Alex Skolnick Responds To Chuck Billy’s Take On Def Leppard’s Live Performances
Alex Skolnick recently shared his thoughts on Def Leppard’s live shows on X in response to comments made by Chuck Billy about the band’s alleged use of backing tracks.
Referring to the Testament vocalist’s words to the Syncin’ Stanley YouTube channel, an X user posted the following:
“Some guy paying musicians to do cameos to talk about lip-syncing is the worst idea since showing up to party with a boner in sweatpants… Def Leppard pipes in their backing vocals, I am sure, and that is not OK. And also, let’s not forget there were rumors of lip-syncing, alleged by Napoleon Schon telling people about it when his band was being accused of lip-syncing with Steve Augeri… I think Def Leppard sings live with Joe [Elliott], but the backing vocals… Chuck Billy’s comment was hacked off, though; he said they are the exception to the rule because of their big production.”
Tagged under the tweet, Skolnick commented on the matter by writing:
“In 2018, I watched from Phil’s [Collen] side, listened to his mix on headphones. Yes, they had a click & had pre-recorded synth tracks. But the playing & singing was legit, just super tight & dressed with sound production. I can’t speak for the more recent tours, but that was my experience.”
Chuck Billy’s Comments On Def Leppard Shows
During his interview with Syncin’ Stanley, Chuck Billy talked about rock bands using backing tracks, especially for vocals, and shared his preference to avoid them. He mentioned Def Leppard’s live performances as an example for the shows with pre-recorded tracks by saying:
“I guess there’s bands out there that probably need help. I know there’s bands like Def Leppard that use a lot of backing tracks, but that’s also backing tracks for that big sound, ’cause, obviously, you can’t get all their voices live unless you brought in a choir. So, there’s an exception to the rule.”
Phil Collen’s Explanation Of The Matter
The talks about using backing tracks during live shows have been going around for a while now, with some rockers welcoming it and others bashing it for falling against rock music’s nature. That’s why Def Leppard became one of the names at the center of criticism for allegedly using them in the last few years.
Referring to these accusations in a chat with Ultimate Classic Rock, guitarist Phil Collen explained in 2019:
“Our vocals are always live, and that’s the big difference – we’re like a live vocal band. And that’s something that a lot of the other bands don’t do. They kind of fake the vocals, and it’s not really them. But this is really us. … It’s real. The vocals are real. Everything’s totally, a hundred percent real.”
You can see Alex Skolnick’s recent tweet below.
In 2018, I watched from Phil's side, listened to his mix on headphones. Yes, they had a click & had prerecorded synth tracks. But the playing & singing was legit, just super tight & dressed with sound production. I can’t speak for the more recent tours but that was my experience
— Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) November 17, 2023