Red Hot Chili Peppers



Belasco, Dublin Castle, London. Perhaps Belasco have needed so much time without the attention. The isolation’s made the three-piece an edgy beast, and proved them strong. Not only that, but their new songs positively reverberate with an independent spirit. It’s what will set them above their contemporaries – that and the accessibility they achieve by drenching panic-inducing lyrics with genuine melody. If ever the live show frustrates, it’s only because tonight’s venue feels like a cage. Belasco need to be headlining Glastonbury…The Fly, September 2005

Some bands like to do things the easy way; others seemed destined to do things the hard way. So it is that almost six years after forming UK trio Belasco are set to release “Something Between US”, their first album proper in UK – despite having already sold around 30,000 albums and played around 300 gigs outside the UK. An unusual story indeed…

The origins of the band go back to early 2000. Singer/guitarist Tim Brownlow and drummer Bill Cartledge had played in a variety of bands after leaving college. Finally falling out the latest in a long line of bass players they hooked up with old friend Duff Battye. A few rehearsals in things were working well and Belasco was born (the name means nothing).

After three gigs the band was picked up for an album deal by the fledgling Splendid Records, part of the City Slang family (Lambchop, Wheat, Nada Surf). The band holed up in Ridge Farm studios with producer Charlie Francis (REM, The Crocketts, Turin Breaks) and worked on their debut release.

The resultant 8 track mini album “Simplicity” was released in the UK in early 2001 to much critical acclaim – an early incarnation of the bands beautiful melodies mixed with epic rock. “Within minutes of hearing Belasco, it becomes abundantly clear that they have bigger songs and bigger ambitions than the majority of new guitar groups.” – Uncut. “When it comes to real British songwriting talent at the moment, London based three-piece Belasco are top of the list.” – Rocksound

The band started the toilet tours of the UK and were set to release their debut single (an early incarnation of “15 Seconds” – but more of that later). The single was recorded when tragedy struck and the owner of Splendid died. The label folded…

Around this time the band had been spotted by a German promoter and accepted the invitation to their first overseas tour in late 2001. Through this came the offer of signing to a German based label. Faced with the German offer of a month in a residential studio or scrimping again with UK independents, Belasco went deutsch and signed to Supermusic.

Another 7 track mini album “Technique” was released through Europe in late 2002 – an amalgam of Simplicity and three new tracks including “15 Seconds” and “And As You Are”, previously recorded with Fulton Dingley (Kula Shaker, Gomez, Placebo). As this release happened Belasco were holed up in Germany co-producing their debut album for Supermusic.

The resultant album “Knowing Everyone’s Okay” was released in early 2003 across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Finland, Australia and The Philippines. The album saw Belasco going much heavier. The band also signed a deal with the Future Forest organization to make production of the album carbon neutral by donating a portion of album sales to plant a Belasco forest on the site of a former Soviet missile base in Leipzig, Germany.

2003 was a huge success for the band – selling around 30,000 albums across various territories. The band had huge success across Australian and European press and radio – knocking Red Hot Chili Peppers of the No 1 spot on German student radio. The band were also playlisted on huge Australian radio networks Triple J and Triple X. Belasco started touring heavily – playing over 150 dates in 2003. The dates included gigs in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland and the UK. The band played huge European festivals such as Isle Of Wight (UK), Haldern and Lott (Germany), Alive (Belgium) and Music In My Head (Holland) with the likes of PJ Harvey, Cardigans, Paul Weller, Iggy Pop, Bright Eyes and Patti Smith.

The foreign success was noted by the UK with a licensing deal struck for “15 Seconds” single release with Mainspring (formed by ex MD of Columbia Blair MacDonald). “15 Seconds” was released as a single in the UK in December 2003 to huge critical acclaim – Guardian and Teletext Single Of the Week, Logo and Fly single of the Month and radio play from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe and Steve Crowley. The single was also picked up by the hugely influential Nic Harcourt at KCRW radio in Los Angeles. 'I saw the light for just 15 seconds...but I was medicated,' sings frontman Tim Brownlow. Swollen with scuzzy riffs, soaring with unhinged melancholy and powered by a rampant bleakness, this thrilling debut is the sonic equivalent of a 'Being John Malkovich'-esque trip into the brain of Holden Caulfield.' Time Out.

