Saxon’s Nigel Glockler Thinks The Audience Should Be Warned About Miming

In Syncin’ Stanley’s YouTube video, Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler talked about the artists using backtracks frequently. The drummer pointed out that the audience should be informed about the usage of pre-recorded tracks, giving an example from a personal experience:

“I once went and saw a band in Dallas. I was looking at the bass player, who was doing great backing vocals, and I looked over there, and he was nowhere near the microphone. So it was on track. And then I later found out the lead vocals were all mimed, so they were on track. And I just think that’s wrong. There’s a German band I’ve heard of and they use something like 26 backing tracks. I mean, really? Can’t they play it live or maybe get an extra keyboard player or something? And that I don’t think is acceptable at all — unless the audience is told, unless it’s on the ticket.”

Nigel also mentioned artists who informed the fans beforehand, such as Madonna, and Britney Spears:

“In fact, I think it was probably about 20 years ago — people like Britney Spears and Madonna, I think, had to have something on their ticket saying certain parts of the shows are mimed, because the way they dance, I mean, there’s no way you can singing dancing like that. So I think if the audience is told that some of it’s mimed, then, okay, it’s acceptable in things like that. But generally putting lead vocals and stuff [on tape] and just miming the vocal, I think, is just ridiculous.”

Glockler reflects on his in-studio habits, and differs it from vocalists’ live shows:

“In the studio, I always use a click track when I’m doing drum tracks, but I think that’s a different thing. But lip syncing what is supposed to be a live concert, to me, is just totally unacceptable.”

The debate on pre-recorded tracks is not new. Many musicians, from Gene Simmons to Sebastian Bach, to Adrian Smith and Zach Myers, previously expressed their negative opinions on using backtracks during live performances. Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx tweeted in 2019, favouring the usage of them:

“We’ve used technology since 87.Been using sequencers, sub tones, background vox tracks plus background singers and us. Stuff we can’t tour with like cello parts in ballads etc. We love it and don’t hide it. It’s a great tool to fill out the sound.”

It was later found out that Mötley Crüe didn’t agree to use pre-recorded tracks as a whole. Guitarist Mick Mars sued the group in April for this specific reason, along with financial issues.