After a huge backlash, the longtime bass player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers is owning up to the fact that he wasn’t playing live during the band’s Super Bowl halftime performance. Check out Flea’s explanation below!
The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars put on a dynamic Super Bowl halftime show performance, but fans were still disappointed when several viewers noticed that Flea, the band’s famous bassist, wasn’t playing live during the performance.
Flea On Super Bowl Show — Why The Red Hot Chili Peppers Didn’t Play Live
After days of speculation, Flea posted a 931-word explanation on the band’s website about the Super Bowl gig, explaining that it all came down to the NFL’s rules.
“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. I understand the NFL’s stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there 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.”
He went on to explain that the band hadn’t “mimed” their music since the ’80s, but the made a special exception due to the once-in-a-lifetime nature of the opportunity.
“When this Super Bowl gig concept came up, there was a lot of confusion amongst us as whether or not we should do it, but we eventually decided, it was a surreal-like, once in a life time crazy thing to do and we would just have fun and do it. We had given this a lot of thought before agreeing to do it, and besides many a long conversation amongst ourselves, I spoke with 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. Plus, we the RHCP all love football too and that played a big part in our decision. We decided that, with Anthony singing live, that we could still bring the spirit and freedom of what we do into the performance, and of course we played every note in the recording specially for the gig.
Finally, Flea said that the music was still fresh, as they had recorded it especially for that day. He also added that despite the backlash, he’d do it all over again if he ever had the chance.
We recorded a track for the day, just banged one out from our hearts that was very like in spirit to the versions we have been playing live the last few years with our beloved Josh on guitar.
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. It seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance. It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people, except with live vocals, and only one chance to rock it. Our only thought was to bring the spirit of who we are to the people.
I am grateful to the NFL for having us. And I am grateful to Bruno, who is a super talented young man for inviting us to be a part of his gig. I would do it all the same way again.
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.
Sounds like a pretty fair explanation to us.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Are you still upset that RHCP didn’t play live? Let us know.
— Shaunna Murphy