Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962), better known by his stage name Flea, is an Australian bassist, trumpet player, and occasional actor. He is best known as the bassist and co-founding member of the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. His work with the band incorporates several musical styles, ranging from aggressive slap bass to more subdued and melodic techniques. Aside from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he has collaborated with many artists, including Jane's Addiction, Thom Yorke, The Mars Volta, and Alanis Morissette. Drawing influences from funk music and punk rock, Flea centers his bass playing on simplicity and minimalism while viewing complexity as a device that should be used in moderation.
Originally a trumpet prodigy, Flea learned to play bass in high school from close friend and future Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak, who required a bassist for his band Anthym. Flea joined the group, but quit several months later in order to play for the punk rock outfit Fear. He soon rejoined Slovak to form an intended one-off band along with fellow high school alumni Anthony Kiedis and Jack Irons; the impromptu collaboration would ultimately give birth...