Josh Freese, drummer for the local band Xtra Large, plays on Paul Westerberg's new album and has been drafted into the former Replacement's touring band.
Freese "left for Minneapolis this morning, and he's going out with them for eight weeks," Xtra Large guitarist Warren Fitzgerald said Wednesday. Plans call for the Orange County band to start work on its second album for Giant Records when Freese returns from the road.
But one other variable remains: Fitzgerald said \o7 he\f7 recently auditioned to fill the latest guitar-slot vacancy in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The hugely popular band from Los Angeles had contacted Fitzgerald, known for his manic playing and wild stage antics, about a year ago when it was auditioning for a new guitarist after the departure of John Frusciante. But Fitzgerald passed on that invitation to audition because he was busy launching Xtra Large with Freese, singer Darren McNamee and bassist Bob Thomson.
Now the Peppers are seeking to replace the recently fired Arik Marshall. Fitzgerald said there's no telling whether he will wind up in the band. He said that the Peppers have auditioned several guitarists and that he will have to consider his options if he does get an offer to join.
"We'll see. All sorts of weird things are going on. We're just going to be casual about it," Fitzgerald said.
Meanwhile, because Freese is on tour with Westerberg, Xtra Large has canceled a June 25 show at Bogart's in Long Beach. The Vandals (with the busy Fitzgerald on guitar) will take over the headlining slot.