KISS’ Gene Simmons Has a Problem With Bands Who Use Backing Tracks
The use of backing tracks at live shows is a common practice in many genres of music, but it's not necessarily a respected practice by any means. KISS' Gene Simmons recently spoke with Australia's News.com and didn't mince words when talking about the use of pre-recorded vocal or musical backing tracks during concerts.
“I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks,” Simmons says. “It’s like the ingredients in food, if the first ingredient on the label is sugar that’s at least honest. It should be on every ticket -- you’re paying $100, 30 to 50 per cent of the show is (on) backing tracks and they’ll sing sometimes, sometimes they’ll lip synch. At least be honest. It’s not about backing tracks, it’s about dishonesty."
Simmons continues, “There’s nobody with a synthesizer on our stage, there’s no samples on the drums, there’s nothing. There’s very few bands who do that now — AC/DC, Metallica, us. I can’t even say that about U2 or the Stones. There’s very few bands who don’t use (backing) tracks.”
Those quotes criticizing artists who use backing tracks in concert comes about a month after KISS admitted to using backing tracks in the song "Samurai Son" during a show in Japan. They said that the song features more layers of production than the usual KISS song, hence the need to use the extra tracks.
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