Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea has defended not playing live during this year’s Super Bowl half-time show.
Flea responded to reports that his and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer’s instruments were not plugged in while they played Give It Away at the NFL game at the weekend.
On Red Hot Chili Peppers’ website Flea said they were told a backing track would be pre-recorded when they agreed to the show.
“I understand the NFL’s stance on this,” he said.
Flea added: “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 TV viewers.”
When Red Hot Chili Peppers’ joined Bruno Mars on stage during the show, singer Anthony Kiedis’ vocal was live but Flea, Josh Klinghoffer and drummer Chad Smith played along with the backing track.
In his online statement, Flea added that the band didn’t feel the need to plug in their instruments because: “We thought it better to not pretend.”
The musician added: “The Red Hot Chili Peppers stance on any sort of miming has been that we will absolutely not do it.”
However, he said the opportunity to play at the event was too much to pass up.
“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.”
Flea also said the last time the band mimed, or tried to, was in the late 80s when they were thrown off Top Of the Pops during rehearsals because they refused to mime properly.
He explained: “I played bass with my shoe, John [Frusciante] played guitar atop Anthony’s shoulders, and we basically had a wrestling match onstage, making a mockery of the idea that it was a real live performance.”
Flea closed the statement by saying: “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.”
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