Monday, March 28, 2011


Very excited to be able to share our first interview today.  Can't think of a more excellent band to share than Laserfang or a nicer guy to e-mail chat with than Shane Asbridge.  Shane has been one of the more influential members of the Salt Lake music scene since moving to town in 1999.  Here's what he had to say:

Bad News Bear: First, how's South Dakota? Is this a permanent move or is there a plan for a heroic return to Salt Lake's stages?
Shane Asbridge: Well...the move is most likely a permanent one however Lazerfang is still together and so i'll just have to travel to keep it up. We have a show booked on June 4th that I'm really excited about.

(Awesome show on June 4th at Urban Lounge, Ratatat after party, lots of dancey goodness)

BNB: You've been so influential in Utah's music scene for so long, from your days in I Am Electric to Vile Blue Shades, Night Sweats, Laserfang and I'm sure there's a bunch I don't know. What brought you to SLC in the first place and how did you get so entrenched in the music community?

SA: I moved to SLC in august of 99 from Rapid City to go to school and snowboard. I took a year off from college to just work and establish residency in Utah. After that year I finished college at the University of Utah with an English Literature degree. So while I was just getting to know the city myself and Mike Torretta met a guy named Eric Bliss at the skate-park. It was an indoor one and he worked there and I commented on the music that he was playing and how we shared the same taste. He was in a group called Form Of Rocket and wanted to start another project and me and Mike were itching to start a band so we formed a group called V Vast. That group ended up turning into I Am Electric and it all just snowballed from there. I think that at one time i was in four projects at once. That was kinda crazy considering i had 3 jobs and a girlfriend too.

BNB: How did Laserfang come together?

SA: It went like this: I Am Electric was on tour in 2005 or so and we had a big falling out with one the members while half way into this 2 week trip. We finished the tour a man short and came back beat up and tired. We all took a little time to try to figure out what to do now.  One day me and mike were just like lets start a new group with a different sound but with the same members.  So we did. Lazerfang is I Am Electric minus one dude.

BNB: As you know, I'm a bit crazy about the record.  It's brilliant.  Where did the decision to name all the tracks after movie villains come from?

SA: I hardly ever title the songs so we have all these nick names for them like dugga dugga dugga or new one or fast dancy.  Well when it came time to do the record i was like let's name every song after an eighties movie villain. It worked out great because some of the titles actually find relevance within the song lyrics.  

BNB: My favorite line from the album is (I think I got the words right) “We’ve been divided to learn all the facts/well if knowledge is power then we’re all weaklings it seems.”  I know you’re a big Mark E. Smith fan, which I think shines through with those lyrics over that hypnotic beat on Priss & Roy.  Who are some of the other artists you’ve learned the most from?

SA: I actually say "We bent the bindings to learn all the facts".  My favorites are mostly from Europe i.e. Bowie, T Rex, Eno, Kraftwork, PIL, Daft Punk, etc. However I can't deny Dylan, Talking Heads, Television, Velvet Underground, any post punk awesomeness and SOUL MUSIC!!!

BNB: It took you guys so long to get Mammoth out, and I know you’re in different states now, but have you been working on new material?

SA: Kinda sorta. We have 2 songs that we are scheduled to record in june and i have just started to write down some new ideas to pass along back and forth. We also have a bunch of material that we haven't fleshed out yet too. There will be another Lazerfang record. (Editor's note: HOORAY!!!)

BNB: At my wedding you guys played the hell out of some Sam Cooke and I keep hoping to hear it at one of your concerts, any plans to break it out at another show?

SA: It's been talked about a few times. Maybe someday, it's just so hard to do Sam Cooke any justice.
(Editor's note:  Sam Cooke would have loved their renditions.  They were incredible.)

BNB: The main reason we are starting this blog is because I continue to be amazed that no Salt Lake bands have really broken nationally.  When I heard Mammoth I told a friend of mine that if there was any justice in the world, you guys would be playing summer festival small stages this year.  Is there any particular reason you think that Salt Lake bands have such a hard time gaining recognition?

SA: I think that the single most reason for that is our fault.  Hardly any of the great groups in SLC don't tour extensively enough. It's totally up to us as bands to bring our music to the people but it's hard without any financial backing to do that. Gas is so expensive!!! We all have jobs that we can't leave multiple times in one year for a substantial amount of time and what not. It's a chance that is scary to take the older one gets.

BNB: Who are the local bands you’re most excited about?  What have you been listening to lately (local or not)?

SA: NIGHTSWEATS!!! Spell Talk, Eagle Twin and Red Bennies are rad too. I've been listening to allot of Colder, Deerhoof, Deerhunter and Celebration.

BNB: What do you think is the biggest thing missing from Salt Lake’s music scene that would help it thrive?

SA: Touring like i said earlier but also maybe just one group to land a really well known label. Although in my opinion Eagle Twin has done that with Southern Lord Records. Besides that maybe a venue with an indoor water slide park?
(Could not agree more on this part, a bar with an indoor water slide park is the obvious next step in this city's musical maturity.  The Complex has some extra room or maybe a big pool in the middle of In the Venue and you can jump in from the second floor.  Or just water gun night at Urban or Kilby.)

Thanks so much to Shane for answering some silly questions for us.  Laserfang truly is an amazing band that put out easily one of the best albums of last year.  
Go to to listen to Mammoth and then you can buy it there or at Slowtrain.  
Here's a video of them performing Alan Stanwyk at Urban Lounge:

1 comment:


    It seems daunting that you (shane) are still willing to do shows in salt lake. Laserfang was my favorite band of 2010! Just keep killing it please!

    To the interviewer:

    Good job at not letting these guys stop thinking about their music, good interview.