Former White Stripes frontman and current solo artist Jack White has spoken to Metallica's Lars Ulrich about his ban on phones at gigs, describing it as an “interesting art experiment”.

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Back in January, White banned fans from using phones during his shows, describing it as a “100% human experience”. Now, White has sat down with Ulrich on Beats 1 to explain his rationale, calling the ban an “interesting art experiment” that would have been “funny” had gig-goers gotten mad and demanded their money back.



“I really react to the crowd, just like a stand-up comedian would,” White says in his interview. “If I finish a song and go, ‘Ta-da!’, and it’s crickets, I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t know what to do now.’ Am I supposed to play a heavier song, a faster song? Do you want me to play acoustic? Do you want me to leave? I’ll leave!' But what I don’t like is, ‘Is that how they really feel, or are they just not even paying attention because they’re not engaged… because they’re texting?'”

“When you go to a movie theatre, a symphony, church, whatever – there are all these moments in life where people put those away and engage,” White continues “And I love the idea of rock concerts being punk as hell and there are no rules. I love that. But I don’t like the idea that I have no idea what to play next. And I need that. Because I’ve walked offstage before like, ‘Man, I don’t know what to do anymore. If this is how it’s going to be from now on, it’s going to be very difficult’.”

You can listen to the Beats 1 interview below:

What are your thoughts on using phones at shows? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!