Around this time the band were approached by the legendary producer Hugh Jones (Echo & The Bunnymen, Bluetones, Hope Of The States) and started working with him.

As is often the way all these self-made advances had the major labels suddenly appearing like flies around the proverbial…

On the bands third rehearsal working on new material the ugly A&R scum ensued. Warners USA put the band in the studio to demo some new material, EMI’s Keith Wozencroft (signed Radiohead and Coldplay) declared the band as “the best band I have ever seen at this stage of their careers” Eventually a development deal was inked with Vertigo (home of Razorlight, Thirteen Senses, Metallica) and the band went into the studio in mid 2004 with Hugh Jones to record two singles – “Something Between Us” and “Chloroform”.

And then as so often happens, things went a bit strange…..

Mercury kept delaying single releases until “Something Between Us” eventually came out as a download in mid 2005! The label in flux and Belasco’s development deal did not progress to an album, meanwhile the band was on stand by, waiting for those proverbial men in suits to make a decision….

On its release, “Something Between Us” was again critically acclaimed and the bands darker than dark video – produced by Nick Walters was playlisted on MTV2. The video is also one of the first music videos added to the I-tunes new video purchase store in the US.

“Belasco have been honing their craft now for five years and their tight anthemic sound is just about to take them onto a new level and into uncharted territories. They have built up a strong following through airplay on radio 1 and student radio combined with a busy touring schedule. Something Between Us is produced by Hugh Jones (Echo and the Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes). With a sound this big we can't wait to see them on a bigger world stage, and it surely won't be long until they are headlining festivals around the world”. Hit Sheet.

Realizing that they didn’t have tight enough trousers or funky enough hair the band once again took matters back to their own hands. The band has finally inked a deal with Lockjaw records (Unsane, Tribute To Nothing) in the UK (through Supermusic) to release their UK debut album “Something Between Us” in January 2006. The “Something Between Us” album will feature some of the bands best songs to date - “Something Between Us”, "Chloroform”, “15 Seconds” and a host of tracks from “Knowing Everyone is Okay”

So there it is – the story of a band that has sold 30,000 records outside the UK, have played 300 shows including regularly playing festivals to audiences of 5,000 and over. A band who have had critical acclaim and radio play from LA to Australia and worked with some of the best producers. It’s taken 6 years, but the bands UK debut album is set for release.

Belasco continue to have huge success in Europe; the Virgin/EMI compilation album “Alternative Ballads II” is set for release in Germany in October 2005 and features Belasco’s “Breathe” alongside songs by Blur, Athlete, Radiohead and Nick Cave. The band are currently playing select dates and working on material for a new album – due for release in mid 2006


Staff member
@Star-team I don't see what's belasco got to do with red hot..

Anyway here is Peppers biography. I'd post it anyway just didn't get to that yet.

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Few rock groups of the '80s broke down as many musical barriers and were as original as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Creating an intoxicating new musical style by combining funk and punk rock together (with an explosive stage show, to boot), the Chili Peppers spawned a slew of imitators in their wake, but still managed to be the leaders of the pack by the dawn of the 21st century. The roots of the band lay in a friendship forged by three school chums, Anthony Kiedis, Michael Balzary, and Hillel Slovak, while they attended Fairfax High School in California back in the late '70s/early '80s. While Balzary and Slovak showed great musical promise (on trumpet and guitar, respectively), Kiedis focused on poetry and acting during his high school career. During this time, Slovak taught Balzary how to play bass, while the duo encouraged Kiedis to start putting his poetry to music, which he soon did. Influenced heavily by the burgeoning L.A. punk scene (the Germs, Black Flag, Fear, Minutemen, X, etc.) as well as funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly & the Family Stone, etc.), the trio began to rehearse with another friend, drummer Jack Irons, leading to the formation of Tony Flow & the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem, a group that played strip bars along the sunset strip during the early '80s. It was during this time that the quartet honed their sound and live act (as they stumbled across a stage gimmick that would soon become their trademark -- performing on-stage completely naked, except for a tube sock covering a certain part of their anatomy). By 1983, Balzary had begun to go by the name "Flea," and the group changed their name to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Word spread quickly about the up-and-coming band, resulting in a recording contract with EMI. But before the Chili Peppers could begin work on their debut, Flea and Kiedis were dealt a disappointing blow when both Slovak and Irons announced that they were leaving to focus more on another band they were in, What Is This. With replacement members Jack Sherman (guitar) and Cliff Martinez (drums) filling in, the Peppers released their self-titled debut in 1984. But the absence of the two original members showed, as the album failed to capture the excitement of their live show. While the album didn't set the world on fire sales-wise, the group began to build a dedicated underground following with college radio buffs. By 1985, What Is This was kaput (after issuing a single self-titled album), as Slovak and Irons returned back to the Peppers, resulting in the George Clinton-produced Freaky Styley. While the album was an improvement over its predecessor, it still lacked the fire of the band's in-concert experience, a problem that would finally be solved with their next album, 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. The album was the group's first to make an impression on the charts, and they followed it up a year later with stopgap five-track release, The Abbey Road EP, in 1988. But just as the world was warming up to the Peppers, tragedy struck when Slovak died from a heroin overdose on June 25, 1988.

