Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ drummer Chad Smith doesn’t look like your typical Washington lobbyist but he has done his fair share of petitioning for music education—a cause that’s critically important to him. In fact, the 52-year-old says he wouldn’t be where he is today if not for the music programs in the public schools he attended as a child.
Smith, who began playing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1989, is an accomplished drummer and articulate speaker. He’s recorded seven albums and played 23 top 10 singles with the Chili Peppers. In 2012, Smith and the other band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Aside from his playing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smith is a highly sought after drummer who has recorded with Deep Purple, The Dixie Chicks, Jennifer Nettles, Johnny Cash, and The Avett Brothers, to name just a few. Plus, he’s also drummer for the hard rock band Chickenfoot and the instrumental group Bombastic Meatbats.
In a recent interview, we discussed his music education advocacy, the creative process behind Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music, and what it’s like to be an in-demand professional drummer.
Why is the cause of arts education in public schools so important to you?