Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea compares the band’s songwriting to the work of Anton Chekhov.

The band approach writing with a view to creating “visual pictures” with each of their songs, with bassist Flea taking inspiration from the Russian literature heavyweight, and praising the lyrical ability of vocalit Anthony Kiedis.

He said: “I think we’re painting visual pictures both sonically and in terms of feel. I love Anthony’s lyrics a lot. I feel like his way of telling stories is not a traditional way of telling stories.

“There’s a distinct narrative thread with a beginning, middle, and an end. We’re always thinking of a unique visual story and a song occupying its own space.

“If you read a book of one of the great short story writers like Anton Chekhov, each story is great, and you know it’s all Chekhov. However, each one also occupies its own place and emotional landscape of life.”

Flea recently admitted he nearly quit the band when guitarist John Frusciante left in 2008, but admits replacement Josh Klinghoffer has brought a “different” approach to the way the ‘Californication’ rockers play.

He added to website Artist Direct: “Josh has such a textural, ethereal way of playing guitar. He does a lot of different stuff. His way is to surround, color, and support in a subtle way. It fills a space that lets me and Chad really shine too.

“He doesn’t infringe on our space. He really carries his own, and it’s just different. I’m sure that he and I are getting better, but the way we occupy space with Josh on this record is great.”