Some good news to report today, as Cal Shortland, AKA Vice Wolfpack, enters the first stages of a competition to find the next bassist for glam rock band Steel Panther.
When I first saw the news break on Facebook, I couldn’t think of a better person suited for the role. If you’ve ever seen Snakebyte live, you’ll understand that all 4 members bring a front-man performance to their sets, and you’ll also know that Callum is one of the best technical bassists on the live local music circuit.
We caught up with Cal ahead of his competition.
Frazer Mitchell; Hey Cal, nice to catch up with you. First off, tell us a bit more about Snakebyte and how you first got into the glam rock scene.
Callum Shortland; Thanks for having me, it’s a real pleasure. So I’ve always loved heavy rock from an early age since being around a real music loving family. I ventured and explored metal as a teenager and plunged myself into the realms of glam rock by listening to various artists, but my love grew when our drummer in Snakebyte (Hanson) introduced me to Steel Panther. I was blown away by the music, the talent and the song writing. I loved that the sound was still going and it just clicked for me. Then me and Hanson decided we wanted to play and perform that style of music and Snakebyte was born. We asked around our college friends, who also enjoyed that style of music and Snakebyte was born. Ever since then, we drove it as far as we could get it and it has become what it is now due to the incredible hard work the guys and myself have put into it.
FM; You all have different glam rock stage names for Snakebyte, where did Vice Wolfpack come from?
Cal; So Vice Wolfpack came from our first guitarist who left for his own advernture in the real early days, and cause we loved him, I kept the name on. For its true origin, that will forever remain a mystery.
FM; It’s not just Snakebyte you’ve been in, you’ve also been the bassist for a number of bands including Black River Sinners (you may have to help me out here!)
Cal; So I’ve had the pleasure and been incredibly fortunate to have played in a few bands. Apherium was my first band which are a Metal band that came from Yeovil, Echo of Us which was the remnants from Apherium which is a synth/pop band. I’ve been in a country band called the Black River Sinners, which had one of the most impressive line ups. I also stood in for The Animal Urges for a while which was a lot of fun.
FM; One gig I specifically remember was Christmas Light Switch On in Yeovil one year where you guys absolutely smashed it. What I remember from that gig especially is that it’s not necessarily one person leading the way, like it is in most bands, you are all performers in your own right, and all being a front man performance element to your sets. You especially always seem to be absolutely loving your time on stage. Tell us more about how you approach a live set with the other Snakebyte lads and how you get so hyped for a gig.
Cal; We just have fun, we don’t take it seriously but we do if that makes sense. We trust one another and always put the band first. I think that’s what makes it special, there isn’t any ego in the band, we all want to play the music we love with one another. And also we try and make one another laugh every time we take to the stage. It’s an experience unlike any other and I’m incredibly lucky to have shared the stage with the guys.
FM; So talk to me the Steel Panther competition - what’s the details and how do we #GetInvolved?
Cal; (voting links, etc) So I’ve got through to the semi-finals of a competition where Steel Panther are selecting their new bassist out of 34 other bassists. My date for voting is on December 16th. So all you need to do to support me is head over to this link on the date and vote for me.
FM; I guess from your previous experience that this opportunity would mean a lot to you - just tell us what it would mean to get through to the next stages, and ultimately win the competition
Cal; It would be life changing. Not only would it allow me to play with one of the biggest rock/metal bands around, but also have a chance to life a dream of touring, seeing the world and experiencing the music world. I’m already incredibly humbled by being selected, I’m thankful for the chance and opportunity especially as I struggle to really value my playing ability.
FM; Well we’re all behind you Cal, it’s a great opportunity and one I really hope fans of Snakebyte and the local music scene can really get behind. I wish you the best of luck, and hope I get some free tickets when you’re part of the band! 😉
Cal; Thank you so much, appreciate the support as always and I’ll make sure to hook you up with some tickets. Keep up the great work as usual
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network