After ejecting more than 60 fans from a recent show for violating their “no photos” policy, A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel explained on the DOMKcast podcast that he is in favor of the band's strict policy—and it's all about respect.
“There’s many reasons why—I think everyone can figure it out—why we would have that kind of policy. I mean, I get why you wanna take a memento of the moment. I’ve done it myself,” Howerdel says.
“I’ve gone to plays. I don’t know if you guys have gone to a play. You never take out your phone, take a video or take a picture in a play. You’re gonna get booted.”
Howerdel further explains that the band are present with fans at a show, so they ask fans to be present with them.
“Why is that any different at a rock show? And why is it any different to not be rude sticking your phone up in front of the face of the person behind you,” Howerdel says. “And then, at the other side of it, we would like you to be with us, present. We’re with you, present—full-focused, wholeheartedly. For that one moment in time—90 minutes or 100 minutes— every calorie available to us is spent to be together, so we ask you to join us there.”
At A Perfect Circle's recent show, the seats included a sign warning fans that no photos or videos—including those taken with cell phones—would be allowed and “will result in ejection,” with more than 60 fans getting removed from the show.
However, fans did see the downsides of not letting fans use their phones at shows. Following the incident, fans at the show explained that “people were getting kicked out left and right” saying “security's flashlights hunting for people taking pictures were more distracting than cell phones.”
In a recent interview, Howerdel explains that people are overwhelmed with videos and images, and that getting back to a “campfire conversation” about shows says so much more.
“But the other point is, people talking about the show is so much more powerful. We’re inundated with videos and images, and getting back to a campfire conversation, letting people express how they felt in the experience—it says something more,” Howerdel says.
“And it speaks to, what does the music mean to you, and how do you want to tether it to your experiences in your life?”
Listen to Howerdel’s full interview with DOMKcasts here.
Of course, that brings up the bigger question: Should phones be allowed at gigs? And is it even possible to maintain a strict no photos policy in 2017 when most everyone has access to a smartphone? Sound off in the comments below