This year’s Super Bowl half time show wasn’t all about Bruno Mars, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers bursting onto the stage to prove they could still rock. However, fans were left disappointed when they noticed the guitars were not plugged in, and that, apart from the vocals, the performance was pre-recorded. Today, the bassist of the group, Flea, wrote an open letter on the band’s website to explain the situation.
Flea immediately made it clear that it was not the band’s decision to play a pre-recorded track, saying,
“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,”
The bassist also made it clear that the band understood the reasons behind the NFL’s request,
“I understand the NFL’s stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there [are] a zillion things that could go wrong,”
“There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period,”
However, Flea also discussed the band’s own stance on pre-recording:
“The Red Hot Chili Peppers stance on any sort of miming has been that we will absolutely not do it. We take our music playing seriously, it is a sacred thing for us,”
“So, 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… once in a life time crazy thing to do and we would just have fun and do it,”
“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,”
Having explained the reasons behind the performance, Flea took to discussing the reasons why the band chose not to plug in their guitars:
“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. We thought it better to not pretend. It seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance.”
“Our only thought was to bring the spirit of who we are to the people.”
Finally, the RHCP co-founder rounds the letter off, with a graceful nod to the NFL and to Bruno Mars, who they shared the stage with:
“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.”
Today’s musicians are very rarely strangers to pre-recorded tracks, with many stars opting for them rather than take their chances with a live performance. However, for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this was clearly not something they did lightly, but thanks to Flea’s letter of explanation, at least fans will be able to understand the reasons behind it.
You can read the full letter here.
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