John Frusciante, the guitarist with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and sometime solo artist, is talking fitfully and forlornly about the time, in 1992, when he gave up making music."Basically, I turned my subconscious brain into my conscious brain and figured out a lot of things that, really, your conscious brain has no business knowing," he says.Now, at 33, he's unrecognisable as the energetic, mohawked 18-year-old who joined the Chili Peppers in 1988, replacing the founding guitarist, Hillel Slovak, who died from a heroin overdose.With his hunched gait and his shirt tucked into trousers that sit several inches above his waist, he comes across as fragile.I had got to a point where I felt I had no place in the world and the world had no place for me.I honestly felt closer to death than I did to life." With all his money feeding his habit, Frusciante soon lost his possessions and home.After being away for three or four weeks at a time, he would come home and go straight into the recording studio."It's a strange way to make a record, but that's the only way to do it," he says.
Most people become drug addicts by mistake but I made a decision to become one.His arms still bear the scars of his intense three-year drug addiction, while his speech is slurred and erratic.We meet at the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel, a faux-medieval monolith high above Los Angeles' Sunset Strip.Frus- ciante is stretched out on his hotel bed and, sat next to him in a squeaky armchair, I feel like a psychiatrist.We're here to talk about his solo album Shadows Collide with People though the conversation keeps winding its way back to his troubled career in the Chili Peppers.When it came to touring the album, he resolved to smoke as much marijuana as possible.