Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Warns Against Overuse Of Backing Tracks

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Warns Against Overuse Of Backing Tracks
Original Photo Credit: Alfred Nitsch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A prevalent and consistent debate in the rock world is the use of backing or pre-recorded tracks to enhance an artist’s live performance. Some argue it’s no big deal and a sign of the times, while others are steadfast against it. 

Notably, Falling In Reverse’s Ronnie Radke and ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach feuded about the issue for sometime online. Radke also took major issue with SiriusXM DJ Eddie Trunk putting FIR on blast for canceling a show when they lost their laptop computers. 

Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider took a middle-of-the-road sort of position, saying that if tracks are used to embellish a certain part of a song, it’s OK. But he warned against overuse of tracks where it becomes nothing more than a lip-synch performance. 

“Ronnie Radke and Sebastian Bach had a dust-up a few months ago over the fact that Falling in Reverse uses tracks, like so many bands are using tracks now,” Dee said to Classic Album Review. “And the old guys are screaming, ‘That’s not rock and roll,’ and Ronnie Radke was making fun of Sebastian’s age. ‘Listen, Grandpa…’ But the fact of the matter is something is lost when it isn’t the guys — or girls — on that stage making all that noise.”

Dee continued: “When it’s used to embellish, especially with newer music, the stuff is so much more layered and thicker — I mean, we can go back to Queen; when I saw Queen and they got to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and they got to the middle, just throw on the tape because there’s no way we’re gonna do that live. I was a huge Queen fan. So, that was an embellishment.”

Dee, however, is against bands who are mimicking to their own tracks. “But when it’s used to replace, because the person can’t do it anymore. And we’re seeing more and more of that — singers who can’t sing their own songs,” he said. “Listen, you don’t gotta stay on the stage. Step aside. Walk away. There’s plenty of other bands that would love to take the spot.”

“These bands have been doing it for years. But then there’s this — and I don’t wanna point fingers at bands. I’m trying to be a more mature elder statesman of rock and not point fingers anymore… Just in general, we know the names. We’ve seen the videos on YouTube. We’ve seen the car wrecks of the band losing the sync with the tape and all that, and they’re not even singing anymore, they’re not even playing anymore. It’s just lip-syncing.”

Dee’s full interview can be viewed below. 

B.J. LISKO
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