Josh Adam Klinghoffer (born October 3, 1979) is an American musician best known as the current guitarist for the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, with whom he has recorded two studio albums, I'm with You (2011) and The Getaway (2016), and the b-sides compilation, I'm Beside You (2013). Klinghoffer replaced his friend and frequent collaborator John Frusciante in 2009, after a period as a touring member. Klinghoffer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2012, becoming the Hall of Fame's youngest-ever living inductee at age 32, passing Stevie Wonder, who was 38 when he was inducted.
A multi-instrumentalist, Klinghoffer also fronts the alternative rock band Dot Hacker, a group made up of former touring members of Gnarls Barkley, of which Klinghoffer was a member from 2006-2008. He is also a former member of the bands Ataxia, Warpaint and The Bicycle Thief. Klinghoffer most commonly plays guitar or drums, and sings backup as well as lead vocals. He has also both recorded and toured as a session musician with notable artists including PJ Harvey, Beck, the Butthole Surfers, Vincent Gallo, Sparks and Golden Shoulders.
Dropping out of formal education at the age of 15, Klinghoffer became involved in performing and recording music in Los Angeles at an early age. Klinghoffer describes himself at this time as "[the] little music dork who lived around the corner, dropped out of high school, and was just playing guitar all day long." In 1997, at the age of seventeen, Klinghoffer joined The Bicycle Thief, the then-current project from former Thelonious Monster frontman Bob Forrest. Red Hot Chili Peppers vocalist Anthony Kiedis noted that "Bob [Forrest] has always had a very keen sensibility about finding extremely talented and down-to-earth people who just want to get to a kitchen and write a song." The band's subsequent studio album, You Come and Go Like a Pop Song, marked Klinghoffer's first recording experience. Regarding bandmate Forrest's notorious drug addiction, which arguably stalled Thelonious Monster's commercial success, Klinghoffer stated at this time that he: "Pretty much had enough confidence in myself to know that I wasn't gonna be 'the next Bob Forrest'." It was during the recording of Bicycle Thief album that Josh first met John Frusciante, who came in to record a guitar solo. The two eventually began to hang out and listen to music together at Frusciante's home.
In 2000, The Bicycle Thief opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers, as the latter toured in support of their seventh studio album, Californication.
Klinghoffer and then-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante began writing together in 2002, with the hopes of recording and releasing an album under a band name. This album was eventually released as a John Frusciante solo release in 2004, entitled Shadows Collide with People. Regarding this decision, Frusciante stated:
|“||We had written the song "Omission" together and this song came about through collaboration. He played keyboard and I played guitar and both of us had the ideas for the vocals. [...] We sat there and scribbled our parts onto a piece of paper and when we were ready we got back together again and sung our ideas together and they fit perfectly. At that time we thought that we'd do many songs together, just like this one. As time went by, this album became more of a solo album with which he's helping me. [...] We'll do further projects where we'll work together, but we realized that these were my songs and it therefore had to be a solo album.||”|
During the first six months of 2004, Klinghoffer continued to assist Frusciante in the studio. Klinghoffer's drums, bass, vocals, keyboards, and/or guitar can be heard on the full-length albums The Will to Death, Inside of Emptiness, and in 2009's The Empyrean. 2004's A Sphere in the Heart of Silence is also credited to both musicians, and features several tracks with Klinghoffer on vocals, lead guitar, synthesizers and sequencing. He plays drums along with Frusciante and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally in Automatic Writing and AW II, under the name Ataxia.
Frusciante commented on his relationship with Klinghoffer in 2004 stating: "He's simply a very talented person and has been a very close friend for the past four years. He's one of the very few people who I really like to spend a lot of time with. In many respects he's the person who is closest to me, and with whom I can speak honestly about everything. His opinion is very important to me and I value it a lot."
Klinghoffer was a touring and session musician for Gnarls Barkley. Klinghoffer appeared on the band's second album, 2008's The Odd Couple and was part of the band's touring lineup to support their first two studio albums which also included an opening slot for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their Stadium Arcadium tour, a tour Klinghoffer would eventually join as a backing musician in 2007.
