Every new phase of live production is dictated by the technology that you have available.
Even though artists had to rely on their ears to get by back in the day, it sometimes makes sense to have backing tracks to recreate the kind of energy that everyone hears on your records. According to The Ripper though, if you can’t do it right, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
In a new interview, Tim “Ripper” Owens mentioned that he is not a big fan of acts that use backing tracks to lip sync to live saying,
“Listen, lip-syncing I do not like — unless you’re on a TV show or you’re doing a video. Your main vocal should never be lip-synced. Backing tracks, backing harmonies, backing music — that’s fine; make the show better. But if you’ve gotta lip sync, maybe you shouldn’t do it. I don’t know. I think it’s pretty silly. I don’t lip sync.”
It’s not like Owens can’t practice what he preaches either, going on stage back in the day and delivering the same screams for Judas Priest that some fans were wondering if Rob Halford could even deliver anymore.
There’s more that goes into a show than just singing though, and sometimes artists use these lip-syncing techniques as a security blanket so they don’t have to worry about blowing their voice out when they’re running around the stage.
That’s no excuse as far as Owens is concerned saying,
“You don’t really need to do that. No backing tracks — no backing tracks for the lead vocal. If the lead singer is miming it up there and not doing it, then [makes farting sound] on that. Use the voice, my friend. If you ain’t got the voice, don’t do it.”
The entire show is about delivering a concert experience for the fans, and however the band decides to do it is up to them. We’re on The Ripper’s side on this one, though.