Gene Simmons accuses ‘dishonest’ Rolling Stones and U2 of using backing tracks during gigs

The Kiss bassist has criticised bands and their live reputations

Kiss member Gene Simmons has criticised both U2 and The Rolling Stones for using “backing tracks” during their live shows.

Simmons, who last released an album with Kiss in 2012 in the form of ‘Monster’, told Australia’s “I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks. It’s like the ingredients in food, if the first ingredient on the label is sugar that’s at least honest.”

Simmons added: “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.”

The veteran musician then named a few acts who he feels are guilty of such “dishonesty”, whilst also listing a couple that live up to his standards.

“There’s nobody with a synthesizer 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 discussed Rihanna’s recent single ‘FourFiveSeconds’, which sees the singer collaborate with Kanye West and Paul McCartney. He said: “I liked the new song Rihanna did with Kanye West and Paul McCartney – she sounded better singing a real song. Umbrella-ella-ella? I don’t get it. Lots of people do, that’s great.”

Last year Gene Simmons declared that rock music is “finally dead”. He said: “It’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead… You’re better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor. And I’m not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them.”