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CMU Beef Of The Week #320: Corey Taylor v Your Inability To Focus

By | Published on Friday 26 August 2016


People using their mobile phones at gigs has been a big topic in recent years. Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Savages put up signs at their shows asking people to put their phones away. Kate Bush wrote a plea on her website. Adele and Beyonce shouted at people from the stage. Pianist Krystian Zimerman refused to play while an audience member filmed him. Mumford & Sons confiscated phones at the door. And Apple patented technology to stop phone cameras from working at live shows.

All those objections manifested in so many different ways and yet not one of those people thought to just smack phones out of their fans’ hands. Thankfully, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor is here to do that important work on their behalf.

Last month, a video appeared on Slipknot’s Facebook page showing Taylor at a gig slapping a phone out of the hands of a guy in the front row mid song. Boom! Down on the floor it goes. No more phone for you, sonny. You’ll just have to enjoy this one the old fashioned way.

Taylor’s distaste for mobile phone use doesn’t just extend to his own live performances though. He hates them in many different situations. Well, definitely at live shows, while walking, and while crossing the road.

“You watch people walk down the street, and they can’t get their beaks out of their stupid phones to cross the street”, the musician told the Los Angeles Review-Journal in a new interview. “I love watching people get buried in their tiny little technological worlds, and then reality comes and smacks them in the face”.

Of course, most of the other anti-phone artists are mainly down on people using their mobiles to film gigs. But, as you might have guessed, Taylor’s mobile gripes go further than that. And, actually, don’t even include the filming of his shows. Which you might have already assumed, given that in the aforementioned phone slap video the next guy along is happily filming the show and gets away unscathed.

“I don’t mind people who take pictures”, he said. “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”.

See? He’s actually of the school of thought that when someone films a live show, that’s just their way of enjoying it and engaging with it. Because for some people, having fun and engaging means doing something that totally takes you out of the moment and distracts everyone standing around you. Like I said, it’s a school of thought.

Taylor’s problem is when people start checking stuff on their phones mid-gig, texting or looking at their social media feeds. Just pay attention to the fucking show will you? And if you don’t, well, that provides Taylor with the perfect opportunity to slap that phone right out of your hands.

He explains: “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”.

Take heed then. If you’re at a Slipknot show and you feel the need to very urgently look at something on your phone, make sure you’re not in the front row, or if you are, make it look like you’re filming the performance.

Unless, of course, you’re playing a round of the new game I’ve just invented called ‘How Many Text Messages Can You Send Before Corey Taylor Slaps Your Phone Out Of Your Hand?’ Send in your scores, we’ll start a leaderboard.