Wolfgang Van Halen Slams Musicians That Use Backing Tracks Live
Wolfgang Van Halen had a lot to say about musicians that use backing tracks live. Honestly, the multi-instrumentalist isn’t wrong.
In an appearance on guitarist Ola Englund’s show Coffee with Ola, Wolfgang says it’s a “f*cking bummer” that so many musicians use backing tracks these days. He adds, “Look, I think everybody else draws their own line with what tracks are acceptable or not, but it’s, like, if you’re pumping in the main guitar riff and the lead vocals and actual f*cking drums — like, pre-recorded drums — that’s a problem. You should be able to play your sh*t.”
Wolfgang notes there are some reasonable exceptions for using backing tracks, like if you use a large orchestra on a recording but can’t afford to tour with an orchestra. However, he says, “But lead vocal, main guitar, main bass and the drums — you should be playing that.”
Van Halen says he purposely makes sure to record songs that he knows he can play live with little to no backing tracks.
“Sure, there are tricks that you can do to do stuff that you wouldn’t normally be able to do, but why would you wanna do that?,” said Van Halen. “‘Cause it’s about creating music that you’re capable of doing and that you can do live.”
Wolfgang’s band Mammoth WVH is on the road all summer in Europe and returns stateside in August. Coincidently, August 4 will see the release of their second album, Mammoth II, is available for pre-save here.
Fans looking to snag a physical copy of the LP and album-exclusive merch can find various pre-sale offerings at the official Mammoth II store.