On July 9, 2002 the Red Hot Chili Peppers unleashed their eighth album, By The Way.

As the album turns 15, celebrate with ten little known facts about the album.


1. Completely different sound than intended. According to former Chili Pepper’s guitarist John Frusciante, the album was originally made with the intention of one half sounding like “English-rock” and the other having a punkier feel.

2. First “reflective” album. While writing By The Way, the band stated that they took a different approach to the lyrics with the hope of making them more personal.

3. Frusciante’s “happy” album. Frusciante has said that writing “By the Way [was] one of the happiest times in my life”.

4. Cover girl. The woman on the album’s cover art is Stella Schnabel, Frusciante’s girlfriend at the time.

5. Loads of outtakes. The final track listing consisted of 16 songs, but over 10 additional songs were scrapped in studio. Many of them have since been released, including “Fortune Faded”.


6. Confident release. The band was so pleased with the outcome of the album that they put out an official statement before the release saying, “Greetings from the dimensions of invisible shapes and colors. The music on this record has expanded our space and made us bigger. Thank you for listening and being exactly where and who you are.” The confidence paid off too – the album went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide.

7. “By The Way” almost wasn’t a single. The band didn’t want to release the title track as a single, but their management team pushed them to release it. Anthony Kiedis said, “I thought that single was an über-bombastic assault of non-commercialism.”. It has since gone on to become one of the Chili’s most iconic songs.

8. It wasn’t “The Zephyr Song” until the last minute. One of the Chili’s coolest songs was almost called “Coltraine”… for no real reason. The song was inspired by nature’s healing power and human connection, themes Frusciante held close after completing extensive rehab before the album’s release.

9. They’ve performed “Can’t Stop” A LOT. As of 2002, the band has performed the song over 530 times. They just can’t stop!

10. Debuted “Dosed” in YEG. When the band rolled through Edmonton on May 28, 2017, they performed By The Way’s “Dosed” for the first time EVER.


BONUS: Watch SONiC’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Anthony Kiedis HERE

Filed under: Anniversary, Anthony Kiedis, By The Way, Can't Stop, Dosed, Red Hot Chili Peppers