Here we go folks – Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has thrown his two cents into the ring when it comes to the conversation surrounding the use of backing tracks during live shows. This is a touchy subject for some individuals; while radio personality Eddie Trunk is super against the use of backing tracks, those like Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho say “everybody” uses them. Recently, Kiss‘ Paul Stanley was accused of lip syncing to one of the band’s songs during a live performance (something that ex-band guitarist Ace Frehley poked fun at).
Now Dave Mustaine has joined the conversation via an interview with Kerrang! Radio. At one point during the interview, Mustaine is talking about the band’s new bassist (James LoMenzo) and playing alongside the late Metallica bassist, Cliff Burton. While talking about these bassists, he ends up sharing his thoughts on the use of backing tracks.
“I’ve always done the background singing on the records until, maybe about 10 years ago, we started having another person come in and help supplement the vocals, because it’s just not my bag to be singing stuff that I’m not gonna sing live. I sing when I sing live on the records as much as I can.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using supplements for songs and other sounds and stuff like that if you can’t play ’em live. If you can play it live and you’re being fucking lazy, and you’re seeing whatever just happened a couple of days ago with one of those big bands, and the singer – the tape started and the drummer wasn’t playing or something. You probably heard about that. I can’t remember who it was.”
When Mustaine brings up “one of those big bands,” Kerrang! Radio end up placing images in their video interview (which you can find below), that feature news clippings involving that recent incident with Kiss. Mustaine concludes with: “We don’t have vocals that are canned. Usually what we have is a MIDI click track that runs all of our lights and switches all of our solos and stuff.”
So there you have it folks, Dave Mustaine is calling out bands for being “fucking lazy” if they use pre-recorded tracks live and can actually play the song. What are your thoughts on both Mustaine’s feelings and the use of pre-recorded tracks/lip syncing for live performances? You can find the video below that involves Mustaine’s interview with Kerrang! Radio.