In a new “Three Sides Of The Coin” podcast interview, former WWE wrestler and Fozzy singer Chris Jericho defended KISS frontman Paul Stanley after fans have trashed him for allegedly lip syncing to backing tracks. Jericho said Stanley is “singing his ass off as much as he possibly can.” He also claimed Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, and Def Leppard have used backing tracks, adding them into the KISS controversy, though he said they all are right to do it.
The Van Halen claim of using backing tracks seems hard to believe, as David Lee Roth has strained to hit notes on certain songs on recent tours, and in no video has ever appeared to not be singing live, especially with his older voice showing at times, despite his great onstage energy.
Jericho said, “Paul Stanley has nothing to prove to anybody. He’s one of the greatest rock and roll singers of all time. I think that’s something that anybody would say. I would much rather have him use the technology that’s available to not sound like he’s hurting himself, which then makes me not enjoy the show as much.”
“Let me tell you how things work,” Jericho added. “More people do this than others. I’m sure of it, ’cause I’ve seen it happen. When you’re a singer, and some bands will do this where there’s tracks being run and the singer will sing… Remember we used to hear the rumors that Robert Mason would sing offstage for Ozzy [Osbourne]? What they would do is Robert Mason would sing, and Ozzy would sing as well, and then the sound mixer, if you’ve got a great sound guy, would just blend Ozzy down if he was having a rough night and push Robert up in the mix. So it’s not like Ozzy was just sitting there going, like, [makes humming noise], and fucking ‘Iron Man”s coming out.
It’s a combination of the two. And that’s kind of how they were doing it, I’m sure, with KISS or with a lot of bands — Def Leppard does it too; you could tell. Van Halen did it as well on the last tour when Michael Anthony wasn’t there. They’re just blending the vocals. So, Paul is singing — he’s singing his ass off as much as he possibly can. But if it’s a rough time, they’re just sweetening it a bit, kind of giving it a little bit of extra love, so, once again, Paul doesn’t have to rip himself apart and the vocal sounds good. I’m not saying that’s what they’re doing, ’cause I’m not the sound mixer, but that’s my guess as to what’s happening.”
Jericho said Stanley is “always gives it his all. The only problem was, the last couple of tours, his voice had… I’m not gonna say it betrayed him, but his voice wasn’t up to snuff, and you could hear him hurting himself. We don’t want that. You don’t have to prove anything to me. It’s not about lip syncing or not lip syncing — this is show business. If you wanna hear the song exactly the way that it’s on the record, listen to the record. ‘Cause if you’re going to a KISS [show] to bitch about the fact they’ve got some background tracks, you’re missing the point of what KISS is.
‘Cause guess what? Paul is playing guitar, Paul is dancing, Paul is jumping around, Paul is still the greatest frontman of all time. And when Paul doesn’t think he can hit those choruses, he sits out and lets the band sing them — Eric [Singer], Gene [Simmons] — and then he vamps over top of it. He’s still singing. He’s just doing his typical Paul Stanley [shrieks], whatever it may be. That’s okay, ’cause that’s still a rock and roll show, and that’s why I’m there. If I wanna see pitch-perfect, amazing vocals, I’ll go see freaking Adele and watch her stand there and not move and sing her pitch-perfect vocals, because it’s a different type of a show.”
“I always say this — ‘Star Wars’ fans and KISS fans are all the same,” he explained. “They are loyal to the death, they will buy everything and they’ll complain about every single thing. That’s just how it is. And I really believe that there’s a lot of people that are gonna complain just for the sake of complaining, instead of just going to the show and just enjoying the show and having a great time and reliving the fact that this is one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time still putting on one of the best productions you’ll ever see.”