Tune Talk: Top 5 Best Backup Vocalists in Bands

Willie Williams , Staff Writer

5. Joshua Farro (Paramore 2004-2010)
Most people don’t know former lead guitarist and backup vocalist for Paramore, Joshua Farro, but he those who are really big fans of Paramore, remember and miss the guy. He’s not dead or anything, but everyone misses his work in Paramore, saying that his live backup vocals are remarkable and beautiful. I’ve never actually paid attention to the guy until recently, I only knew that he was the guy that screamed the background vocals in Paramore’s B-side version of “Emergency.” Other than that, the song that he’s best known for is “Brick By Boring Brick” which was his final album with the band. I wasn’t able to dig up why he left the band, so I’m just going to assume that it was for creative differences. In other words, I guess he’s better live than he is on any studio album.

4. Jared Warth (BlesstheFall 2004-Present)
Most people aren’t going to have any general idea who this guy is. I won’t be surprised, he’s the bass player for the band that I seem to be the only who knows him in this school. BlesstheFall is incredibly underrated, I’m pointing that out right now. Anyways, on literally every one of the BlesstheFall albums, Warth’s vocals are pretty impressive in my opinion. Others may disagree since most of his vocals are registered as screams, but I personally think they’re better on the album than better without them.

3. Ray Toro (My Chemical Romance 2001-2013)
Although Ray Toro’s live vocals aren’t pretty, on the studio albums that My Chemical Romance released with Ray Toro singing backup vocals and playing the lead guitars, “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” and “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” Ray Toro had some pretty good vocals in my opinion. Especially on the first song off of the “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” which was “Helena” of course. I don’t think the song would be the same it is today if they would’ve removed Toro’s vocals off of the song.

2. Daron Malakian (System of a Down 1994-Present)
Ah yes, the lead guitarist, backup vocalist, occasional lead singer, and songwriter for System of a Down. Daron Malakian is hilarious, he’s talented, and he’s an all-around great guy in my opinion. There are so many songs that I could pick from specifically but I don’t want to deprive any of you that really want to know all of the songs that Daron is featured on for System of a Down’s albums. His work wasn’t really put out there in the open until the “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize” albums, but he’s got some songs in the “Steal This Album” and “Toxicity” that are good too. Even some in their self-titled first released album. There’s songs like “Sugar,” “P.L.U.C.K.” “Chop Suey!” “Prison Song,” “Atwa,” “Aerials,” “Deer Dance,” “Chic ‘N’ Stu,” “Solider Side,” “B.Y.O.B.” “Revenga,” “Cigaro,” “Radio/Video,” “Sad Statue,” “Lost in Hollywood,” “Attack,” “Dreaming,” “Kill Rock ‘n Roll,” “Hypnotize,” “Stealing Society,” “Holy Mountains,” “Vicinity of Obscenity,” and of course his solo song off of the Hypnotize album, “Lonely Day.” If you’re wondering if I named literally of the songs, I didn’t mostly because the other four or five I didn’t say have inappropriate names that wouldn’t be appropriate for the school website. If you want to check them out just basically listen to the entirety of the “Mezmerize,” “Hypnotize,” albums as well as the little bit of the “Steal This Album” and “Toxicity” albums. But if I were you I would listen to all of “Toxicity” mostly because it’s their best album and my personal favorite.

1. Ryan Ross (Panic! At the Disco 2006-2009)
I’ve already shown my appreciation for Ryan Ross. The guy is a musical genius and we should all know this by now. Like I’ve mentioned before in a past story, Ryan Ross’s vocals in a live performance they did in 2006 in Denver was amazing combined with lead singer of Panic! At the Disco, Brendon Urie, are just amazing. Especially how well they blend together with the music. It’s remarkable, it’s iconic, and it’s beautiful. Quite honestly, I realized how disappointed I was going to be seeing Panic! At the Disco this past summer because I knew that Ryan wouldn’t be there. Then again this was before I realized I couldn’t take any more of their poppier stuff from the “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die,” “Death of a Bachelor,” and “Pray for the Wicked” albums. Anyways, Ryan is a great vocalist, and he was actually the original lead singer for the band but once he heard Brendon sing whenever Brendon said he’d be up to join the band, he chose Brendon to sing. Mind blowing I know. Personally I would’ve liked Ryan at leads, but of course I’m a full blown Ryan fan so of course I would say that now. I’m not saying that Brendon isn’t a good singer, because he is, I’m just pointing out that I would’ve personally liked Ryan better at leads.