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Simmons slams backing tapes.. after Kiss admit using them

Gene Simmons has slammed bands who use backing tapes – just weeks after Kiss admitted using them.

In February they confirmed they’d used some non-live elements during a tour of Japan, saying: “To reproduce production here, we play live with extra tracks. Nothing to hide.”

Now Simmons tells AdelaideNow: “There’s nobody with a synthesizer on our stage. There’s no samples on the drums, there’s nothing. AC/DC, Metallica, us – there’s very few bands who don’t use tracks.”

But he says his argument is more about honesty than about the use of additional elements, adding: “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 – the first ingredient on the label is sugar. That’s at least honest.

“It should be on every ticket: ’30 to 50 per cent of the show is backing tracks. They’ll sing sometimes, sometimes they’ll lip-synch.’ At least be honest.”

Referring to Madonna’s onstage fall during last months’ Brit Awards ceremony, Simmons says: “That was unfortunate, but she got up, on with the show. It’ll happen. That’s not embarrassing – it’s embarrassing when the backing track dies.”

Kiss headline this year’s Download festival (opens in new tab) at Donington on June 12-14.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.