In the wake of Slovak's death, Irons left the group for the second and final time, while Kiedis (who was also battling drug addiction at the time) and Flea decided to soldier on. After a new lineup consisting of former Parliament guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight and former Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro didn't work out, the duo found worthy replacements in newcomers John Frusciante and Chad Smith. The new-look Chili Peppers hit pay dirt straight away, as their first album together, 1989's Mother's Milk, became a surprise hit due to MTV's exposure of their videos for a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" and a song about their fallen friend Slovak, "Knock Me Down," as the album was certified gold by early 1990. The group knew that their next release would be the most important one of their career, so they moved into a mansion-turned-recording studio with producer Rick Rubin to work on what would become their most successful release yet, the stripped-down Blood Sugar Sex Magik (their first for the Warner Bros. label). The album became a monster hit upon its September 1991 release (going on to eventually sell a staggering seven million copies in the U.S. alone), as it spawned such hits as "Give It Away" and the group's first Top Ten single, "Under the Bridge."

But not all was well in the Chili Peppers camp. Like his predecessor, Frusciante had become addicted to hard drugs, and abruptly left the band mid-tour in early 1992. Undeterred, the band enlisted new member Arik Marshall, and headlined Lollapalooza II in the summer. When the band returned to the studio to work on their sixth release overall, it quickly became apparent that Marshall didn't fit in, and was replaced by Jesse Tobias. But before Tobias could record a note with the group, he was handed his walking papers as well, and former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro signed on. After a layoff of four years, the Peppers' much-delayed follow-up to BSSM was released in 1995, One Hot Minute. While the album was a sizeable hit, it failed to match the success and musical focus of its predecessor, as it became apparent during the album's ensuing tour that Navarro wasn't fitting in as well as originally hoped, and left the band in early 1998.

After Frusciante had left the group, he released a pair of obscure solo releases, 1995's Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt and 1997's Smile from the Streets You Hold, yet rumors circulated that the guitarist was homeless, penniless, and sickly with a death-defying drug habit. After checking himself into rehab and putting his demons behind him, Frusciante emerged once again refocused and re-energized, and promptly accepted an invitation to rejoin the Peppers once more. The group's reunion album, 1999's Californication, proved to be another monster success, reconfirming the Chili Peppers as one of alternative rock's top bands. The band put in a quick guest appearance on Fishbone's Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx before hitting the road to support the album. The following months found the band getting involved in bizarre situations and controversies. First, their refusal to play songs from One Hot Minute during the tour was an unpopular decision with some fans and a sore spot for Dave Navarro. Next, they reignited a personal feud between Kiedis and Mr. Bungle singer Mike Patton by refusing to play a series of European concerts with Bungle. Patton responded with a "tribute" show for the Peppers, where Bungle mocked their stage moves, faked shooting up heroin, and imitated Kiedis' comments about Patton. They also played the ill-fated Woodstock '99 festival, where their headlining performance was met with piles of burning rubble and a full-scale riot. Tours with the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam brought them into the next year without problems, but they stepped off the road after a planned stop in Israel was halted due to security worries. They returned to the studio in November of 2001 and by the summer of 2002 they had a new album ready to drop, By the Way. Warner Brothers released a Greatest Hits compilation in 2003, followed by a chart-topping two-CD album of all-new material, Stadium Arcadium, in 2006. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide