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Monday, September 29, 2014

Bad Things and Shaun White | Snowboarder Turned Rocker

By: Brad McNally

Nearly everyone has heard of Shaun White by now, but many may not have heard of Bad Things. Shaun White is the guitarist, and the rest of the band is made up of singer Davis LeDuke, bassist Jared Palomar, guitarist Anthony Sanudo, and drummer Lena Zawaideh.They released a self titled debut album in early 2014 and it is available for streaming on Spotify, but what does this mean for the snowboarding career of guitarist Shaun White?

White became a pro skateboarder at 17 with encouragement from Tony Hawk. He went on to compete in the X-games for both skateboarding and snowboarding, earning medal after medal, year after year. Beyond that, he also competed in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 Olympics, earning gold medals in the halfpipe competition in ‘06 and ‘10. In 2014, he finished fourth in the halfpipe competition, but was a trending topic in both social and traditional media. While this career has done wonders for the awareness of snowboarding as a sport, it isn’t the only career he is focusing his time on.

Although many would consider an athlete venturing out into the entertainment industry to be a pet project, this case seems to be a little different. According to an article in Rolling Stone from last August, White has been playing guitar since he was a teenager and (according to other members in the band) he is a driving force behind their work. This was published just as their first single was released and a few months before their debut album was released. Listening to the full album, it has the feel of a real band, not a publicity stunt for an athlete to try something new. The songs are catchy, the band sounds great, and the album has a nice flow from song to song.

Through social media actions, additional tracks are available from the Bad Things website. These can be unlocked for free by following the band on various platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

It seems the band has no intention of slowing down, and that isn’t entirely a bad thing. After White failed to make it on the podium in Sochi, there were reports of him “taking a break from snowboarding” and focusing on touring with the band. Since then, they played the Firefly Music Festival in July, so one can’t help but wonder if this means White will be hanging up his board and bindings to spend more time with his Les Paul. Although he may not be completely done on the slopes, this may lead to markedly less Shaun White in competition.

Do you think he’ll be back this season? Have you heard the album? What about the additional tracks available on their site? Leave us a comment with what you think about Mr. White's gig!