Sebastian Bach Doesn’t ‘Have a Problem’ With KISS Using Backing Tracks for Show
Sebastian Bach has been one of the harsher critics on musicians using backing tracks, but the longtime KISS fan has allowed an exception for KISS when speaking to an audience that included the Syncin' Stanley YouTube channel at the Fanboy Expo in Orlando, Florida this past weekend.
The Syncin Stanley channel has delved into artists opinions on the use of backing tracks after rumors of Paul Stanley using backing tracks during live performances on the band's "End of the Road" tour started to circulate in 2019. And during the Fanboy Expo, Bach acknowledged the Syncin' Stanley member in the audience and weighed in on the chatter that the band had used playback tracks for their concerts.
"My position on that is that if you are in your 70s, if you're 72 and you gotta put on foot-high monster boots and a Godzilla costume and hook yourself up to wires and fly to the top of the roof and sing, a guy in that age, I don't really have a problem with a guy that's in his 70s or 80s that might use the technology to give us a show," said Bach. "I can't imagine my mom, who's 81, I can't imagine her breathing fire and spitting blood. Well, I can imagine the spitting blood part. (laughs). But I don't mind the technology being used for its proper thing, like an old dude giving a show, trying his best. But he's old, right?"
"What I do have a fucking problem with — excuse my language there, but you know who you're talking to here — I don't like when I have an opening band who's 23 and they have the whole show on a click track and the background vocals are going. You can tell so easily — it's so easy," continued the singer. "I'm not saying I'm the greatest singer, and you can hear it on my YouTube [videos], I don't always sing great. Nobody does. Newsflash — not everybody sings perfect every single show. That's not what rock and roll is. You have good nights; you have bad nights."
"You can't tell me about using tapes in a video. I know who's doing it, I know who's not, and if you wanna sit down and watch the video with me and tell me that you're not using the tapes, I will tell you that you're full of shit because I don't use tapes. And if you do, I'm not gonna pretend that you are on the same level," added Bach.
Circling back around to KISS, Bach commented, "I have seen KISS about four or five times [in the last three or four years], and it's still the greatest rock show in the world because KISS… There's no show that has the excitement of KISS. When the lights go down and that bass goes [imitates whirring sound], and then they fucking hit the stage .... If KISS were in their twenties, I would not like them to use tapes. Or if they were like an athlete one day and said, 'Oh, I think I wanna be a rock star.' And then they just get up there and do jumping jacks and have a tape going, I've got a problem with that. I don't have a problem with a 75-year old-man giving me the show that he's always given."
He then concluded, "We're not, as fans, dicks. We should pay respect to a guy like Paul Stanley for everything that he's done in his whole life. Being of that age and still giving us the KISS show… I feel sorry for people that don't go to a KISS show… It's your loss .... When I bring my kids to see KISS now, it's glorious. It's the same feeling when my dad brought me when I was 11. You're saying, 'Oh I saw this on the internet.' It's your loss."
Sebastian Bach's Previous Comments on Backing Tracks
Last fall, Sebastian Bach got in a heated online discussion about backing tracks with Falling in Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke. It al started with Falling in Reverse cancelling a festival appearance when their laptops went missing. As Radke stated at the time, "As a band in 2022, you need your laptops. It’s like driving a car without an engine."
That led to SiriusXM host Eddie Trunk being critical of Radke, calling out the use of backing tracks in the live setting. But when Radke started firing back at Trunk on social media, Bach interjected and picked up the fight. Radke had accused Bach of using a backing track onstage, starting shows with a fake audience cheer. Bach then served up video of "rock music," touting, "no computers, #NoTapes, #NoFakes, No Falling in Reverse." The two musicians continued to bicker over what is a backing track and which bands used them.
In 2021, Bach also addressed the backing track discussion with Ultimate Classic Rock. At the time, he commented that no backing tracks were allowed during his shows. "I don't see a lot of bands coming up that are going to replace [the classic rock stars]," he explained, "because too many of them rely on tapes, and that's not gonna last the test of time. There's gonna be a time when those tape bands are gonna have to do it for real, and people are gonna go, 'This is a fucking joke.' And I just know that real musicians hit your heart way more hard than guys miming to a tape.”