3-alarm Chili Peppers

Times Staff Writer

IF the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Stadium Arcadium" fails to win the album of the year award at the Grammy ceremonies in February, don't expect the band to pull a Kanye West and disrupt the winner's acceptance speech.

"I think it's really nice that people like our record, but I treasure our relationship with music so much that to take any sort of competition seriously I don't feel is a healthy thing," Chili Peppers bassist Flea said Thursday, reacting to the announcement of the veteran group's six nominations.

"We love our music so much and we take such care with it that for people to pay attention to it is a very happy thing," he said. "The music is a sacred thing for us; it's not something that we put out there to compete."

This kind of showing had been predicted for the Los Angeles rock quartet, whose 22-year career previously generated only seven nominations, none in major categories. The band has taken home just two awards -- the 1992 hard-rock vocal Grammy for "Give It Away" and 1999 rock song for "Scar Tissue." The band has overcome personal turmoil and critical scorn to establish itself as a commercial and critical force.

"It could be that it is an acknowledgment of our history," Flea said of the recognition, speaking by phone on his way to play a concert in Vienna. "At the same time, I feel like 'Stadium Arcadium' is the most complete record that we've made in terms of realizing who we are and getting the most depth of who we are. So I feel like the record is the best we could have done at that time, and I haven't always felt that way about our records."


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