Tracii Guns has spoken out against cell phone use at concerts, saying that L.A. GUNS would like to "connect with humans in the front" of the band's live shows "instead of cameras."
In a post on his Facebook page, Tracii wrote: "Okay, lol, I have to address this. YOUR CAMERA PHONES ARE DISTRACTING WHEN WE ARE PLAYING. If you are taking video, please don't leave your flash on — it blinds us. If you are videoing at the front of the stage, it seems to us you aren't involved in the moment. It would be nice if you could video from the back so we can connect with humans in the front instead of cameras."
He continued: "Sheesh, we live in an odd time. We love ya, but the camera phones are tripping us out. I am sure we aren't the only performers that are going through this."
A number of other musicians have come out in recent years to say that mobile technology is ruining the concert experience, including SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor. He told "Loudwire Nights" that "it's fine" if people want to take pictures of his bands' shows, but not so much if they are videotaping entire performances. "It's one thing to film it, it's another thing to just be staring at your screen while you're filming it," he said. "It's right there. Are you so terrified of real life that you can't do anything unless it's on that little four-by-four screen? Ugggh. It's very weird."
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach in 2015 urged fans to keep their cell phones at the bottom of their pockets and just watch his performances. "Be in the moment," he said. "You're distracted and it's distracting to the performer as well. Like, put your fuckin' cell phone away, dammit! You're never even going to watch that footage."
The overuse of cellphones to capture grainy, blurry photos and videos at concerts has for years vexed and enraged artists like Bach, who lamented the fact that every one of his performances could be recorded and shared on YouTube almost immediately.
"If I go to a wedding and sing a song, it's on Blabbermouth the next day and everybody analyzes it," said Bach. "It's a really backwards way to watch a band. It's a drag sometimes when I go up there and the first thing I see is everybody getting their phones out and holding them toward my face. It makes you feel intimidated."
Bach said that he finds it impossible to stand still while singing in concert because adrenaline takes over, leaving him open to criticism by making it difficult for him to deliver pitch-perfect performances.
"I try to tell myself that, but I can't do it," said Bach with a laugh. "The music gets in me and I want to move and jump. I don't want to stand there frozen like a tree and be filmed."
Back in 2012, Bruce Dickinson chastised a fan for texting during an IRON MAIDEN concert, calling him a "wanker."