The world of rock music went berserk over a few things in 2022. Trying to cancel cancel culture was one of them. Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing was another. And we had some spectacular fireworks over bands who were suspected of using backing tracks when they perform.
Bands use backing tracks, or pre-recorded pieces of music or vocals, to enhance the sound of a live show. “Enhance” being the preferred term of fans of the practice. Those who despise the use of tracks call doing it unauthentic and lazy, and plenty of these detractors have very strong feelings about it.
The first backing track flap happened in April of this year and drew the attention of backing track watchdog Eddie Trunk of the SiriusXM Trunk Nation show. A video of rock band Santa Cruz was floated that showed the lead singer walking away from the mic… while his voice still sang in the background. Then in June, KISS was called out after Paul Stanley’s pre-recorded vocals were allegedly exposed. In July, video appeared of Motley Crue’s drummer Tommy Lee who was scrambling to sit at his drum kit while his drums started. And in October, the granddaddy of them all, as Falling in Reverse bailed on a show because their laptops, with their backing tracks on them, went missing. That incident, turned into a full on war, which you can read about below.
Are you OK or not OK with bands using backing tracks when they play live? Lzzy Hale of Halestorm has said, “I’m not a fan of when I find out my favorite bands do that.” Deep Purple’s Ian Gillian thinks “it’s cheating.” Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine had some, uh, choice and colorful words to describe artists that use them.
The bands in the following list are brave enough to take the heat and admit they use backing tracks. Check out who they are and their reasons why, below.
Bands Who Have Admitted to Using Backing Tracks
These musicians say backing tracks help them put on the best show they can and have no shame in confessing it.