Backing tracks are world wide and music wide at this point, and really have been for years (Hello, Milli Vanilli), but fans still don’t want to admit that their favorite artist uses them. Some bands don’t want to admit this either, but Steel Panther have zero shame.
He started off: “We tried to make the tracks subtle. So you hear them almost subliminally. You expect them to be there anyways. So if you hear just a little taste of the rhythm guitar and a little taste like… Some of the choruses are doubled and I’ll sing over them so it gives that double effect. And then some, there’s just blatant cheaters in there where I just lip-sync to. I’m not ashamed of that, man!”
He then continued to dive deeper into the way of thinking when it comes to backing tracks and why they are not a horrible idea.
He went on: “But all joking aside, it just enhances the whole live experience. And we truly thought about, ‘Okay, let’s bring a keyboard player out.’ That way, they can hit one note during a chorus and play the shaker and do all that. And then we thought, ‘Well, that’s just going to take out of our bottom line.’ So we just hired a multitrack and just put that on there. It was way cheaper. No per diems.”
Starr would then speak about Download festival. This was a festival featuring Motley Crue and Def Leppard, which many fans didn’t want to happen because of Steel Panther being more of a mockery pointing at the outlandishness of the 80’s bands rather than a ‘true’ hair-metal band.
Starr stated: “He (Andy Copping) still books us. I remember we were doing a Def Leppard [and] Motley Crue tour and Motley Crue didn’t want us on the tour. But Andy said, ‘No, they’re going to be on the tour. And that’s the end of it.’ And we were on it.”
In another part of the interview, it was assumed that Starr would want to say something about all of the accusations that Motley Crue are under about backing tracks. However, he did not have much to say.
He closed: “I don’t know, I don’t know… Whoever uses tracks — whatever.”