Gene Simmons Blasts “Dishonest” Musicians

While KISS bassist Gene Simmons has been known to put his foot in it from time to time, his latest interview actually yielded a very interesting suggestion that isn’t as poorly thought-out as some of his other infamously incendiary commentary.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph ahead of KISS’ return to Australian shores in October, Simmons said he wants “dishonest” bands who play to pre-recorded backing tapes to actually include the fact on their concert tickets.

I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks,” said Simmons. “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 found time in the interview to share his thoughts on toddy’s crop of pop stars. “I liked the new song Rihanna did with Kanye West and Paul McCartney (‘FourFiveSeconds’),” he said.

“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.” However, Simmons was sympathetic towards Madge after her much-publicised fall during the most recent 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,” he insisted.


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