Jack White Explains His No-Phone Policy During Concerts With Lars Ulrich Of Metallica

March 23, 2018

The use of smartphones during concerts, comedy shows, and other live events continues to be a hot-button issue, and Jack White has made it clear where he stands.

While appearing on It's Electric! hosted by Lars Ulrich of Metallica, White explains that he likens his no-phone policy to that of stand-up comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. "I really react to the crowd, just like a stand-up comedian would ... 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!'"

White goes on to mention that just like other moments in our lives, there are times when pulling a phone to take pictures, video, text, etc. would just be inappropriate. "When you go to a movie theater, a symphony, church, whatever – there are all these moments in life where people put those away and engage. 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."

White also discussed how he decided to collaborate with hip-hop bands in his new album that put a much stronger emphasis on the beat. "I thought that was a special musician that can replicate what's on a hip-hop track, where it's a sample or a drum machine, but replicate it live with real drums and real bass. I wanted to play with that kind of musician."