RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS drummer Chad Smith has told SiriusXM's Volume West that the writing sessions for the band's new album were cut short late last year due to the Woolsey Fire. The blaze that broke out in November destroyed more than 1,500 Californian homes and other buildings from Ventura County to Malibu and killed four people.
Smith said (hear audio below): "We started to work on [the follow-up to 2016's 'The Getaway'], which, for us, is just getting in a room and making some noise and putting some notes together. And then the fires came, and the house we were working in, there was no damage, it didn't burn down, but we couldn't get back in there. So that halted our [progress]."
To help raise funds for the Woolsey Fire victims, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS performed this past Sunday (January 13) at the Los Angeles benefit event dubbed "Malibu Love Sesh" at the Hollywood Palladium.
"It was cool," Smith said. "It was fun. It was a good vibe, and we really appreciate all the people that came down and paid a lot of money — it wasn't a cheap ticket. But all the proceeds are going to the people that suffered from the fires and the families and everything that is involved in that.
"Myself and Anthony [Kiedis, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS singer] both live in Point Dume. Seventy houses in our neighborhood burned down. Ours was spared, luckly. So it was close to our hearts, and we wanted to do something. And it worked out. And it was fun."
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist Flea wrote on Instagram prior to this past weekend's concert: "The destructive effects of climate change are ongoing and will be difficult for us human beings to deal with. Love is the only thing that can help us. Love each other, love the earth, let’s be there for each other."
Earlier this month, Kiedis co-authored a Rolling Stone opinion piece in which he listed the human, financial and environmental cost of global climate conditions.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' most recent album, "The Getaway", was released by Warner Bros. Records in June 2016.