First Time's A Charm: An interview with Bang Tango guitarist Scott LaFlamme
by EC

The Sunset Strip's Bang Tango have emerged from the night club glow to deliver their sixth record to date in "Pistol Whipped In The Bible Belt". The band have been tooling around circuits and cities since the late 80s, never combining on that one hit or assortment of hits to really project the group beyond the fabled halls of underground superstardom. I've been a huge fan of the band, following them through the years, the near hits, the nearly missed and the ups and downs of the rock and roller coaster. It was indeed a pleasure to sit down with new guitarist Scott LaFlamme to get his take on the band circa 2012 as well as his experience in a band as lively as Bang Tango...

EC: So Scott, first things first...how in the world did you get tangled up with Bang Tango? A guitar player from Massachusetts with an LA act. Different corners of the world right?

Scott LaFlamme: I was hanging out with Bang Tango's agent at the M3 festival when we ran into Alex Grossi. I found out they needed a guitar player and got recommended by Tango's agent and Alex. The rest as they say is history!!

EC: I remember hearing Bang Tango for the first time in the early 90s with the debut "Psycho Café" and was blown away by the bluesy Aerosmith feel of it. My fave of the group would be the rather limited pressing of "Love After Death" in the mid-90s amidst the pollution of grunge. Were you a fan of the band prior to joining or Joe's work in years past?

SL: Yeah I had listened to Bang Tango when I was around 15 or so and watched a lot of MTV. I really liked Joe's vocals, they were unique and great. I never thought I would get to work with him, so it's really cool!

"A new line-up means different influences from each person, so though you stay within the BT realm everyone has their own ideas."

EC: Scott, I think your playing fits perfectly with the vintage Bang Tango sound. Joe is such a unique singer with his raspy blues-soaked vocals. You really mix this album up from heavier rock dishes to flat out funk and blue collar blues. Did you have freedom to just come up with the riffs and flow?

SL: Yeah, I had a lot of creative freedom to play what fit with our style and our producers were great to work with. When you play a lead in a song, play with feeling, the song with heart, and what it deserves, make it tasty but not too spicy...but make it stand out creatively for sure.

EC: Along the same lines I can hear so many different influences. The title track is almost Southern rock, you have that 70s feel good sound on "Driving"....man I can hear everything from The Beatles to the Stones to Cheap Trick, it is such a diverse rock record. What do you attribute that to?

SL: You are dead on man. Our influences range from the Beatles to whoever. I personally have a huge influence from that era to The Eagles, Zep, Ozzy, Van Halen, Motley Crue, I mean the list goes on and on.

EC: What's it like working with the caliber of talent like Joe Leste? I wish I had a pot of coffee and a morning to hear some of his stories and road tales.

SL: Joe is the nicest and most kind person I have ever had the pleasure of working with professionally...He is incredibly talented and I remember the first riff we wrote together just kickin back before a show. I was jamming out some riffs and he just made lyrics and starting singing to it as if he already new the song. Wicked awesome!

EC: What has the reception been like thus far for the album? New band lineup, new record and slightly more rock oriented sound.

SL: We have had an amazing response and only positive reviews, I mean think of this. A new line-up means different influences from each person, so though you stay within the BT realm everyone has their own ideas. Which is what makes this album stand out from others.

EC: Now you have a number of things going on outside of Tango. Tell me about "One Man, One Guitar, One Voice".

SL: Yeah, I have the 1man thing going on. It's an acoustic show comprised of the 50's-today's music, I just play it locally around where I live. It's kinda cool if you think of all those years of music put into one show...people really dig it. Go to www.1man1guitar1voice.com to check out some audio or video.

EC: I actually found out about you and the Bang Tango release through Impulse Music's online store. They mention a caption that you are in a band called Vicious Disorder. What's the band about and are they still active?

SL: That was my old band right before Bang Tango, we had some moderate success and had a song on the Halloween DVD Documentary called "25 Years Of Terror" distributed by Anchorbay Entertainment. You can probably still get a copy, or contact me to receive a CD of "Life Is Chance" which has our song "Pure Evil" on it...The band is not currently active though.

EC: I saw your Facebook post about a new studio you opened this year. Are you producing, instructing or both and what drove you to open your own place?

SL: Actually I do all of the above, I opened LMI (www.LaFlammeMusicInstruction.com) a recording studio, rehearsal studio, and my partner which runs the video end--Del Padre Video Productions. (www.delpadre.com) can shoot videos for any artist. We also build custom guitars and have a repair shop as well. We handle everything from electronic repair, replacement, bridge, nut, tuning keys, you name it we can do it. www.lacustomelectricguitars.com with my guitar tech Lenny Armitage. I also teach out of there--guitar, bass, vocals, piano and via Skype with students as well...It is the 2nd part of living my dream. Ha!

EC: Okay, you have been given the keys to a functioning Marty McFly Delorean. You can travel back in time and see any band live for one night. Who do you see and why?

SL: To go all the way back but be at least 18, I would have to say Ozzy Osbourne with Randy Rhoads...I also would love to see The Beatles so that's a hard question!!

EC: Scott, best of luck on all of your projects. Thanks for your time and keep it Maximum Metal!

SL: You are so welcome, thanks for having interest in everything I have done and continue to do.

Scott LaFlammeEric Compton3/7/2012


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