It seems like an age since we first announced that snowboarding legend and the world’s richest winter Olympian Shaun White and his band The Bad Things would play the Ultimate Rock On season opener in Avoriaz this winter. That was Saturday and we’ve spent the last 24 hours getting over the experience…
Interview by Source Deputy Editor Rob Purver
Images by Apresimaging‘s Robbie Davies
Here’s some Bad Things facts to kick things off…
– The Bad things are singer Davis LeDuke, guitarist Anthony Sanudo, drummer Lena Zawaideh, bass player Jared Palomar and lead guitarist Shaun White
– Their self-titled debut album was released in January 14 on Warner Bros. Records
– Shaun, Lena and Anthony all grew up together in San Diego, California
Shaun, we saw some pictures on Facebook of you riding the Arare yesterday. How was that?
Yesterday was my first day riding since the Olympics and we had some really fun laps. I caught my toe edge pretty bad though; the first time in about 4 years I think… We’ve been told not to judge Avoriaz on the current conditions but we had a lot of fun!
Do you have to snowboard to be part of the band?
DAVIS: No! For example, I’m an expert sledder… you just need to be able to handle the cold, we’re playing a lot of cold places at the moment.
Do you have any more gigs in Europe planned?
SHAUN: We literally just flew into Geneva from LAX for this gig and we’re heading home again tomorrow. We came over here last summer though to get some shows under our belt.
ANTHONY: Yeah, we supported 30 Seconds To Mars in front of a 5000 strong crowd and we got ourselves a lot of new fans. It’s expensive to do tours but it was cool to see on Twitter that lots of our fans have followed us here today
SHAUN: We’re back for a gig in Innsbruck in January, but for now it’s back to LA to continue work on our next album.
Shaun, how does going on stage with the band compare with a snowboard competition?
Just like the rest of the guys, I get nervous, you never quite get used to it. In the same way that I’m meticulous with my snowboarding, I have the same perfection thing with the band. I want to be a better musician, I’m learning to play the piano at the moment and I’ve just started singing.
I guess the biggest difference is that with snowboarding you can only let yourself down… It’s not just about being the most talented or gifted at playing guitar or snowboarding, it’s about hard work, practise and dedication.
What’s the Shaun White top tip for success?
Stay true to what you set out to achieve in the beginning – if you find something hard, a certain trick that really scares you, force yourself to do it, do it all day every day until you nail it and its your best trick. When I was a kid I was so bad at riding switch, so I rode switch every single day for a month and a half. It’s pretty much the same with a guitar.
Is this your first time in a winter resort to perform with the band?
SHAUN: Yeah it is, I’ve competed in other parts of Europe, like Tignes, Stubai and Lax, I really like the attitude to snowboarding over here. But I don’t want one job to feel off the other so I’ve tried to keep them as separate as possible… until now! I even cut my hair to try and make sure I wasn’t recognisable on stage…
ANTHONY: And Shaun has such an amazing work ethic, he makes us all work really hard…
Musically, who are your influences?
DAVIS: The Strokes, Arcade Fire…
ANTHONY: We’re also pretty into the melodies of the Beach Boys!
Shaun, when will you compete again?
People have assumed that I’m retiring from snowboarding, just because of the band. People keep asking ‘Shaun why aren’t you snowboarding any more?” Because it’s been summer! There’s been no snow in North America for months! But I will be at the Winter X Games, let me put that rumour to rest right now. I’ve been a professional snowboarder since I was 13 years old and the only way for me to stay excited and inspired is by taking summer breaks. I would usually be skateboarding all summer but this time the band has taken its place. It’s my new hobby! I need to find new passions to keep snowboarding exciting, and I think this is the key to my success.
If you had to replace Shaun with another superstar, dead or alive, who would you choose?
SHAUN: Oh wow, that’s the best question we’ve ever been asked…
DAVIS: I’m stumped! Maybe that cartoon wizard, Merlin!
Is that the Disney version?
ANTHONY: Or Dave Gilmour?
JAROD: Jimmy Page maybe…
DAVIS: We’re gonna give that question a lot of thought…
Visit the Bad Things website.