Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian isn’t holding back when it comes to his thoughts on bands who heavily rely on pre-recorded tracks during live performances.
Speaking on Live From Nerdville With Joe Bonamassa, Ian voiced his distaste for the growing reliance on pre-recorded tracks, saying:
“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].
“I think Rob Zombie is someone who does it really well, because there’s a lot of stuff going on,” he continued.
“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.”
He continued, “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 per cent of the show you’re paying 250 dollars for is pre-recorded.’ It should say it on the ticket.”
Contrastingly, back in in March Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers said that “90 per cent” of rock artists use at least some pre-recorded tracks during their live performances, saying to Rock Feed: “I think it’s all personal preference… We’re gonna do it because, yeah, dude, there’s some keyboard stuff. And it’s not like piano. Everything you see us playing on stage we’re playing.”
He added, “But you know what? Yeah, if there’s a shaker on a song that adds an element of energy to the song, we’re gonna put a shaker in there. Instead of having to pay some dude to play a shaker and tambourine and keyboards and guitars, even breaking it down to a five-piece string section, we’re gonna do that.”
“It bothers me that it bothers people. I’m, like, ‘Why does this bother you?’ It’s the way it is. People have been doing this since the ’80s. And we want the sound to be the best it can be. Could we go up there, just the four of us, and put on the best rock show ever? Of course. But that’s not how we wanna do it.”