Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea writes a blog explaining the Superbowl contraversy.
Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist Flea has tried to end the controversy over the band miming their insturments during their Superbowl performance with Bruno Mars by explaining their decision.
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea
In a lengthy blog post published on the Red Hot Chili Peppers website, Flea explains why the band were forced to go ‘unplugged’ on Sunday. The bassist wrote, “when we were asked by the NFL and Bruno to play our song 'Give It Away' at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded.” He went on to explain that this was the NFL’s policy because “they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there’s a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.”
Flea went on to explain that under usual circumstances the band would not mime. He gave the expample of the last time they were forced to do so, on UK show Top of the Pops in the late 80s, where the performance turned into a farce, basically “making a mockery of the idea that it was a real live performance.”
He admits that the band were originally apprehensive about accepting the Superbowl gig, because they would have to mime, but they eventually agreed calling it, “a surreal-like, once in a life time crazy thing to do.” He also revealed that he’d spoken to “many musician friends for whom I have the utmost respect, and they all said they would do it if asked, that it was a wild trippy thing to do, what the hell.”
The backing track used by the band was one they had specifically recorded for the performance. As to why the band decided not to plug in their guitars, Fleas explained, “for the actual performance, Josh, Chad, and I were playing along with the pre recorded track so there was no need to plug in our guitars, so we did not. Could we have plugged them in and avoided bumming people out who have expressed disappointment that the instrumental track was pre recorded? Of course easily we could have and this would be a non-issue. We thought it better to not pretend.” He went on to say that making the decision not to plug the guitars in “seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers performed with Bruno Mars on Sunday
Despite the negative publicity the incident has attracted, Flea said he was grateful to the NFL, and called Bruno Mars a ”super talented young man”, and added he would “do it all the same way again.” Flea ended the post by saying, “We, as a band, aspire to grow as musicians and songwriters, and to continue to play our guts out live onstage for anyone who wants to get their brains blown out.” Hopefully Flea's honest admissions will allow the band to put this incident behind them.