“I was listening to Maggot Brain by Funkadelic with my friends after midnight, and I like instrumental music because it’s not music that pushes the listener. If the listener wants, they can go into the space that the song provides. At first, I was going to put very dynamic & energetic songs at the beginning of this album, but I didn’t end up using those kind of songs. After I recorded After The Ending, I thought I want to put very striking music as the opening song. I wanted to make an “entrance” through which I could invite listeners gently, which I don’t normally do but I worked out an idea of the song in my head in advance. I didn’t want the opening song to be pushy.
One morning, as soon as I woke up I made a rhythm guitar part for Before the Beginning and had an idea for the drum beat so that evening I invited my friend Josh Klinghoffer and we recorded it. While I was playing rhythm guitar, I heard how I should play the lead guitar phrase in my head, so at that time I recorded the guitar solo as well. When I listened to Maggot Brain, felt the same feeling so I wanted to reflect the same feeling in my song. Then, on the next day’s mix, I added various kinds of effects. Later, it was interesting to show my songs to my friends because we had the same feeling when we listened to Maggot Brain at five in the morning.”
- John Frusciante about the Empyrean