With recent rumblings that KISS have (are) been using backing tracks in their live shows, Nikki Sixx has now come forward in support of his band, Motley Crue‘s, use of backing tracks during live concerts. What might not come as a surprise to some is, Sixx also revealed that they started doing it well before the band’s final tour.
Via Twitter, Sixx said, “We’ve used technology since ’87.” He went on to say that the group employed “sequencers, sub tones, background vox tracks, plus background singers and us. [Motley Crue also taped] stuff we can’t tour with, like cello parts in ballads, etc. … We love it and don’t hide it. It’s a great tool to fill out the sound.”
Sixx’s bandmate Mick Mars in an earlier interview, told Rolling Stone, “I’d rather hear on-key vocals than not.I think that background vocals strengthen the band in some ways. I mean, it is what it is.”
The topic has also come up previously with the band’s former lead vocalist John Corabi. In response to fans questions, he replied, “I just ask them, ‘At the end of the day, did you have a good time?’ That’s it. If they say, ‘Yes,’ then whatever. If they say, ‘No,’ I’ve got nothing for them. Whatever.”
In the past, Dave Grohl has been one to criticize bands that ‘add’ to their sound. In 2014, Grohl said, “I’d rather sound awful and have the chance to change things at a whim than sound like Linkin Park or Motley Crue because of today’s technology. They feel naked when it comes to playing live.”
The question about KISS and their use/non-use of backing tracks is interesting considering that Simmons in 2015 offered this comment: “I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks. It should be on every ticket: You’re aying $100, 30 to 50 percent of the show is [on] backing tracks and they’ll sing sometimes, sometimes they’ll lip sync. At least be honest. It’s not about backing tracks; it’s about dishonesty.”