Red Hot Chili Peppers are a Californian rock band who have combined aspects of funk and hip-hop with rock and roll, pioneering funk metal. The band started in 1984.
One critic has summarized their lyrics as "sex, good times, rock and roll and more sex" with some truth, though some of their biggest hits, such as Under The Bridge, have been considerably more introspective. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of their sound is the bass playing of Flea, whose flashy, slap-heavy playing not only provides a groove but is also the source of many musical flourishes. They are also well known for playing bare chested, in fact Flea often goes one step further and performs naked on stage.
Red Hot Chili Peppers' label were originally signed to an EMI subsidiary known as EMI Manhattan. Epic Records offered the band a contract where each member would be paid a million dollars, but through some odd fate, the deal did not fall through and the Red Hot Chili Peppers signed with Warner Brothers Records. Their breakthrough record Blood Sugar Sex Magik as well as all subsequent records were released on Warner Brothers Records and were produced by Rick Rubin.
Their earlier work was a fusion of funk and punk rock with a party attitude. After the sobering death of guitarist Hillel Slovak, the Red Hot Chili Peppers would also lose Jack Irons, which would lead to the addition of current members, John Frusciante and Chad Smith.
The current members of the band are:
Singer Anthony Kiedis (1982-), who has been a member of the band since its foundation;
Bass player Michael Balzary, known as "Flea" (1982-), who was also a founding member;
Guitarist John Frusciante (1989-1992; 1998-), who originally joined the band as an 18-year-old fan whose playing impressed the band, and temporarily left the band during the Japanese leg of the tour in support of 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik; and
Drummer Chad Smith (1989-).