Last month (July), footage uploaded to the metal band’s official Facebook page showed Taylor roaming the stage while performing before spotting a distracted fan looking down at his phone. The singer then approached the fan and smacked the phone out of his hands before pointing at him. The fan seemed to take it in jest, smiling and pointing back, but the online reaction was mixed.
Taylor has now defended his actions to Las Vegas Review-Journal, saying: “You watch people walk down the street, and they can’t get their beaks out of their stupid phones to cross the street.”
“I love watching people get buried in their tiny little technological worlds, and then reality comes and smacks them in the face,” he added. “I don’t mind people who take pictures. I don’t even mind people who shoot video. I love that, because you’re still engaged in the show.”
“A lot of people get the wrong idea; they think that if I just see someone on their phone, I’m trying to rage quit their fun. I’m not trying to do that at all. But if I see someone, and it’s so obvious they’re not even there, you’ve got to poke them with a stick to get their attention sometimes. Sometimes that means smacking the phone out of their hands.
“You can hate me all you want. It’s not going to stop me from smacking those things out of people’s hands.”
If you're gonna text, stay home. https://t.co/w8BLHWci5n
— Panickin’ Skywalker (@CoreyTaylorRock) July 10, 2016
The singer had previously told The Pulse Of Radio: “Go to a show to see a show. You wanna text, stay home. You wanna find an excuse to text? Get out of the barricade! Let somebody else get up there! Don’t abuse it, because there are people who would push you down by your face to get there. Stop trying to find ways to get around it. Just shut up!”
The frontman has also warned fans not to bring selfie sticks to their shows, saying he would “beat the shit out of you with a cricket bat”.