Gene Simmons has a beef. The outspoken KISS bassist, who’s never been one to swallow his opinions (and, let’s face it, with a tongue that size, who could?) has today taken aim at “dishonest” artists who perform using backing tracks, and we don’t mean with his Love Gun. In the firing line are not only pop divas, but rock veterans such as U2 and The Rolling Stones.
Talking about KISS’ live show with News Corp, Simmons said, “There’s nobody with a synthesiser 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.”
Not only does the Demon feel dismayed that some of the world’s biggest performers are relying on prerecorded music or vocals for their live performances, he’s also accused them of blatant deception, and reckons the guilty parties should ‘fess up to the crime on their concert tickets.
“I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks,” Simmons said. “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.”
His most recent comments come about a month after KISS admitted to using backing tracks in the song Samurai Son during a show in Japan. They explained that the song features more layers of production than the average KISS tune, resulting in the need to use extra tracks.
“Recorded Samurai Son for Japan,” the band tweeted. “To reproduce production here we play live with extra tracks. Nothing to hide.”
Australian fans will get the chance to see KISS live — with minimal backing tracks — on their 40th Anniversary Tour, which comes down under this October.
Gallery: KISS, Mötley Crüe, Thin Lizzy @ Etihad Stadium, Melbourne 2013 / Photos: Anwar Rizk
Recorded Samurai Son for Japan. To reproduce production here we play live with extra tracks. Nothing to hide. pic.twitter.com/2nGXVwekCW
— KISS (@KISSOnline) February 24, 2015