Klinghoffer founded his own band, Dot Hacker, in 2008, where he holds the position of primary songwriter, singer, rhythm guitarist and pianist. The group is made up of former touring musicians for Gnarls Barkley. In 2012, they released their first full-length album, Inhibition. The title track to Inhibition was first played in a Bob Forrest radio show. A previously unreleased track, "Rewire", is also included in the digital-only 4-song Dot Hacker EP.
Dot Hacker released the first of two new albums, 'How's Your Process (Work)', on 1 July 2014, with the second album, 'How's Your Process (Play)' due to be released later in 2014. The band has played at The Chapel, San Francisco in July 2014 and are due to play in Los Angeles in August 2014. The band announced plans to play Tokyo in February 2015 in support of the two albums. This will be their first time performing outside of the United States. Dot Hacker released their third album, N°3, on January 20, 2017.
In 2007, Klinghoffer played with Red Hot Chili Peppers on the final few legs of their Stadium Arcadium tour, playing additional guitar, backing vocals, and keyboard parts alongside the band. This tour would ultimately be John Frusciante's last with the band, and Klinghoffer's first. On May 8, 2009, amidst confusion as to whether Frusciante still remained within Red Hot Chili Peppers, Klinghoffer, Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith, Ron Wood and Ivan Neville performed under the name The Insects at a MusiCares in honor of Kiedis's commitment to helping those struggling with addiction and recovery.
In 2009, the Chili Peppers ended a two-year hiatus, and were joined by Klinghoffer in the studio to begin work on their tenth album, I'm with You. At the time, unbeknownst to the public, Frusciante had already quit the band earlier that year without announcing his departure. In January 2010, Klinghoffer performed with the band for the first time as their lead guitarist at a MusiCares tribute event to Neil Young for a performance of Young's "A Man Needs a Maid." It was later revealed he would permanently replace Frusciante as guitarist. Klinghoffer was officially named the replacement for John Frusciante in early 2010. Regarding his entry into the band, Klinghoffer notes, "I've always been attracted to the idea of a tight-knit unit, a band of family, a brotherhood. Since my earliest memory, they always seemed like a band with a lot of love for each other."
After eleven months of writing and rehearsing, the Chili Peppers began recording a new album, I'm with You, on September 13, 2010. Klinghoffer also sang, wrote music and played keyboards on the album. Recording was completed on March 18, 2011 and the album was released on August 29, 2011. The album's first single was "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie".
In 2011, Klinghoffer wrote and performed the original score for the documentary Bob and the Monster. Klinghoffer also appears in the documentary, which is based on the life and career of musician and drug counselor Bob Forrest. Klinghoffer was said to have recorded on at least one track on former Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery's second solo album, however LIFE.TIME. did not include it. On July 10, 2011, Klinghoffer appeared at the 2011 School of Rock's Rock the House Tour which also featured Keith Morris and Page Hamilton. Klinghoffer joined the School of Rock kids on stage to perform Red Hot Chili Peppers songs "Dani California" and "Give It Away". This was the first time he performed any of the Chili Peppers' songs live since officially joining the band as their guitarist.
In April 2012, Klinghoffer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At 32 years of age, Klinghoffer is the youngest artist ever inducted, surpassing Stevie Wonder, who was 38 when he was inducted.
In January 2015, Klinghoffer returned to the studio with the Chili Peppers to begin work on their eleventh studio album which would be produced by Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse. Recording was put on hold the following month when bassist Flea suffered an injury during a skiing trip. Production resumed in August 2015 and The Getaway was released on June 17, 2016 which was followed by an extensive world tour that will go through October 2017.
Klinghoffer has used a wide variety of instruments over the course of his career, but he generally prefers Fender Stratocasters.
Currently, he takes these guitars on tour: 
Klinghoffer has also previously used: 
Klinghoffer regularly changes his effects setup, but as of early 2017, his pedal board consists of: