Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea admits he "was afraid" to move without guitarist John Frusciante when it came time to record the band's new album, 'I'm With You,' which drops Aug. 30. "I couldn't imagine going out with someone else," the bassist says in the cover story of the new Rolling Stone magazine. "It seemed done . . . It's like missing a family member." Frusciante parted ways with the Peppers in 2009.

But singer Anthony Kiedis knew Flea would be happy working with Frusciante's replacement, new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer -- as long as the results were there. "Flea's biggest concern, that he shared with me, was that he didn't want to continue if it wasn't as good as it had ever been, at it's best: 'We've accomplished too much to do anything half-assed,'" says Kiedis.

And Klinghoffer wasn't about to do anything half-assed, given the opportunity of being the fourth member of the unique partnership that is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Flea and John had a special relationship," says Klinghoffer, who is close friends with Frusciante and acted as touring guitarist for the Peppers in 2007. "I saw it for years. That Flea and [drummer] Chad [Smith] and Anthony could open up and let someone else in, someone new, is amazing to me."

As for Frusciante, Flea believes the guitarist moved on just to get out of the spotlight. "I think he just wants to be free to do what he wants," says Flea. "Without the commerce involved with being in a big band."

Fans who want to get a sneak preview of RHCP's 'I'm With You' should head over to the band's official site on Monday (Aug. 22). There, you will find a full stream of the album. In the meantime, click here to watch the recently released video for the disc's first single, 'The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.'