Anthony Kiedis recently sat down with comedian and MMA commentator Joe Rogan for an episode of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Among the topics they discussed were the early days of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the perils of drug addiction, and working with legendary record producer Rick Rubin, who gave an interview of his own on the podcast the week before.

Over the course of the three-hour conversation, which is now available to stream in full via Spotify, Kiedis and Rogan touched on a wide array of subjects including their shared appreciation of sensory deprivation, their respective crafts of music and comedy, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Rick Rubin-produced new albums, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen.

In one clip from the episode, Kiedis describes trying narcotics as an act of rebellion and recounts the negative impact drugs had on the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the band’s early days. He tells the story of meeting Rick Rubin when he was working with Beastie Boys and how the Chili Peppers’ wild behavior scared him off at first.

“We were going nowhere very slowly—couldn’t get out of our own way—but we were still making a buzz. There was something exciting about us that caught people’s attention, and it caught Rick Rubin’s attention,” Kiedis recalled. “And he was with the Beastie Boys and they were exploding with success and greatness, writing incredible music. So Rick brought the Beastie Boys to our dingy little rehearsal spot and we rehearsed while they watched. They were on these little dirty couches watching us and we went through our songs. And Rick stood up and said, ‘We’re gonna go now.’

“I was like, ‘Okay, do we talk again? What’s going on?’

“‘We’ll get back to you.’ Didn’t see him for years. Years and years and years went by. Eventually, I got clean and he came back and said, ‘Let’s make a record.’

“But I said, ‘What happened that day? You came and we played and you disappeared and I never talked to you again.’

“He was like, ‘I thought someone was going to get murdered in that rehearsal space. I thought someone was gonna die. I had to leave.’ That’s how dark we had become. That’s how dark I had become is he was afraid someone was going to die and it was time to leave.”

“Murdered?” Rogan exclaims in surprise.

“That’s what he said. He’s like, ‘You guys were terrifying. You were scary. It felt like someone was gonna die. We had to go.'”

Kiedis also tells of how later, during the making of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Rubin encouraged the band to write “Under the Bridge” even though Kiedis didn’t think it would make a good Red Hot Chili Peppers song.

“I showed him all my sexy songs, heavy funky songs. He’s like, ‘Okay, that’s good. We can work on that.’ He’s like, ‘Anything else in the book?’

“‘Just a poem that really isn’t a song. I mean it has a melody, but I don’t think it’s for us.’

“‘Well lemme hear it.’

“I was like, ‘Eh, it’s kind of embarrassing. It’s a little sentimental.’

“‘Love to hear it.’ It was Rick, because Rick knows there’s no rules. You want the thing that’s not expected. So I sang him “Under the Bridge” and he was like, ‘That’s your best song.’

“I was like, ‘It’s just a poem.’

“‘Bring it in to the boys. Show ’em the song.’

“So without Rick’s push, you know, for the counterintuitive sensitive guy song, we might have never had a chance to write that.”

“There’s some people in the world that are magic,” Rogan replied.

“Yeah, I love Rick, and he is magic.”

“He’s a magic person,” Rogan continued. The host’s familiarity with Rubin was no doubt bolstered by his recent appearance on the podcast, in which the famed record producer recounted his role in helping to popularize hip-hop after founding Def Jam Records from his NYU dorm.

“Once Def Jam happened and we started having a lot of success putting out music—I’m probably still at NYU—labels would come around and wanna be involved in one way or another, and one label asked, ‘What do you attribute all this success to? After all it’s not music.’ These are people in the music business who are wooing us wanting to work with us and they’re telling us they don’t hear it as music.”

“That doesn’t even make sense today,” Rogan responded.

“No the world has changed. But it was a completely alien, underground form of music. And because people were rapping instead of singing, that was one piece that wasn’t understandable, and then because the music was like [T La Rock’s] “It’s Yours” where it’s a drum machine, there’s no melody, it was too foreign at that time for people to understand it as songs.”

“Wow!” the host exclaimed.

“It’s shocking. It’s ridiculous.”

Rubin went on to explain how he succeeded in bringing hip-hop to the mainstream by having Run-DMC remake Aerosmith‘s “Walk This Way”, a familiar tune with lyrics that are already rapped more than sung.

“The whole purpose of doing that was to demonstrate, this is music,” Rubin said. “This is music, and not only is it music, it’s familiar music, you’re just not seeing it. You’re somehow removed from what’s happening but it’s easy to see if you create a demonstration. So that’s what ‘Walk This Way’ was.

“I looked for a song that was familiar, and that the way it was written in the original version, the Aerosmith version, the phrasing of it was essentially a rap record. … It’s not melodic; it’s all about the phrasing. That’s how rap works. And the beat, you know the intro … was already a known breakbeat in the hip-hop world. In [hip-hop clubs] no one had heard of Aerosmith. No one had heard of ‘Walk This Way’, but they knew the Toys in the Attic break which was just that beat, not the song.”

The famously divisive collaboration introduced rock fans to hip-hop and vice versa. It also helped revive Aerosmith’s career after the band “had fallen on hard times,” according to Rubin, who described seeing the group perform at a small club just six months after headlining a sold-out show at Nassau Coliseum.

View clips of Anthony Kiedis and Rick Rubin on The Joe Rogan Experience and stream the full episodes via Spotify in the players below.

Anthony Kiedis Discusses “Under the Bridge”, Rick Rubin, And Addiction On The Joe Rogan Experience

Anthony Kiedis Discusses Surviving The Shift From CDs To Digital Music Streaming On The Joe Rogan Experience

Rick Rubin Discusses How Walk This Way Brought Hip-Hop Into the Mainstream On The Joe Rogan Experience

Rick Rubin Compares The Creative Process Of Eminem, Jay-Z, And Anthony Kiedis On The Joe Rogan Experience

The Joe Rogan Experience – Anthony Kiedis [Full Episode]

The Joe Rogan Experience – Rick Rubin [Full Episode]

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