Anthrax’s Scott Ian Defends Bands Using Backing Tracks

Anthrax’s Scott Ian recently talked to Syncin’ Stanley’s YouTube channel about backing tracks. The guitarist expressed his indifference towards pre-recorded tracks in the video and emphasized that he empathizes with other musicians:

“Obviously, I’m aware that this is something that’s going on these days now that technology has made it possible to do these kinds of things. And my opinion is I really don’t care. I don’t care what artists do or what bands do to make their shows happen.

My opinion is that it’s hard out there for bands and artists these days; it’s never been tougher. And whatever it takes to get a show on, I think. It’s all part of the show. This is just new technology that people aren’t accepting yet. That’s just my opinion.”

Ian continued by pointing out the subjectivity of such matters:

“Really, who cares? You know what I mean? If it’s something you don’t like, then you have a choice. You have the choice as a consumer to spend your money or not spend your money. And, really, that’s what it comes down to. So why there’s a big deal about it, honestly, I don’t care.”

In this long debate of whether musicians should use backing tracks, or whether it’s fraud and the audience should be informed about it, there are a few musicians who remain indifferent about the matter. Shinedown’s Zach Myers once mentioned:

“It bothers me that it bothers people. I’m, like, ‘Why does this bother you?’ It’s the way it is. People have been doing this since the ’80s. And we want the sound to be the best it can be. Could we go up there, just the four of us, and put on the best rock show ever? Of course. But that’s not how we wanna do it.”

Nita Strauss once said that the usage of pre-recorded tracks depends on the circumstances, and gave an example from her tour:

“I’ve used a track for David Draiman’s vocal for ‘Dead Inside’ since the song came out. We made no secret of it. It wasn’t feasible to pay a singer for a whole tour to only sing one song with us. So in my humble opinion, there are circumstances where it makes sense.”

Twisted Sisters’ Jay Jay French once pointed out that it also depends on the fan’s perspective:

“I guess at the end of the day, the real answer is, do the fans care or not? And if the fans don’t care, and there’s a lot of money on the table, the band’s under a lot of pressure to replicate a record, then they get away with it and they do it.”

You can watch Scott Ian’s full video below.