Scott Ian: 'It's Idiotic for Fans to Film Entire Concerts'

Anthrax guitarist bashes smartphone users, says he couldn't care less about Motley Crue retirement.

Ultimate Guitar

Discussing his "Speaking Words" tour, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian reached the subject of fans filming and uploading concert footage, describing their behavior as "idiotic."

Chatting with Examiner, Ian was asked about the low amount of leaked footage from the tour on YouTube. "That's because I take it down when people decide that they're going to put my content on YouTube for free," he replied. "Call me crazy, but I'm one of those crazy artists that thinks you shouldn't give your content away for free.

"I know that's a crazy way to think these days but I come from the old school. Where you used to buy albums and videos. And I still do, I still buy my music and DVDs. So I feel like if I have enough respect to do that, then everyone should have enough respect to do that," Scott added.

Further discussing smartphone users' behavior, the guitarist said, "I think it's idiotic. I think the fact that someone would come to a show, spend the money to come to the show, and stand there holding their freakin' phone over their head for 90 minutes is pathetic.

"It completely defeats the purpose of coming to a live show," Scott continued. "I think it's a joke. I've seen Bruce Dickinson go off on audience members for doing that. Granted, he's in Iron Maiden and they're big enough to say that to their audience, but I think it's idiotic and I don't understand that mindset at all. You're standing at a live show and you're watching it through a screen on your phone."

Touching on the subject of Motley Crue retirement, the guitarist didn't seem too much interested. "I have no take on it at all," he said. "Retire. Or don't retire. Or come back after you’ve retired. I don't care. Why do people get so upset when a band says they're done and then come back? Everyone goes back to see them again. Obviously people aren't that upset because, if five years from now Motley Crue does another show, are people going to go? Of course they are! So i'm not saying I think they're going to do that, I just really don't care."

