Adam Levine on Super Bowl Halftime Performance Controversy: "We'd Like to Speak Through the Music"
"I am not in the right profession if I can't handle a bit of controversy. It is what it is. We would like to move on from it and speak through the music," the Maroon 5 frontman told 'Entertainment Tonight's' Kevin Frazier.
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine sat down with Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier on Thursday to preview the group's Super Bowl halftime performance on Sunday and to explain his decision to sign on for it in the face of some controversy.
During the conversation, Levine shared his thoughts on landing the “biggest gig in the game” and what fans can expect from their halftime performance. “The spectacle is the music,” he said. "The way that we speak and emote is through the music. So the curation of the show and putting it together and that whole process of figuring out what we're going to do and how we're going to do it, that is all being centered around the music."
Levine's appearance on Entertainment Tonight comes two days after it was announced that the band would not be doing the traditional pre-Super Bowl news conference as acts in the past have done. According to the Associated Press, Maroon 5 did not give a reason for the cancelation, but it comes amid news that some performers who are holding events related to the big game have received criticism. When asked, Levine said the decision was the NFL's and "you would have to speak with them" about it.
When Frazier mentioned that there had been some controversy about the halftime show, Levine coyly responded, "Has there?"
It was reported that before Maroon 5 signed on for the gig, other stars had turned it down in support of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose decision to kneel during the national anthem at football games to raise awareness for police brutality and racial inequality, among other issues, sparked protests and debate.
Of Maroon 5's decision to play the Super Bowl, Levine explained, "I spoke to many people, most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt." He later added, "No one thought about it more than I did. No one put more thought and love into this than I did."
Levine also had a message for those that might feel as if their voice isn't being heard. "They will be [heard] — that's all I want to say because I don't want to spoil anything," he said. "I like to think that people know where I stand as a human being after two decades of doing this. So, what I would say is, you know, we are going to keep on doing what we do, hopefully without becoming politicians to make people understand, 'We got you.'"
Adding that he's "beyond proud" of the finished product and that he's "never been more excited in my life," Levine said it wouldn't be a Super Bowl halftime performance without some controversy. "You know, I think when you look back on every Super Bowl halftime show, it is this insatiable urge to hate a little bit," he explained. "I am not in the right profession if I can't handle a bit of controversy. It is what it is. We expected it. We would like to move on from it and speak through the music."
Maroon 5 will be joined onstage by former Outkast member Big Boi and Houston rapper Travis Scott when the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots face off in the NFL's biggest game.
Scott reportedly required the NFL to make a joint donation to an organization fighting for social justice in order for him agree to perform in the halftime show.
Levine shared that he watched past Super Bowl performances and treated it like his own personal Bowl, complete with workouts, to prepare for the show. And while he couldn't divulge too many details, he did say it would be the "biggest hip-hop presence there has ever been" at the Super Bowl.