We live in a time when there is increasing scrutiny on the use of pre-recorded vocals by live performers. Some critics argue that the use of backing tracks is misleading and unfair to fans, while others say that it is simply a tool that artists use to enhance their performances. Seems that Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson prefers that bands keep it real.
In a recent interview with Dave Gleeson of Australia's Triple M radio station, Dickinson touched upon the use of pre-recorded vocals on live shows, which he described as incredibly common, and how Maiden stays old-school during their live shows.
"I see a lot of bands now, and I'm going, 'Hang on a minute. Hey, you sang that without moving your lips,'" Dickinson said. "So there's all this backing vocals being flown in left, right and center and everything. But we don't do any of that. Everything is analog and real."
"We're not like Michelin star chef-type grub; we're meat and potatoes. And it's straightforward, what people come to see is. I mean, the songs are not necessarily straightforward, but the attitude is. And we still play all the songs in the original key; we don't drop, downtune and stuff like that. We still play everything too fast, because we're all excited. We've never played to click tracks or like time code and everything else now," Dickinson added.
Bruce – whose upcoming solo album is generating a lot of excitement in the heavy metal circles – is a prime example of a singer who can still deliver a powerhouse performance live, even in his 60s. And his comments are a reminder that there is still a place for authenticity in live music. There is something special and sincere about seeing a band perform live and true.