Bassist Flea talked about the song's recording process during a track by track video:
"[On "We Turn Red"] That was also one we came up with in the studio with Brian [Danger Mouse, producer] That and started with a drum loop. Chad [Smith] placed a piece of drum, played a bit of drums, and Brian looped it and it just sounded hard. And we just lay out some bass, some guitar, some stuff and started making parts and just trying to make something dynamic and beautiful.
And it was funny because I was so worried about us losing the live feeling from writing stuff, the songs that we wrote in the studio in this layered way, but we actually really gained something because we kept our live energy but we gained this thoughtfulness in writing. When you're just jamming with something with the guys it's really in the moment, it's this real spontaneous thing in the moment, but when you're building like that and you're taking time and thinking about each part as you write it, there's a new kind of thoughtfulness that comes into the creative process, which we haven't had before. And it was really cool and there's like five songs on the record that we wrote in this way and because of that they have a different type of thoughtfulness, and 'We Turn Red' is one of those."