Blackie Lawless tells fans who think W.A.S.P. don't play live at all to stay away from their shows

WASP in 1987
(Image credit: Chris Walter/Getty Images)

W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless doesn't shy away from the fact the band use backing tracks in their live performances – and he has no time for critics of the practice.

Asked what he had to say to fans who believe the band no longer play live at all, Lawless tells UCR: "Well, if they’re crazy enough to believe it, that’s their business. But if they genuinely feel like that, then don’t go."

He adds: "The bottom line is to give the audience a good show. Who cares how it gets there? Listen, God blessed me with this foghorn in my throat. Like anybody who’s got one, we like showing ‘em off – and I’m no different. I’m sorry if this sounds arrogant, but there will be times where I’m up there and I hear what’s coming out of me, when I’m sustaining a note or something. I’m thinking to myself, 'Wow, that’s pretty cool.'

"I’m not sure most people would have the opportunity to experience something like that in their lives. So from my perspective, I’m pretty appreciative of it. As I said, when you’ve got this thing that really not a lot of people can do, you like to show it.

"Hey, listen, if I’m going to go see Yngwie Malmsteen, I want to see Yngwie play. But there are some guys in some rock bands that if they didn’t play and it was recorded, it wouldn’t bother me one iota.

"Because I’m not going there to see that. I would be going to see the songs. But if somebody’s got a dangerous instrument that they’re really good at and can do something that few people can do? Yeah, I wanna hear ‘em do it. So in my opinion, I’m giving them that, but I’m also giving them the best of both worlds."

The issue of backing tracks used in a live setting has been a hot topic of late, with one music festival even banning bands who use the technique.

Last year, Lawless wrote about the unbearable pain he was suffering on tour, caused by a herniated disc in his back.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.