Chad Gray, the vocalist for MUDVAYNE, has shared his perspective on bands that heavily depend on pre-recorded tracks during their live shows
In the modern music landscape, there’s a growing trend where artists are being accepted even if they rely on pre-recorded tracks, drum triggers, and other technological elements that add a synthetic but consistent dimension to their concerts. Whether seen as advantageous or detrimental, the use of pre-recorded tracks is progressively becoming more prevalent among touring artists across different tiers and music genres. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to pop music; numerous rock artists also incorporate playback tracks to varying extents into their performances.
In a talk with the Syncin’ Stanley YouTube channel, MUDVAYNE‘s Chad Gray was asked if he would ever rely on pre-recorded tracks. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “No, I wouldn’t. We used to do the opening of [HELLYEAH‘s] ‘Human‘ that was an actual track, and I sang over that and then it stopped or whatever. But there was no backing vocals. I really wasn’t into it. I had a conversation with Vinnie [Paul Abbott, then-HELLYEAH drummer]. I’m, like, ‘We’re a killer band. We could write a musical part,’ blah, blah, blah, blah. It was an argument I lost.
“I think it’s an epidemic, man,” he continued. “I really do. I think it’s crazy that what’s happened in the past happened in the past, like the MILLI VANILLIs of the world. That band was fucking dead the second they did that. Ashlee Simpson, when she did what she did on ‘Saturday Night Live‘, that girl was absolutely lambasted, like she was the goddamn devil and all the things.
“There’s so many huge artists that do it or whatever, and it’s really frustrating, coming from a dude that doesn’t do it. I would never have backing vocals or lead vocals, and I know that people do lead vocals and stuff. I’ve actually toured with bands where I’ve watched their soundcheck and there’s so much goddamn track coming down the pike, it’s like — it sounds like the album. It’s crazy. Vocals, guitars, guitar overdubs, everything. It’s insane.
“But there’s a part of it, like, I kind of feel like, do you wanna come to a venue, spend good money and listen to my record? You know what I mean? Or do you want to come and listen to the music live? Which means missing notes, you’re not hitting every note, it means dropping lyrics, it means missing guitar notes, it means missing drum beats. It’s the human element. And it’s really frustrating to me because people are paying good money to go and see their favorite bands play songs that they love and they’re not getting that. They’re getting shafted, I think, honestly.
“If you can’t sing your shit and you can’t play your shit, your music, then why the fuck are you onstage?” the MUDAVYNE frontman asked. “You’re not doing anything that anybody else can’t do. There’s nothing special about what you’re doing, and you can do anything in the studio, so… Again, I’ve seen bands where their tape stops and it’s absolutely fucking atrocious. It doesn’t sound even remotely close to anything. And I have some friends that do actually do it, but they do it, again, with musical parts or whatever. It’s not this blatant, you know, backing vocals or lead vocals.
“It’s very frustrating, and I’ve been wanting to speak out on this,” Chad added. “I actually just did an interview last week that I need to edit and get put up. But it’s basically talking about this exact same thing. It’s ridiculous. There’s so many great real bands out there, man.
“Every band that I am a fan of didn’t do this shit. You think about the METALLICAs, the SLAYERs, the PANTERAs — the old-school PANTERAs with Vinnie and Dime [‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott]. [Look at] fucking LAMB OF GOD. They’re real bands doing real shit. But, yeah, I absolutely am sick of it and I think that motherfuckers that don’t play their shit shouldn’t be allowed to play. I don’t think you should be allowed to take someone’s money, ’cause you’re not playing your shit. That’s my two cents.”
In a recent conversation with The Oakland Press, Chad officially revealed that MUDVAYNE have been actively brainstorming concepts for fresh musical creations
It’s worth noting that the reformed metal group has abstained from presenting any new compositions since 2009. As the years have progressed, this absence of novel MUDVAYNE tracks has gradually approached the significant milestone of fifteen years.
“We’ve already been working on some stuff,” he said. “We’ve got four [songs] in the pipe. I’ve written each one of them probably three different times, ’cause it’s like nothing’s good enough. We’re gonna keep pushing. We’re all getting along really good. We’re all talking. Hopefully we all want the same thing from our music, so we’ll see. It’s definitely the thing that makes the most sense to do now.”
Last month, MUDVAYNE commenced their inaugural headlining tour in over 14 years, named “The Psychotherapy Sessions“. Live Nation is orchestrating this 26-city journey, and the bill boasts support from COAL CHAMBER, as well as GWAR, NONPOINT, and BUTCHER BABIES.
In the prior year of 2022, MUDVAYNE garnered attention with the “Freaks On Parade” tour, a co-headlining venture alongside ROB ZOMBIE. Yet, it is this tour in 2023 that stands as MUDVAYNE‘s foremost headlining pursuit since 2009.
MUDVAYNE, a prominent nu-metal band, traces its origins back to Peoria, Illinois, in 1996. Comprising vocalist Chad Gray, guitarist Greg Tribbett, bassist Ryan Martinie, and drummer Matt McDonough, the group rapidly gained recognition for their unique fusion of aggressive metal and elements from alternative and progressive rock.