54 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Yeah i hate when whole front of concert is some people with phones and cameras standing still.
    And the WORST is when it's a lively crowd, and every amateur film director you accidentally bump into tells you to stop moving. It's like they're trying to remove the crowd from the concert. Ugh.
    Yep, I'm not fussed about the videos on YouTube (as a musician) and wouldn't be if I was famous either because they're always awful quality and the mic on a cameraphone is always going to give an awful, mono representation of it all. What really bothers me is when you have loads of people around you with bright phone screens waving around your face all the time, and at a gig a few weeks back I even saw a girl standing there with an iPad in her hand. Seriously, if you want to film a gig through an iPad, get out of the crowd and stop obstructing people's view!
    Yeah, I hate it when people let me experience my favorite artists that never tour near me. What jerks, letting me in on an experience I can't go to without dropping 1000 dollars, only 15 of that actually going to the band. How dare they.
    I agree with you on this. If I go to a concert that I know isn't going to have camera's there (I.e. Most concerts), I'm gonna bring my camera. I want to be able to experience what the crowd was like or show my friends how awesome a show was. I went to a Foo Fighters concert in 2011 that was amazing,so I recorded it on my phone even though I knew the quality would be horrible. It doesn't mean I'm an ******* for filming it, it just means id like to enjoy it again
    Mud Martian
    The experience of being at a live show can't be comprehended by a shaky YouTube video from someone's smart phone. I'm not sure where everyone found this sense of entitlement, but the truth is if you have a dream to see a band you love live, then get off of YouTube and go work to make that dream come true. I mostly agree with Scott Ian. I watch YouTube videos of live shows, but never amateur smartphone videos. The last concert I went to, nobody around me had a phone out. We were all singing and headbanging together and having a great time. It's called socializing. More people ought to try it. Text messaging and Facebook don't count as socializing. It's the electronic equivalent of having pen pals. My two cents.
    did you ever hear of something called aspiration? I don't think you've ever had the patience to work hard, save up, and spend the money on something you feel you deserve. I'm totally with Scott on this, it's f--king stupid to just film a concert on a phone.
    No matter how hard I work, fact is I won't ever be able to go outside of my country to see a metal show. I can, however, access to the internet in my campus's library. Aspirations in the 3rd world? Come on.
    How hard is it to do really? You can hold a phone in one hand and still be focusing entirely on the show. It's not hurting anyone and it's sharing the experience with people who couldn't be there. People can already listen to his music for free on youtube anyways, what's the point in taking down live performances when they have horrible quality and are super shaky due to being taken on a phone? It makes no sense.
    Why would you want to waste your time watching shitty videos taken from a phone? The audio is painful.
    It's idiotic for bands that play their songs exactly the same live as the studio versions. But for Phish, Grateful Dead, DMB, and Bruce Springsteen it's pretty awesome.
    I do agree with him, but taking down the music from youtube because he doesn't get paid for it is really sad to me. Not everyone can go to every concert, regardless of how much they've supported the band over the years. I doubt there's anyone looking up concerts for a band that hasn't bought a t-shirt or an album or something at some point.
    What kind of logic is that? So it's ok to get something for free , because you have bought something somewhat related at some point in the past. So can i go to the liquor store and just take something and justify it by saying "whats the big deal i bought booze here before this time I'm deciding not to pay for it."
    Your logic is ridiculous, and that's why you can't understand the previous comment. Booze is not art.
    Well then if it helps you understand the point a little better you can substitute the booze for whatever then cd, dvd's, whatever helps you get through this. You cannot take something someone else owns "or has rights to" for free based on the fact you have purchased something related to that art in the past. And for all these bums complaining they can't afford to go watch a live concert they HAVE to steal footage. Guess what I can't afford a lot of things a Ferrari, a helicopter.... You know what I do in that case NOTHING I don't go stealing those things because I can't afford them and somebody is making it easy for me to take them.
    You realize that filming a concert is vastly different from stealing a physical item right? This isn't even the same as piracy where he is still selling it and you can argue that it's taking away his profits. He isn't selling that product anymore and other people enjoying it doesn't hurt him at all.
    Which part of this comment am i not understanding "I doubt there's anyone looking up concerts for a band that hasn't bought a t-shirt or an album or something at some point."
    When I go to gig, I always film few snippets from few songs for me to keep as memory .. In the meantime, Im jumping all around like a mother****er ... I understand his hate againts those people who just stand there for the whole show, but dont bitch about the people, who likes to keep a memory in their phones ...
    I read a satirical article on The Onion about a guy who went to a concert and forgot his phone and had to actually watch it with his own eyes and he was amazed that it looked even better than his screen and the sound was amazing. How is uploading concert footage that other people have to pay to see any different than uploading a movie? Buy their concert DVD's. I don't have enough money to go to the movies this weekend, so does that mean I can pirate the movie the for free? I can't afford a new car either, I'll just steal one I guess.
    You cannot steal a performance in video tape, that someone else bought and shared. That stupid example with the cars is just plain out of context.
    If you steal a car you're stealing something tangible. Someone out there doesn't have a car, and if they want to they can track down and identify the car as theirs and know that you have it without permission. You're not "stealing" anything from uploading concert footage since nothing is tangibly being taken away. Anyone who was at the concert still has their memories of the concert. Anyone who didn't go still hasn't gone. All that remains is some compressed video on the Internet. I've seen some bands and even venues start to disallow cameras and filming in general and I think that's the best course of action rather than hunting down videos on YouTube afterwards.
    By the usual logic, you would be allowed to pirate a movie, because the Director only gets like 5 dollars out of the millions they earn on the movie. It all goes to the suits and those other *******s that worled hard on the movie, it's better the pirate the movie and then buy a t-shirt. :p
