Skip to content
Artist x Artist

Artist x Artist: Flea x Bush Tetras

Flea Bush Tetras

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are influenced by a wide variety of artists, ranging from funk and punk, classical to jazz. For Flea, one of his biggest influences is the New York City post-punk band Bush Tetras. Formed in 1979, the band are best known for their 1980 song, “Too Many Creeps.” Over the years, Bush Tetras has had many rotating members, however, singer Cynthia Sley and guitarist Pat Place have been the band’s foundation. In 1981, Bush Tetras performed one of their first shows outside of New York in L.A. at the Whisky A Go-Go, which was attended by a teenage Flea. Seeing that show forever influenced Flea.

“It was a huge show for me,” Flea said of the show. “I was really blown away and I’d never seen anything like it…it opened a portal for me is the best way to say, and the idea of how music could be put together.

Though Bush Tetras would never fully hit the mainstream, their influence on artists could be heard not just in the Chili Peppers, but in many of the New York City bands who rose to prominence during the post-punk revival in the early 2000s.

In July, Bush Tetras released They Live in My Head, their first album in 11 years. After its release, Sley and Place sat down with Flea to discuss all things Bush Tetras in our latest episode of Artist x Artist.

Also in their conversation, the trio trade tour stories, including how Flea and Anthony Kiedis had to run from the Green Bay police in the dead of winter early in their career. They check up on old friends, former bandmates, and Sley and Place get the low down about Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La studio in Malibu and what his production style is.

On the previous episode of Artist x Artist, Classless Act’s Derek Day sat down with DMC. In their conversation, the two discussed how their collaboration came together and mentioned their favorite bands. DMC, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, also shared the reason he always wanted to be a rock star. 

Additional episodes of Artist x Artist, available here, include conversations between Steve Aoki and members of Taking Back Sunday, Sara Kays and Alec Benjamin, Pom Pom Squad and Nada Surf, Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna and the Linda Lindas, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, Jonah Ray and “Weird Al” Yankovic, Sting with Shirazee, and Paris Jackson and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra.