KISS rocker Gene Simmons wants “dishonest” bands who use backing tapes to include that fact on their concert tickets.
Simmons claimed some of the world’s biggest performers are relying on prerecorded music or vocals in concerts.
“I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks,” Simmons said. “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.
“There’s nobody with a synthesiser on our stage, there’s no samples on the drums, there’s nothing. There’s very few bands who do that now — AC/DC, Metallica, us. I can’t even say that about U2 or the Stones. There’s very few bands who don’t use (backing) tracks.”
Simmons also has little time for most of today’s pop acts.
“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.
“Lady Gaga I like, she’s the real deal. She’s come to our shows, what she’s done with Tony Bennett show that above the backing tracks and dancers from Las Vegas on poles she can really sing. I’d like to see Gaga come out with a real rock band and do a rock record. She is the real deal, unlike all the others. She can do what Madonna can’t — she can sing.”
But Simmons did have sympathy for Madonna’s recent fall at the Brit Awards.
“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.”
Meanwhile Australian Kiss fans have snapped up almost all of the $1250 packages to meet the band on their October tour.
Kiss sell 60 of the VIP meet and greet packages at each show, most of which were available through their fan club and sold out within minutes.
handful of the packages still left for each show but expected to sell out immediately when they go on sale on Thursday.
The $1250 package provides access to an intimate acoustic set, performed without make-up, in front of just 60 fans. It also comes with one platinum ticket to the concert, early entry to the venue, a photograph with the band in full make-up, autograph and VIP merchandise including T-shirt, poster and guitar picks.
Kiss play Perth Arena October 3, Adelaide Entertainment Centre October 6, Rod Laver Arena October 8, Allphones Arena October 10, Newcastle Entertainment Centre October 12 and Brisbane Entertainment Centre October 13.
Tickets on sale at 2pm on Thursday, March 26 from Ticketek.