    "Where you used to buy albums and videos." Come on Scott, I know that you knew about the tape trading scene in the 80s. People have always shared music and I don't think anyone sits there watching someone's mobile phone recording of a concert instead of going to a concert, as opposed to the multitude of people who do it to get an idea of whether a band is good live or to get amped up in the days leading up to a show.
    Two sides to this. On one hand people who constantly feel the need to film a concert are annoying. Not like I've never taken a video before but I always keep it to just a few songs and I never hold the camera/phone in an intrusive way to other people. But seeing a whole gig through a screen is annoying. On the other hand, just blatantly taking down videos can also be annoying. For example, Muse had their stadium tour last year. Being in America of course it was a bit out of my reach to attend, but during that time their label started blocking all videos with them in the US only. I wanted to see some footage since their stage show is impressive, not to replace the feeling of an actual concert, but just for curiosity as a fan. A few times I've had my decision to or to not go to a live show depend on a video of the band's concert.
    Who gives a shit about bootleg concert videos anymore? They're all from some shitty angle on some dude's phone with terrible sound, why go through all the trouble of making a takedown notice for all of them? At this point it's just hurting yourself. Bootleg cellphone vids will never replace an actual concert or pro-recorded dvd, it's basically just free advertising unless the band is total shit. I agree that it's stupid to film the whole 90 minutes, and it's annoying to see screens all over the place when I'm trying to enjoy a show, but it's not that big of a deal. Snap a few photos, take a video clip or two, it's not gonna ruin the show.
    Why does he say that people should buy his albums and DVDs instead. Did it occur to him that the people who would watch a video of his concert recorded on a smartphone in the audience, probably already have? If he wants people to pay money to watch his stuff then he should put it out on DVD or at least an online download.
    As long as you don't do it at a Guns N Roses concert
    In all serious I don't see the problem with it if the person filming it isn't interfering with the concert experience for other people in the audience, but if they pay £70 for a ticket and spend the whole show looking at their 5-inch screen then it's their own loss really
    It can interfere with your for the vid....also a huge no for any of Maynard's bands
    I thought customers were free to do whatever they want with the product they bought with their money. If I choose to share something I bought, that's my freedom.
    The idea is that concert is a service, not a good. You're buying a right to experience a live-show of a certain band at a certain time in a certain country. You do not buy neither the show itself, nor its content. P.S. I'm actually not against people putting live videos on YouTube (even though I don't do it myself, cause I want to get the full experience of the show), but I'm just trying to explain the legal and economic sides of the matter here.
    Nothing kills the vibe at a concert like a bunch of morons holding their phones the whole time and recording what will be a shitty looking and sounding video. I guess if you're up in the cheap seats then go ahead, but if you're right up there why are you doing that? Didn't you go there to watch the show and get involved? Live in the moment for crying out loud.
    I myself like to film at least a few minutes, or a song or something, but I don't upload to Youtube. I like it just so I have it for myself. I saw Children of Bodom last night and filmed Hate Me from the very front, so my camera wasn't held up in people's faces. But I always see people with their cameras out for the ENTIRE show. That's a bit much...
    I agree with the second part of what Ian says. It seems like a waste to go to a concert just to tape, as you cant possibly get the full experience. As for a few songs, and them getting posted not such a big deal....very good exposure for the bands.
    I go out of my way to be in the front row of a concert. I used to stick a few rows back to get involved socially with everyone there, but eventually I got sick of all the cameras and phones being held up - sometimes right in front of my face.
    I haven't been to a show in a while, but at the judas priest, black label society, thin lizzy show I saw, nobody was filming, just watching and jumping around.
    So your saying cell phones with those features are dumb? mabe if the video will turn out to look like sheet then yeah but for the most part I never met anyone who records for 90 minutes while being at a show mabe 10-20 minutes but thats it.
    chyld fan
    hey they paid for there ticket, maybe they want it as a token , they paid , it shouldnt matter to you or anyone else wat they do w/ there time
    chyld fan
    and does this band even have enough fans for him to be talking shit??? he said it himself, dickinson can get away w/ saying something cuz they are still a big draw
    I get it, but sometimes its good to have your stuff online, you know, give people a taste of what they'll see if they come to a show. A whole concert, yeah that's taking it too far, but a song here or there? Big deal.
    There's no point to videoing shows anyway. Wow, you got 30k views for your shitty quality video. Put your phone away and enjoy the show!!!
    Honestly, they paid to be at the show, what does it matter? I like videos of shows to see what im in for at concerts and if its one I was at to like relive it and hear things again. And taking videos off of youtube? its not like they pirated his music. They shot the video themselves. Hes not losing money from it being on there and the poster isn't making money. Its a free media source, he cant control whats put on there. Don't become the next Anselmo or Mustaine with stupid rants.
    if have to pay 15 dollar for a damn beer, then ima film what i can if i remember to do so. The good news Scott, ill never film an anthrax show!
    Victor Escobar
    I get taking a photos maybe a video of a song but an entire show is just stupid. I saw Silversun Pickups perform at Jimmy Kimmel two weeks ago and there were a group of girls next to me who filmed the entire show.WHY? The show was going to be on tv and online anyway.
    Oh god that's the worst. I can at least understand a concert that has no itention of ever being released by official standards but it's so annoying when you see people on like a festival stream with their phones. There's absolutely no advantage to recording that concert.
    I have only filmed twice. Once was Primus in Atlanta. I wanted to prove to my friends that Les Claypool was staring at me during the entire To Defy The Laws of Tradition, and when Rammstein walked right past me and my buddy at the start of their show in Tampa, once again as proof.
    i video parts i want to remember because i want to be able to look back in 20 years and go, aw hey remember that time i seen them! i dont stand and record every second, just sentimental songs and such then i go crazy inbetween! dont see anything wrong with that. just all these people, stand and watch! like its some sort of drill. we will all do what we like and at the end of the night, you've seen the band you came to see.
    Anthrax are a shit band anyway so he should count himself lucky that people are still even goin' to their gigs.