear the song through Flea’s mesmeric bassline isolated you get a crucial understanding of why Flea is so widely revered by those in the know.
With Rick Rubin taking up production duties and managing to unlock that special something with the band that finally came to the surface on By The Way, showcasing their more melodic and far more pop-orientated sound on this record without losing too much of what made them great.
That’s because, unlike many of their contemporaries, the thing that made the Chilis so brilliant was the very fabric of their sound—the bass. Often an overlooked part of the band machine, if you have an eccentric bassist like RHCP do, then chances are no matter your musical direction the core of your sound will stay aligned. For the Chilis, that core is Flea.
Having formed the band with his high school pal Anthony Keidis, the group has always centred around his funktastic way of playing as he attempted to infuse the band’s alt-rock found with a taste of something a little bit more groovy. It did well to make the band out as unique and, when the faced the proposition of relaunching their sound for a pop audience, once again Flea was at the helm.
The bass God has given some stellar performances over the years but ‘Can’t Stop’ was one of real importance as the track helped introduce Red Hot Chili Peppers to a much wider audience than ever before and thanks to Flea’s mastery, it’s little wonder their fanbase has only grown.
Listen to Flea’s isolated bass on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song ‘Can’t Stop’ below: