John Frusciante Forms New Band With Ex-Mars Volta Guitarist, Album Coming in March

Former RHCP guitarist and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez teaming up for Kimono Kult project.

Ultimate Guitar

Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and ex-Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez have teamed up for a new project Kimono Kult, an endeavor that might bring us one of the most eclectic efforts this year.

The band has already announced March 4 release of their debut EP "Hiding in the Light," you can pre-order it now via Bandcamp.

Apart from the axemen duo, Kimono Kult consists of guitarist/vocalist Teri Gender Bender, multi-instrumentalist Nicole Turley, Dante White-Aliano on guitar and synths and Laena Geronimo on bass, violin and trumpets.

In case you were wondering about the group's musical direction, their page consist of the following tags: afrobeat, garage rock, no-wave, post-punk, synth-pop, electronic, experimental, funk, melodic, punk rock, surf, Los Angeles. Recording, production and mastering duties will be handled by Turley, who also happens to be Frusciante's wife.

As the official release points out, each band member is "adamant that this is not some 'all-star' vanity project. In fact, one cannot even see Kimono Kult - one can only hear Kimono Kult (in theory with the true definition of occult as 'something hidden')." Also substantiating such a stance is the fact that Frusciante has already collaborated with Rodriguez-Lopez in the past, specifically on five out of six Mars Volta records and a solid portion of his solo work.

Focusing on the music, the debut EP is described as "four songs of electro/dub/afro-beat/avant-freak/jazz-like conversations of instrumental ecstasy." You can check out the full track listing below.

"Hiding in the Light" track listing:

1. Todo Menos El Dolor
2. Las Esposas3. La Vida Es Una Caja Hermosa4. La Cancion De Alejandra

So this one pretty much has "eclectic" written all over it. Make sure to share your expectations in the comment section.

