Scott Ian Wants Concert Ticket Law for Bands Who Use Backing Tracks
Anthrax's Scott Ian has offered this thoughts on the often controversial topic of rock bands using pre-recorded backing tracks live onstage. The guitarist is not a fan of the practice and even expressed a desire for concert tickets to be obligated by law to note if a band is using pre-recorded elements in their show.
The subject came up during Ian's chat with Joe Bonamassa on the acclaimed blues guitarist's "Live From Nerdville" podcast, which can be heard below. The guitarist prefaced his position by citing examples of when backing tracks are to the benefit of the concert experience.
"I don't wanna sound like an old man, but, I mean, come on. Look, I get it — if it's some kind of giant pop act and giant production, or something like that, or if it's Pink Floyd doing 'The Wall' and there's recorded stuff — voiceovers, whatever, things like that… But I hate going to a show and I just instantly know all the backing vocals are [pre-recorded]," the Anthrax guitarist explained.
"I think Rob Zombie is someone who does it really well, because there's a lot of stuff going on," Ian went on. "You break Rob Zombie down, [and] it's real simple — it's guitar, bass, drums and his vocals. And they could do that fine and play their songs. But if you listen to the records, there's lots of little spoken parts and things from movies and samples, and things like that, so if you're running those tracks, it's great, because it adds an attitude and an atmosphere that isn't there if it's just the guitar, bass, drums and vocals. And I think that's great and that's fine. But if you're faking it, no — I don't buy it."
Taking a stance similar to that of KISS legend Gene Simmons, Ian proposed making these practices transparent by denoting it on the concert ticket, "I think it should actually be — I don't know how it could be a law, but I think it should be printed on a ticket, that for bands that are doing that and [for] shows that are doing that, it should say, '70 percent of the show you're paying $250 for is pre-recorded.'"
"It should say it on the ticket," Ian reaffirmed.
In 2015, KISS bassist and co-vocalist Gene Simmons bemoaned other bands' reliance on pre-recorded tracks, stating, "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, 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 sync. At least be honest. It’s not about backing tracks, it’s about dishonesty."
With concerts out of the picture for now, fans of Scott Ian are eager for some new music. Anthrax have been working on their follow-up to 2016's For All Kings and Motor Sister, which features Ian and his wife Pearl Aday, as well as Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning), John Tempesta (The Cult, ex-Rob Zombie, ex-Testament) and Jim Wilson (ex-Mother Superior, ex-Rollins Band), began recording their new record earlier this year.
Scott Ian on "Live From Nerdsville" With Joe Bonamassa
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