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Various Anthony interviews

Californication reminded me of Blood Sugar Sex Magik [1991], and you continue that style on By the Way. Although you sound less funky and less sexually driven, you are far more passionate, emotional and vulnerable....

ANTHONY: It's true. I put less sexual aggression into the songs and try to give them more soul. I don't feel like I have to hide behind an image anymore. I am who I am. I'm not a sex machine. I'm human, a spiritual being and there is nothing wrong with showing emotions. Things change a nd people change. Now, I see being able to be emotional not as a weakness. I see it as strength. Even my lyrics are far more personal and, of course, due to that, more emotional.

You know, I love the new album, but I can hear countless fans crying out, "But where's the funk?"

ANTHONY: Oh, the funk is still there. It's still around, but he's a mean motherfucker. He's not in your face anymore shouting, "Here I am!" He approaches you quietly, lurks around and attacks you when you least expect it. Funk will always be our inspiration.

You will be 40 this year - how do you manage to stay in such amazing rock-star shape?

ANTHONY: I take my dog, Buster, and run in the Hollywood Hills. And I swim if I'm near a clean ocean or a pool that doesn't have chlorine.

Can you eat whatever you want?

ANTHONY: I'm a vegetarian. I start every day by drinking water, then an enzyme protein powdered thing and then a pot of green tea. I'm trying not to eat late at night; James Brown once said the secret to his success was not to eat after 6 P.M.

Do you have any vices these days?

ANTHONY: I don't drink any alcohol or take drugs. My worst vice is probably getting caught up in self-centered thinking, but I'm working on it. And I curse like a banshee. Kidding!

When did you get your last tattoo?

ANTHONY: I got a tiger about a year and a half ago, after I broke up with my girlfriend [designer Yohanna Logan; Kiedis wanted children, she didn't]. I needed a proud beast to get through that rough patch.

So, just curious, are you still single?

ANTHONY: Well, I got back together with her, and now we've broken up again. It's a silly saga, but my heart is crushed, and I'm getting on with life. I have a lot of love in my heart. Hopefully, it'll find a place.

One song that Kiedis is particularly proud of off the new album is "Don't Forget Me," which he describes as a "painfully simple song." "It's a cornerstone of our record, because no one's ever heard us play anything like this," he said. "This song is my ideal of what God is, and what life is, and what this whole picture's all about, and how it's just everything and everywhere, and the good and bad and the in between, and the experiences of a lifetime. ... I think it will be our opening song for the next three years or so because it puts us in such a good mood."

What does the phrase "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" mean?

ANTHONY: I've always been for some mysterious reason excited about blood. It represents life. Sex is a powerful and creative energy. Music is pure magic. Something happens when you put a bunch of unexpected words together. It's four words, and there are four people in this band. It originally was just a song. But at the end of t he recording experience, when we said, "Okay, what is this record really about?" that stepped to the front of the line and said, "I'm your title."

When you die, if you could come back as any animal what would you come back as and why? —

ANTHONY: something that lives under water would be a bold change. the grace and mobility of a killer whale are very tempting but i don't think i could handle baby seal brains in my teeth, so i'll say a female human.

Q: What's the secret to your eternal youth?

AK: Ha, ha! I've done years of dismal drug addiction and smoking everything you couid put in a pipe - self-loathing, selfabusing behaviour. But being in a band has kept me youthful at heart. It's mental and emotional exercise as well as physical. It keeps me in motion. Also, my mom and dad are very much in love with life and that is a gift I have inherited.

Q: What's been the highlight ofthe last 16 years?

AK: This is like having your three beautiful children on your lap and saying which one you love the most. I guess I wouid say the day that John Frusciante came back into the band . It was the summer of 1997 and we hadn't spoken for five years straight. We simply forgave each other. That wes an unforgettable high point.

Q: And the low point?

AK: There's been a few, but the lowest of all was Hillel dying (original Red Hot Chili Pepprers guitarist Hillel Slovak died of a heroin overdose on 25 June 1988). There's nothing lower than losing your best friend when he's in his 20s. Hillel was one of the most loving and talented people on Earth. The good news is l had 11 fantastic years with him.

Q: Where do you see yourself in another 16 years'time?

AK: Hopefully being a dad on a surfboard with his kids, writing lots of music and living near the ocean.

Q: What's the best advice you've ever received?

AK: To thy own self be true.

Who is the greatest living Englishman?

ANTHONY: Harry Potter. Can you think of anyone better?

Tell us a joke.

ANTHONY:What's the last thing a stripper does with her asshole before going to work? Drops him off at rehearsal and AK: what do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Homeless.

Do you think that what you do is worthwhile?

ANTHONY: Always has been. From the first day we started the band, I felt an enormous wave of satisfaction. It gives my brain and spirit a direction in life. Right now l'm on an American mountaintop, I'm eating good food and l'm about to play an outdoor rock show under the Utah skies where the people have love in their faces. Of course, there have been moments of egotistical implosions and mind-bending collapse, but that's life - a combination of good stuff and hard stuff.

Beats wearing only a sock, which you guys have done. How did that fashion statement come about?

ANTHONY: I moved out of my father's house when I was 16, and my roommate had this friend who was into me, but I had a girlfriend at the time. Still, she sent me all these pornographic cards saying come hang out. So, as a razz, when she came over one day I went in my r oom and put a sock over my cock and nut sack and walked out to greet her as if nothing was different--casual, like a Monty Python episode. It was actually a great phallic look. That was at a time age. There were so many young attractive women in our house running in the current of my father's life that I was just exposed to many opportunities--from friendships to sexual relationships. You pattern yourself after your parent at that age, and what his life showed me was that more was always better. But I grew out of that, I didn't follow my father's path for very long. The disadvantage is that that lifestyle can set you up for a pattern to never really find your soul mate--to never partner off with the ultimate she-wolf and grow old together. To me, that is a more desirable experience than jumping from girl to girl

TT: Do you believe that you can speak with the dead through dreams?

AK: That's what I believe. That you can communicate with them. It seems so real to me when we're talking.

TT: What hopes do you have?

AK: I just don't know. The only hope I really have is to make music. And that it gets heard. It (this album) is something that took so much time and struggling and working and exorcism. If they don't like it, that's okay. As long as it's heard. I have no idea how many records we'll sell.