Chuck Billy, the lead singer of TESTAMENT, has shared his perspective on bands that heavily depend on pre-recorded tracks during their live shows.
In the current music landscape, there is a growing acceptance of artists using pre-recorded tracks and other technological enhancements to ensure consistency in their performances. This trend is not limited to pop music but extends to rock artists of different levels and genres, indicating a shift in the industry’s approach to live music.
In a recent interview with Syncin’ Stanley, Billy was asked about his opinion about the singers that uses backing tracks for their lead vocals, to which he responded: “That’s not my thing. I definitely don’t lip sync. I think the only time I’ve ever had to lip sync is when you shoot videos for, like, MTV. Of course, those aren’t live.
“Every band does it. You perform to the track and you lip sync it. So it’s not the most fun, cause it’s not real. So I’m sure I’m much uglier and nastier-looking when I’m singing live than in a video you see on MTV or somewhere out there. I guess there’s bands out there that probably need help. I know there’s bands like DEF LEPPARD that use a lot of backing tracks, but that’s also backing tracks for that big sound, ’cause, obviously, you can’t get all their voices live unless you brought in a choir. So, there’s an exception to the rule.”
DEF LEPPARD‘s members have consistently refuted claims of using backing tracks for their vocals, as stated by guitarist Phil Collen in a 2019 interview with Ultimate Classic Rock.
He said at the time: “We’ve always used keyboard things and parts of a drum loop, like on ‘Rocket’ — you couldn’t really play that part live. So we’ve used stuff like that.” But that’s as far as it goes. “Our vocals are always live, and that’s the big difference — we’re like a live vocal band,” he pointed out. “That’s something that a lot of the other bands don’t do. They kind of fake the vocals and it’s not really them. But this is really us. … It’s real.”