Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Latest News

ANTHRAX's JOEY BELLADONNA On Lip Syncing: "If I Can't Sing It, I Don't Wanna Be There"

"Maybe some keyboards or a synthy part… But the main singer? Ooh, that's tough."


It seems the hot debate of last year—lip synching and backing tracks—is carrying over strong into 2023. Earlier this month, Kiss manager and industry legend Doc McGhee came to singer Paul Stanley's defense after he was accused of lip synching during Kiss's live show in Belgium after a technical misstep.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

McGhee told the Syncin' Stanley YouTube channel "that [Stanley] sings every track. So he sings to [backing tracks]. So he's not lip syncing. He fully sings. It's enhanced. It's just part of the process to make sure that everybody hears the songs the way they should be sang to begin with. Nobody wants to hear people do stuff that's not real, that's not what they came to hear."

What's "real" and what is not is all relative, but McGhee nonetheless maintained that Stanley is singing on stage. "It's all part of a process. Because everybody wants to hear everybody sing. But he fully sings to every song." 

Somebody else who we know who fully sings 100 percent, all day-every day, is Anthrax's Joey Belladonna. Practically born to sing, Belladonna has power and range that's nearly unmatchable in rock and metal. Quite frankly, I believe only classically trained opera singers and Broadway performers can belt it out better than Joey, and I still say he'd give them a run for their money.

Ironically, Syncin Stanley caught up with Joey Belladonna recently, and asked him for his take on the entire situation.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

"I know that some people have no alternatives to enhance the quality and the likelihood of being a really great band night after night after night… But lip syncing the vocals? Eh. If I can't do it, I don't wanna be there. That's the fun part about being a musician, is to try to achieve that expectation of what you've been really working hard to get in the first place, is to be a great, great band and a great musician and just fight on each night to do a great job."

You can check out the entire video with Joey on Synchin' Stanley just below.

Of course, being one of the greatest metal vocalists of all time and still going strong, Belladonna doesn't need to worry about backing tracks. And like he said, when he can't do it anymore, he's exiting stage left. But he does make an interesting point when he speaks about some bands having "no alternatives." As it relates to Paul Stanley and Kiss, for example, a band—just like a financial institution—can sometimes be too big to fail. Once a search for solutions is underway, inevitably the recorded vocal tracks rear their cheeky decks, and they become the backbone of an entire production.

"I can't get down with all that," said Belladonna. "I'd just as soon cancel or just not be out there at all. But as far as maybe some keyboards and a clean guitar or a synthy part, if you only have one hand to do one part and you want something just in the back… I like filling up the space — that kind of stuff… But the main singer? Ooh, that's tough.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Belladonna then added, "There's nothing like people just getting together and jamming in a room and it sounds great and everybody's doing it and it sounds great and everybody's doing it and there's nothing there but them. That's the bottom line with our stuff. I worked a hell of a lot of years trying to get to that point, to mail it all in… What is that, really? All the bands that I've loved, it was all real. It was all genuine."

That said, Belladonna did his best to be open-minded. "It's hard for me to judge. I don't wanna be the guy to put anybody in a place… We all have our opinions and stuff. You can just choose not to be there as a band and you can choose not to be there as a fan."

This debate will surely carry on throughout time, but for now, how about we just watch this really sick video of Anthrax playing "A Skeleton in the Closet" in Chile.

Show Comments / Reactions

You May Also Like