“We Turn Red”: Chad Smith and His Sick Drumbeats
“We Turn Red” Highlights Drummer Chad Smith’s Superior Drumming Skills
“We Turn Red” is the most recent song from alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is the third track off of their upcoming album The Getaway, which is set to release on June 17th. So far, Red Hot Chili Peppers have released “The Getaway” and “Dark Necessities”, the first and second track from the album, so they seem to be following a track-by-track progression when it comes to releasing their newest songs.
In comparison to “The Getaway” and “Dark Necessities”, “We Turn Red” is much more driven by the funky drumbeats of none other than drummer Chad Smith. He joined the band in 1988 and has since become a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside the rest of the band. He is a highly sought-after drummer and has recorded with multiple artists, including singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, country star Johnny Cash, and folk rock band The Avett Brothers. Smith is also active in charity work with young musicians, having lobbied in support of music education in U.S. public schools in the past. He is also widely known for the close resemblance between him and comedian Will Ferrell, which eventually led to a drum battle for charity.
“We Turn Red” opens with Smith’s powerful drumbeat that is soon accompanied by bassist Flea’s pounding bassline. Vocalist Anthony Kiedis joins in with his traditional rhythm-and-beat style that is a key component of funk, a genre that Red Hot Chili Peppers dabbles in. A minute into the song, the drumbeat falls into the background, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer pulls in with a flowing melody, and Kiedis’ vocals turn smooth and wavy. The song returns to the rhythm-and-beat style after the chorus, and a pattern develops: funky verses and warm choruses.
This interplay between melody and rhythm-and-beat is not new to Red Hot Chili Peppers, but they do it better than anyone else in the contemporary music scene. Alternative rock is all about blending different styles and seeing what fits, and Red Hot Chili Peppers have definitely embraced it. “We Turn Red” is the most recent example of not only their talent, but of Chad Smith’s talent in particular. His ability to smoothly transition from a pulsing to a subdued drumbeat captures the essence of his skill and capacity for generating great beats.
Check out “We Turn Red” on YouTube below, and keep your eyes peeled for The Getaway on June 17th!
Chad Smith and Will Ferrell. Can you tell who is who?