Slash and Nikki Sixx Weigh in on Cellphone Use at Concerts
Using your cellphone to capture high-definition concert video is a relatively new phenomenon, and although certain artists have taken a vocal stand against it, there's no turning back the tide of technology — as acknowledged by Slash and Nikki Sixx during the final hours of the latter's Sixx Sense radio show.
Sixx, who announced in late 2017 that he'd be walking away from his three syndicated radio programs in order to focus on other projects, finished Sixx Sense's run by speaking with Slash and Joe Perry; during a portion of the program, which you can listen to above near the 39-minute mark, Sixx and Slash shared their thoughts regarding the cellphone conundrum.
"I've gotten past the point of caring," Slash said after the show's co-host Jenn Marino brought up the subject. "People just do what they do, and the fact that they can't concentrate on the music because they have to memorialize this — after a while, you don't want to make a huge effort to try and fight it, because it's just going against what is the trend at this point."
"That's what happened to me too," said Sixx. "There's no way to fight it and not hurt your fans' feelings. That's what I found early on. I realized if I was a fan, and I was going to see Aerosmith, and Joe Perry tweeted out 'I hate all you people with cellphones,' I'd be like, 'I worked for three months to afford a ticket and only buy a T-shirt, I never met my hero, and now he's putting me down. But I've got this video!' I'd be really happy to have that video."
"There's some people who, rightfully so, get bent out of shape," added Slash. "Because as a musician, you're putting across that you want people to actually hear it. It isn't just about the experience of being at the event. It's about all the songs and what goes on during your performance, and they get really bent out of shape about it. But I just think it's sort of redundant, because it is a sign of the times. People are doing it, they have the equipment to do it and they're gonna do it. If you lose sleep over it, you're only cutting off your nose to spite your face."
Even more importantly, as Sixx noted, there's a long tradition of rock fans seeking out concert recordings — something Sixx himself did as a bootleg-hunting teen in the years before Mötley Crüe made it big. If buying a ticket to a show and spending the whole night watching through your phone still strikes them as a self-defeating mistake, both Sixx and Slash acknowledge that the footage will still entertain other fans after it's uploaded — and could inspire the next generation of young rockers, cruddy audio fidelity and all.