Red Hot Chili Peppers Defend Miming At Super Bowl
Bassist Flea has penned an online open letter to explain why they played unplugged...
Bass player Flea has reacted to claims that he and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer mimed playing their instruments when performing Give It Away with the Hawaiian hitmaker on Sunday (February 2).
In a 931-word open letter to fans, the musician has now explained that they were told a backing track would be pre-recorded after they signed up to take to the stage at the show.
Flea wrote: "I understand the NFL's stance on this, given 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 TV viewers."
He went on to reveal that frontman Anthony Kiedis' vocals were performed live, but Flea, Klinghoffer and drummer Chad Smith played with the backing track.
Explaining why they chose not to plug in their instruments, he said: "We thought it better to not pretend. The Red Hot Chili Peppers stance on any sort of miming has been that we will absolutely not do it."
Flea added that they could not turn down the opportunity to play the huge sporting event, stating: "When this Super Bowl gig concept came up, there was a lot of confusion among 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."
He also recalled that the last time the Chilis mimed was during the late 1980s during rehearsals for Top of the Pops when they refused to mime properly.
The bassist explained: "I played bass with my shoe, John 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."
Concluding his online letter, he said: "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."