Gene Simmons of the legendary rock band Kiss recently spoke out about bands that use backing tracks to their music onstage. In an interview with Australia's News.com, Simmons said that very few of the top current bands actually play all of their own music during live concerts.
"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 synch. At least be honest. It's not about backing tracks, it's about dishonesty."
Gene Simmons says that among the top selling bands that always play their own instruments and sing their own songs during each and every concert is his own band, Kiss, AC/DC, and Metallica.
"I can't even say that about U2 or The Rolling Stones. There's very few bands who don't use [backing] tracks."
Simmons went on to talk about some other performers, including an interesting new take on the music of Rihanna.
"I liked the new song Rihanna did with Kanye West and Paul McCartney (FourFiveSeconds) - she sounded better singing a real song. Umbrella-ella-ella? I don't get it. Lots of people do, that's great."
This is a far cry from what Gene Simmons had to say about Rhianna back in 2012 when they were announcing their tour with Motley Crue.
"We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them. The guys you see on stage are playing their instruments. No fake bulls**t. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an 'A.'"
Fans clearly took that last comment -- about artists whose names end in "A" -- to mean Madonna. However, in the interview with News.com, Gene took pity on the pop icon regarding her fall at the recent Brit Awards.
"That was unfortunate, but she [Madonna] got up, on with the show. It'll happen. That's not embarrassing, it's embarrassing when the backing track dies."
Gene also contrasted Madonna with Lady Gaga, saying the latter was the "real deal."
"I'd like to see Gaga come out with a real rock band and do a rock record... She can do what Madonna can't -- she can sing."
What do you think? Do you agree with Gene Simmons? Do you think that performers should actually be playing their own music when they perform, or are you content to watch a pre-recorded stage show?
[Photo by George De Sota/Getty Images]