To use backing tracks or not? It’s one of the hottest topics in the world of rock and metal and there are some very nuanced responses to the question when it comes to how you present your band in the live setting.
There are those who will argue that there should be no backing tracks used, that the live experience is about hearing exactly what you’re seeing played onstage. Others will argue that there are things added to recordings in the studio that aren’t simply replicated onstage without the help of technology, not to mention, the cost of bringing all the players from your studio experience on the road is prohibitive as well.
Some acts merely use backing tracks to enhance or fulfill the live sound that is primarily still played live by the band while other acts may use pre-recorded tracks as a major part of their live sound. But how much is too much?
Should the live experience be as close as possible to the album or should it be its own unique experience? There’s plenty to consider here and there are bands that have made those considerations in how they present themselves live.
So what’s the correct answer? You’ll get a lot of opinions on that as Dave Grohl, Corey Taylor, Gene Simmons, Lzzy Hale, Dave Mustaine, Flea, Ronnie Radke, Sebastian Bach, Scott Ian, Wolfgang Van Halen and a host of other musicians have weighed in on the topic. See who said what and let them make their arguments for or against using backing tracks below.
Rock + Metal Artists Share Their Thoughts on Backing Tracks
To enhance or to play straight up?
Bands Who Have Admitted to Using Backing Tracks
These musicians say backing tracks help them put on the best show they can and have no shame in confessing it.