Gene-Simmons400 Gene Simmons has criticized bands who use backing tapes – just weeks after KISS admitted using them.

In February they confirmed they’d used some non-live elements during a tour of Japan, saying, “To reproduce production here, we play live with extra tracks. Nothing to hide.”

Simmons recently told AdelaideNow, “There’s nobody with a synthesizer on our stage. There’s no samples on the drums, there’s nothing. AC/DC, Metallica, us – there’s very few bands who don’t use tracks.”

But he says his argument is more about honesty than about the use of additional elements, adding, “I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks. It’s like the ingredients in food – the first ingredient on the label is sugar. That’s at least honest.

It should be on every ticket: ’30 to 50 per cent of the show is backing tracks. They’ll sing sometimes, sometimes they’ll lip-synch.’ At least be honest.”

Discussing Madonna’s onstage fall during last months’ Brit Awards ceremony, Simmons stated, “That was unfortunate, but she got up, on with the show. It’ll happen. That’s not embarrassing – it’s embarrassing when the backing track dies.”

Watch KISS performing a stripped down, acoustic set for fans in Japan, here.

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13 Responses

  1. From the sounds of that acoustic show posted a while back, it sounds like backing tracks wouldn’t be a bad idea for Kiss these days.

    What about bands that dress their members up in costumes ripping off the original members and passing it off as Kiss? Maybe Kiss tickets should be printed with: “Kiss with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer dressed as Ace and Peter.”

  2. Either you use tracks or you don’t. And if you do, you either admit it or you try to hide it. What Gene does is just contracting himself. He knows fans have detected the use of tracks at least on the last tour, so there must be an official statement. It is a dilemma. Also, when I look at Paul running around onstage while still hearing the rhythm guitar going on, I have wondered for many years if there is not an additional rhythm guitar track that is fed into the live sound to make up for the probably countless moments in an two-hour-set when his guitar playing is either stopped for a few secs or at least not good and focused enough to provide the basis that the band needs, especially during Tommy’s solos. It is the same with the vocals of Madonna etc., to some extent we might believe that sheer professionalism and the fact that they’ve done it for such a long time might enable them to almost do the impossible while dancing around, but the consistency of vocals and guitar respectively makes me wonder …

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