52 comments sorted by best / new / date

    well, it's Frusciante so I'll check it out no matter what. Even if he was working with Miley Cyrus.
    Given how awesome this is, I'm really excited for this. (Frusciante plays the first two guitar solos)
    this is the next best thing to him rejoining rhcp imo
    Have you heard the empyrean? Its one of Frusciante solo albums. In my opinion it was just as good as most of the chili peppers cd. Check it out!
    Danjo's Guitar
    I like the Empyrean, but I think Shadows Collide With People is his best work. Granted it is also the most heavily produced. I love all the 2004 material though, and he did that while still with the Chili Peppers, so theres no reason he can't do both. That being said I would like to see a few more albums with Josh to let him come into his own. Then an album with Josh and John in RHCP would be awesome.
    To be frank... In my opinion The Empyrean is far better than anything RHCP have ever put out. While RHCP is sort of fun, The Empyrean is one of the greatest works of art ever created. This, of course, is only my opinion. I just wanted to point it out, because I love that album so much.
    I love most/all of John's solo work, but The Empyrean is the best album I've ever heard. I firmly believe it's the new standard for music.
    But Curtains, The Will to Death, Shadows Collide, DC EP, To Record Only Water for 10 Days and A Sphere in the Heart... are all better. Like, considerably. But it's still nice. Anything minus perhaps Frusciantes two last releases blows anything RHCP ever did out the water really.
    Have you listened to his more recent stuff, Letur Lefr, PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone, or Outsides? It's all awesome, but so out there haha.
    they've been collaborating for years and put out amazing stuff. looking forward to hear them again.
    Oh god why did Omar have to bring his Bosnian Rainbows freak singer Teri 'gender bender' along with him?!
    he's dating her. that's a fact. i wouldn't expect anything at all if it's involved in any manner with that girl. she is terrible.
    Wow, it was less than a year ago when Frusciante said he had absolutely no interest in performing in a band! Looking forward to Nicole Turley's input, I actually quite like her.
    If I recall correctly, what he said was he had no interest in playing live.
    He did, but it was this sort of thing I was talking about: "Frusciante explained his years of education and growth as a solo musician since leaving the band dynamic—and why he’ll never go back. "When it comes down to it I probably have a lot more in common with old classical composers from the 1700s than I do with the rock stars of today," he said. "
    This is a collaberation not a band. Read the paragraph about how you cannot see Kimono Kult, you can only hear Kimono Kult. I seriously doubt this will ever tour. It is a stricly studio collaberation between friends. John writes these amazing songs and needs people to play them. So he gets some people together and they record some tunes. Not really a band.
    I know, but in the interview I quoted above it seemed like he only wanted to make music alone from now on.
    20 second or so previews are on Amazon. I like these guys as musicians but this doesn't sound like my cup of tea.
    I think this sounds more like Omar Lopez's side project moreso than John's. Of course John is going to get billing in the title, that is what is going to make one read the article. Thanks for posting the link.
    You just broke all my hopes with that link... I miss the John of old before he made his music get muddled with a million pounds of lame drum machines and synths.
    the only song out of those previews that I even found listenable was La Cancion de Alejandra
    Yes! I can't wait. Two of my favorite musicians. I hope they actually have a major release and go on a tour of some sort. I saw the Volta live about 5 years ago but ive yet to see frusciante play live. This needs to happen.
    *Sigh* John Frusciante was the reason I picked up the guitar. Not to be like him, you understand, but his comments about how it isn't all shredding, rather, it's the emotion that can be placed into a single note really intrigued me. I have no interest in becoming Eddie Van Halen. Having said that, I'm disappointed with John's recent output. I didn't much like synth pop in the 70s and 80s and I like it even less now. It's criminal how much talent he has with the guitar, yet he is abandoning it to noodle about with electronic "music". Froosh's music (post-Empyrean) reminds me of that episode of "Friends" where Ross plays the synth. If you've seen it, you'll know what I mean. "The Empyrean" remains one of the most transcendent and ethereal pieces of art I have ever heard. More mainstream fayre such as "Shadows Collide with People" and "To Record Only Water..." are excellent as is the stripped down "Curtains." PBX etc is, to my mind.....meh. For a musician of John's talent, that is unacceptable.
    Sadly both John and Omar are incredibly talented guitarists, but the two have developed a resentment to the instrument and are going way experimental with production and synthesizers and for me the experiment for both is a fail.
    There's some amazing songs on PBX. Ratiug and Sum are some of my favourites of his (Obviously The Empyrean is the greatest accomplishment of mankind)
    My first reaction to this was utter jubilation, as these are two of my favorite musicians of the past 20 years. But then when I think about it, I havn't been a fan of what either of these guys have been doing the last few years in post MV and RHCP (other than empryean), so I'll just have guarded optimism on this one.
    I love frusciante, and is probably my favourite musician (besides Neil Young). I know a lot of people hate the direction he took, and it's not my favourite either. I suspect things will stay this way for a couple years, but he will come back. Oh yes, he will return.
    So who's singing or are they all spliting it?? Also aren't those genres stuff that the Chili Peppers do/have done. Interesting
    It'll be Teri Gender Bender singing, who does vocals for Bosnian Rainbows, her other group with Omar. She is AMAZING
