Kiss was accused of lip synching their live show during a June 6, 2022 performance in Antwerp, Belgium after a technical misstep found guitarist Paul Stanley's vocals playing without him at the microphone.
Now in an interview with the appropriately-named Syncin' Stanley YouTube channel, Kiss manager Doc McGhee explains that Stanley's use of backing tracks is only to enhance his performance – not fake it.
"He sings every track. So he sings to it," said McGhee. "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."
McGhee later added that of course Stanley uses backing tracks to enhance his performance, but "he'll sing to tracks. It's all part of a process. Because everybody wants to hear everybody sing. But he fully sings to every song." Which makes perfect sense. Vocals are generally double tracked (or beyond) in the studio, so why wouldn't they get a little boost live as well?
Frankly, the whole debate over backing tracks is a little ridiculous. Of course they have their place in a live show for certain bands – would you really want to see a band like Def Leppard or Queen perform without all the aural bells and whistles from the studio performance? Or even on a smaller scale, a band like Dream Theater throwing in some extra guitar and vocal harmonies here and there to make the song what it is. It's fine.
As for the seemingly brief future of Kiss, McGhee confirmed in a previous interview that the band will indeed play their final touring show this year… though it doesn't mean Kiss as a business entity will be done.
"One thing about Kiss, we've always been that band that went to places where most bands didn't go," said McGhee. "So we play everybody's town… You name it, we've played there. So we always go where the people are anyways. The reason why we're continuing doing this last [run] is because obviously the pandemic has stopped us from finishing. And the fact that people just wanted to see us. But we had to end it at some time, which will be this year.
"There's a lot of talk about everything. And nobody knows what's gonna happen in the future. So what we've kind of put in our minds is let's go through this like this is the end of Kiss as we know it. And whatever comes our way, with technology and everything else, we'll look at it. Will be Gene and Paul out there in makeup? No. I can tell you that. They're hanging their hats up after the [final] show, which is gonna be very, very difficult and very emotional for them after 50 years of doing this. And they love it."