In recent years there’s been an ongoing battle between bands and their fans over the use of smart phones at concerts. Ian Asbury of the Cult spoke to us in length last year about this perceived annoyance, and recently Jack White prohibited the use of phones, and specifically, their cameras, at his Fenway Park show over the summer. Other bands and artists, like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Kate Bush, have been preventing fans from keeping their heads buried in their iPhones during live performances.
“I see it every once in a while,” Taylor tells WRIF 101 FM in Detroit, via Metal Hammer. “People don’t do it so much at our shows, and if they do, they do it from quite a way back, because I empty whole water bottles into people as soon as I see them staring at their phone or tweeting or whatever.”
Oh shit, for real?
“There was this one poor girl, and God bless her, she was a fan, but at the same time, she wasn’t being very covert about it,” he added. “So I emptied four bottles on to her, and it had to have broken her phone. And then she was just bummed for the rest of the night, and I just kept shrugging at her, going, ‘Hey, it’s a live show. Pay attention, or don’t be here.’ People need to unplug and realise they’re missing their lives. It’s sad. And that may be me just being an old jerk, but I don’t care.”
But he says this is a problem that’s greater than people just checking Facebook at the rock show.
“So many people have their faces glued to their phones and they’re not paying attention,” Taylor says. “I point and laugh any time I see somebody trip walking down the street, and I’m brutal — I mean, I’m brutal. It’s loud, it’s obnoxious, there’s a lot of pointing, I’m asking people, ‘Did you see that?’ I love it. I think it’s funny. Get off your phones and pay attention to what they hell you’re doing.”