    It's sad to see that Omar can put together amazing groups with the snap of his fingers, but Cedric can't do any better than Zavalaz.
    Saw Zavalaz live last year when they opened for the Chilis in Anchorage, i thought they were pretty good.
    No-Wave?! Puke. John FAILiante. He'll be back with the peppers after one more album.
    black knights - medieval chamber rap album produced by John, it was released few days ago I think
    And John Frusciante takes yet "Second Walk down the street of fame"...again. Awesome.
    This project could end up being really cool, really awful, or just kind of meh. John's solo stuff is hit and miss, as is Omar's. The do seem to work well together, though, but it's often when they also have Flea and Jon Theodore in the mix. I do hope to cross paths with this once it comes out; but I hope it's better than the last Frosh song I heard on UG, which was basically just him improvising over a repetitive drum beat for 10 minutes.
    The 1st song, on the other hand, is a new approach to the form of the extended solo. The effect is that of an improvisation between the drums and guitar, but these specific interactions between those instruments could not take place with a traditional drummer and lead guitarist. It’s basically my dream drummer, because he listens and responds to what I am playing, yet he also provides a solid anchor for me to respond to, without the usual delays involved in those contrary actions. He also gives me large spaces of silence and then comes back in exactly on one of my accents, as if he knew I was going to play a note in that precise place. This impossible interaction is due to the fact that the guitar solo was performed to a repetitive 2 bar version of the drum beat, and then afterwards I chopped up the drums so they are interacting with and responding to the solo for the entire 10 minutes. I used only one break for the entire song, trying to get the most I could out of it. Amazing how many new beats there are to be found in a one bar break. This work method allowed me to polyrhythmically go way out on a limb with the guitar, while drum-wise remaining as tight as a funk drummer who somehow mentally follows and compliments each polyrhythm perfectly. Funk drummers normally lead their band, while busy drummers supporting polyrhythmic soloists must listen to and be guided by the soloist, and yet in this song, the drummer is doing both of those things at every moment. Also, the other instruments are changing by the section and normally extended solos do not have sections so to speak. I maintain a consciousness of the 16 bar cycles, whereas rock soloists and their bands generally abandon multiples of 8 bars, and lose sight of the big picture, hence the boredom long solos became known for. In other words, a guy’s normally soloing over maybe a two bar vamp, and everybody naturally continues to hear larger frames, but gradually these frames become different for each person hearing the music. This not only disconnects the audience from the band, but also disconnects the band members from each other. This is the opposite effect that rock music generally strives to achieve. Whereas, this solo moves forward and changes constantly, like a song does, and the guitar must change keys with the music in the same way a singer must. In extended solos, guitarists usually avoid this inconvenience by soloing over reliable musical backgrounds, called vamps, or by soloing over chord progressions in which the chords all draw from the same 7 notes. When presented with a progression like this, most guitarists would make up a melody, or compose a basic game plan for a solo. You just don’t hear people improvising a long, ballistic solo like this over this kind of classical/Tony Banks chord progression. This ability comes partially from the fact that when I practice along with a CD, I will play one part, say the keyboard, while thinking about at least one other part, say the bass, and my eye follows the frets where the bass part would be if I were playing it. If I fail to “see” the bass part for a few notes, I rewind and do it again until I am playing the keyboard part and seeing the bass part. I’ll do this with all the instruments until my brain understands all the inherent relationships of pitch and rhythm, and by doing this I have as good a mental idea as I could muster about “why” that piece of music makes me feel how it does. Short guitar solos over modulating changes are particularly illuminating using this practicing method. If a musician plays the chords while seeing the solo, and then plays the solo while seeing the chords, it becomes clear “why” the guitarist chose those particular notes at the times he did. This form of practice is based on the same basic musical principle which Jimi Hendrix’s rhythm guitar style showed us, which is that you could be thinking of the chords and a lead part at the same time. We guitar players previously understood this principle as “I can play chords and a lead at the same time”, but at this point in time, over 40 years later, we can now appreciate that it is the ability to think of chords and a lead at the same time which caused him to play in this style, and a new type of soloing can result from engaging in this same mental action, but only playing the lead part. Allan Holdsworth has always been great at this, but we are not talking about jazz here. Rock guitarists usually do not wish to think trains of thought about anything but their own guitar playing during a long solo, and I could not play this way if I were not able to divide my attention between my ever changing musical environment and my instrument itself. To lose your mind while you are mentally considering two opposing perceptions of the music at hand, is a skill rock musicians as a whole have yet to develop. The style I’m playing in is basically the way I play on PBX, but by this point I had gotten to playing that way with total reckless abandon. This was more of a mental development than a physical one. Th
    Cool, I keep up with all his projects. It's gonna sound like Swahili mixed with my avatar's album. COol beans
    Chili peppers guitarist teaming up with Steve Urkel! WOOOHOOO this will be great! Did I do that!!!!??