Chris Holmes Is Sure Def Leppard Uses Backing Tracks

W.A.S.P guitarist Chris Holmes was recently guested for a question and answer by The Metal Voice, where he was asked his opinion about the bands who use backing tracks in their shows. The guitarist responded to by naming two bands, one of them being Def Leppard.

Holmes, stating that a show should be ‘real’ rather than having samples play in the background, said:

“If you pay to see a real gig, it should be real, whether they sound good or like crap. That’s the way I look at it. I don’t sample; I never will. I would rather play when I’m a little bit off, but it’s for real. Some people would rather do it.”

He then names the two bands and explains why he is sure that Def Leppard is using back tracks:

“I heard Mötley Crüe is doing it. Def Leppard has to sample. You can’t do them eight-part harmonies on the vocals — unless you have other people singing in the background.”

Though Holmes believes that the band uses backing tracks, Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen denied using them in their shows. In an interview in 2019, Collen stated that ‘unlike pop singers’, they don’t use any kind of backing tracks or fake vocals, except a few drum loops and keyboard ‘things’. He said:

“I mean, we’ve always used keyboard things and parts of a drum loop, like on ‘Rocket’ — you couldn’t really play that part live. So we’ve used stuff like that. But our vocals are always live, and that’s the big difference — we are 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. We are a real live band. We do acoustic stuff. It’s real — the vocals are real; everything’s totally, a hundred percent real.”

W.A.S.P. is one of the bands that use backing tracks as well. The frontman Blackie Lawless revealed why they used fake vocals on their shows:

“When we go into a studio — and let me clarify that statement; that’s me singing — but when we go in a studio, we do choruses, we double, triple, quadruple the vocals. So my feelings were when I listened to live YouTube, and we weren’t doing that, it sounded thin. When we started supplementing it, it sounded better.”

See the Q&A down below.