February 09, 1999 12:00 AM

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back after a four-year layoff attributed, at least in part, to severe drug relapses and a switch in guitar players. The Los Angeles group — consisting of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and rehired former guitarist John Frusciante — have come out with a new album, “Californication,” and the band is back on the road doing concerts. “That we should make it to the same place and time together again,” Kiedis says in the August issue of Spin magazine, “and the fact that we didn’t die or become spiritually crippled in the process of going through all these hardships means there was really something in the air that wanted this (reunion) to happen.”

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