Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian discussed the way technology and internet have impacted live shows, telling Full Metal Jackie during a recent interview:
Scott, we live in a world where hundreds of people are filming bands onstage at pretty much every show. How has that scrutiny forced you to change as a live performer? It wasn’t like that when you guys started.
“Back then someone would have to sneak a giant video camera in, in their overalls. We’ve realized for years now that anything that we do is going to be on the Internet that night. So uh, you just better not suck. [Laughs] I mean it’s not something I’m consciously thinking about when I am onstage.
“I don’t care – but at the same time, you know it now. You know, anything that happens it is going to be, every now and then I’ll have someone come up to me and say, ‘That was so whatever.’ I’m like, ‘How did you see that?… Oh, yeah it’s on YouTube, I forgot.’
I know that there are benefits to all the new technology that exists, but I think that there was a mystique back in the day of hearing about something or hearing about a live band and not being able to look them up.
“Oh, I agree with that totally. I don’t look up bands set lists before I go to see them. I think that’s such a bummer that people that. Like, why do you want it spoiled for you? Don’t you want to just go to the show and experience it for yourself?”
But sometimes you want to make sure that they’re going to play your favorite songs.
“Screw that! For me, you go to the show. And you go to the show and experience it. Everything, in the moment – not there sitting going, ‘Oh, here’s what they’re doing next.’ What fun is that?”
I was at a show the other night, and I did that and was like – I know what they’re playing next. I feel like a total dick now. [Laughs] But you’re right. Back when you had no idea what it was going to be there was the excitement. It’s different.
“Look, I still go to a lot of shows and I don’t want to know. Hey, if people want to do it, fine, I’m not telling people they shouldn’t. My personal opinion and the way I deal with it myself is – I don’t want to know.
“When I see Iron Maiden I don’t want to know in advance what they’re playing. I just want to go and experience the show.”