Chris Jericho Claims He Only Uses Backing Tracks for “Ambience,” Calls Out Santa Cruz for Using Them
Earlier this year, wrestler and Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho publicly revealed that his band does use backing tracks live, claiming it “doesn’t make you any less of a band.” For some, this confirmed accusations of lip-syncing against Jericho by former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach. Meanwhile, this also made it feel suspect when radio personality Eddie Trunk publicly dragged hard rockers Santa Cruz for using backing tracks while never mentioning Jericho, who he’d just interviewed and is closely connected to. Now, in a new interview, Jericho has said that his band only really uses backing tracks for “ambience” — but still takes a moment to call out Santa Cruz for relying on them.
Speaking to Jave Patterson of Two Doods Reviews, Jericho was asked how much Fozzy relies on backing tracks, and whether or not losing them would be a huge impediment to Fozzy’s show. Jericho said the following (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“I think there’s a real misconception…You used the word ‘rely’ — that’s also the wrong word to use as well. And Eddie Trunk actually came to our show at Asbury Park and did a whole show about Fozzy in that we’re all playing and singing a thousand percent. What we use tracks for is background noises, keyboards, industrial sounds for [our cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s] ‘Relax’ — ambience, that sort of thing. And that’s what bands use…That’s what we use backing tracks for. Take the tracks away…As a matter of fact, in Aurora, Illinois on this tour, the tracks completely shut down — we did the entire set exactly the way that it was, and it sounded great. It’s just you have the ear candy and little extra nuances that makes the show just better. It makes it sound better because you’re hearing things that you can’t do if you don’t have a keyboard player or a string section. ‘Army Of One’ has a whole symphony on it. What are we gonna do? Pack up 15 guys in a tour bus and take them with us down to wherever the hell we are? Obviously, some bands do use them more. Santa Cruz was using ’em — that’s the band. We toured with Santa Cruz.”
Aw, man, this would’ve been a good moment to show solidarity with Santa Cruz. Wack.
“I think in this day and age there’s so much of a debate about it where most people really don’t care. It just adds to the show. And most people don’t analyze it like that. But for the Eddie Trunk thing, you can go listen to his Sirius show and listen to him when he came to the Asbury Park show [at] the Stone Pony that we had. And he said, ‘I came to see the show, and I was analyzing it and they were singing and playing, and it was great. And they’re an awesome band.’
“For whatever reason, we got lumped into this whole discussion — because I said we use tracks.”
Well, so, hold on: of course you got lumped into this whole discussion. You publicly said you use backing tracks after having been accused of lip-syncing by a major metal frontman. It’s not like we all sit around looking for ways to dunk on Chris Jericho, it’s that a radio personality you’re closely aligned with ripped another band for using backing tracks days after you admitted the using them. It’s cause and effect. Do you think the things you say don’t matter?
“Ask Zach [Myers] from Shinedown if they use tracks. Ask Matt [M. Shadows] from Avenged Sevenfold. It’s just how bands work. Unless you’re gonna go out there like The Stones with 17 people, and we can’t do that. It’s not plausible. It’s not practical. And like I said, this is rock and roll. If I wanna put fucking strings on a song, I’m gonna do it and play it on the track.
“Guess what — when Queen was touring in the ’70s and they did ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, they didn’t have five opera singers going, ‘Scaramouche, Scaramouche.’ They used tracks. Would you say Queen is a track band? No. But they used tracks. It’s okay. People, it’s okay.”
Once again, it feels weird that Chris Jericho is comparing Fozzy to, like, massive arena bands. Those bands need those backing tracks because they’re playing complex songs to massive audiences. But Fozzy is playing mid-sized stages at best, and, let’s be real, are not penning songs of these chart-toppers’ caliber. Fozzy ain’t playing on Queen’s level, so comparing your songs to “Bohemian Rhapsody” is just kind of silly.
Check out the full interview here: