MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN Explains Why He Hates People Using Their Phones At Concerts So Much

Tool‘s stance on fans using phones during their shows has been crystal clear over the years. They’ve firmly prohibited phone use, even going as far as ejecting offenders from the venue. However, they do offer a compromise by allowing fans to film one song at the end of the show.

In a recent interview with Phoenix New Times, Tool’s frontman Maynard James Keenan shared his candid thoughts on the matter. Keenan expressed his disdain for phones at shows, stating that it detracts from the live experience for everyone else and that the video quality isn’t worth sacrificing that shared moment.

“It’s just plain rude. Not to us personally—I’ve been in plenty of photoshoots and I’m fine with cameras. I have mine with me right now; it’s a handy tool,” Keenan remarked.

He continued, “But really, trying to capture that live energy on a phone? It’s impossible. You’re missing out on truly absorbing the moment as it unfolds. The art of storytelling suffers when everything is recorded.

Keenan emphasized the importance of being present in the moment and not being a distraction to others. “Train your mind to be in the now, appreciate the performance, and spare the person behind you the annoyance. It’s disruptive for us as performers too,” he added. “So, stash it away, be mature about it. It’s just a couple of hours. Plus, we usually allow filming at the end, so you still get your memento.

Regarding their strict policy, Keenan compared it to other performance venues where disruptive behavior isn’t tolerated. “Absolutely, if we have to remove a few individuals for being arrogant or inconsiderate, so be it. It’s about respecting the experience for everyone. This isn’t unique; it’s common courtesy. You wouldn’t do it at a theater or an opera, so why here?

In essence, Keenan’s message is clear: enjoy the moment, respect the space, and save the filming for the designated time.

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