DESTRUCTION frontman Schmier has slammed dishonest artists who use backing tapes during their live performances, explaining that his band is one of very few acts left who still play their instruments in concert without the aid of extra tracks.
Speaking to From Hero To Zero, Schmier said (see video below): “It’s crazy. Actually, some bands, there’s nothing live — just the drums. Like all those laptop bands. We just played a festival in Romania, and the band after us, a famous metalcore band — I don’t wanna name it — they had three laptops. Three! Why do you need three laptops? How many tracks do you back up your band with? It’s fucking hilarious.”
He continued: “Nowadays you can cheat so good that a lot of bands do it. And it’s scary. I don’t like this evolution. It’s catastrophic, actually, for rock and roll. Nowadays it’s so easy to cheat good, so nobody’s realizing it. Because now we have all this high technology and it’s difficult to detect who’s cheating or not.”
While acknowledging that it’s virtually impossible for fans to tell if musicians are truly playing their instruments in concert, Schmier added: “I would say if a band sounds too good live, it’s not live. But you know what a lot of singers do? Before a tour, they go into the studio, they re-record the vocals in a live version, and then they just lip sync. A friend of mine has recorded several of those cheaters. I don’t wanna name the bands, but it’s through all the genres. Let’s say rock and roll bands less, and the more modern the bands get, the more they cheat. It’s not right, and, actually, for the fans, it’s really cheating. If you wanna listen to the album, then do that at home, but live, if it’s just backing tracks, it’s nothing else than playback.
“I think rock and roll always was honest, and with all this backing-track stuff, it’s not honest anymore. And, of course, people wanna have a good sound and a good show, but you don’t need backing tracks for this. Now it’s just easy to cheat. It’s the same thing in the studio. Many bands go in the studio and they just loop the guitars. They just put all the drums into a drum computer and put it on the grid, so the drummer didn’t even play a fucking note. Cheating is easy nowadays; that’s why so many people do it.
“Where’s the honesty and the pride of rock and roll nowadays?”
Schmier went on to say that he is not the only rocker who has taken notice of the increasing number of artists using backing tapes. “I just talked to a musician, a very famous guitarist from Sweden, and he said when he toured in America, both of the support bands had full backing tracks — even the vocals came from the tape,” he said. “Just the drummer was playing, and the rest was backing tracks. And he was shaking his head, like, ‘What the fuck?'”
The DESTRUCTION frontman also lamented the fact that the music media has yet to expose the magnitude of the backing-tape problem in the rock and metal scene. He said: “It’s kind of strange that the press so far is not really involved; they’re kind of ignoring it. Somehow it’s not allowed to criticize the ‘gods.’ But I think it’s actually important to… If you do a live review and you see that the band is cheating, write it.”
DESTRUCTION‘s latest album, ‘Under Attack’, was released on May 13 via Nuclear Blast.