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Interview: Ed Robertson talks Lazer Team

Before the release of Lazer Team I was privileged enough to have a conversation with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies. Ed and I talked about his involvement on the project, what he thinks about the final product, and the hotly anticipated return to studio for BNL. This is our interview with Ed Robertson.

Scene Creek: Have you ever seen the Red vs Blue YouTube show?

Ed Robertson: Yes, of course I have

SC: Is that how you came on board for the project? Lazer Team?

ER: Yeah, I first saw Red vs Blue just after it started, they were still in the first season. I read about this new thing called Machinima in some video game magazine that no longer exists. I immediately thought, after I watched all of them that the magazine had recommended, and it explained what Machinima was and there were some cool ones to check out and Red vs Blue blew my mind. So I reached out via the website and said “hey you know I’m this guy and I’m in a band and I loved Red vs Blue and its really cool” and they wrote back and ended up being huge fans of Barenaked Ladies and they’ve seen them live before. I then proceeded to say it’s too bad that we didn’t connect earlier because I am just in preproduction rehearsal for this huge tour in a couple of days and it would have been fun to do some collaborating and Matt said oh well we can have some animated spots done for you later tonight. I was surprised at first at how quickly they could get the turn around on the animation. So that evening by 10 o’clock we were running custom Red vs Blue intros and exists throughout the show and we ended up doing that whole tour with a whole bunch of comedy bits courtesy of Red vs Blue. I had relationship with those guys for twelve to thirteen years.

SC: So I’ve read an urban legend on how you wrote the Big Bang Theory theme song. How did this process differ from the process of writing Big Bang Theory

ER: It was actually relatively similar process in that I was asked to write a song directly by the creators of Lazer Team and the same happened in the scenario for the Big Bang Theory. I was asked directly by the person to create something who was very good at explaining what they were looking for and who trusted me as a writer to execute, also when you work on a project like that you kind of just the cattle call and you’re writing a song but you’re one of fifty people who are writing a song and everyone is trying to interpret what it is the music director wants and in this case Matt told me exactly what they wanted and I made sure to say “ok I can do that but if you don’t like what I do just tell me what you don’t like about it and ill change it”. It was exactly the same with Big Bang theory, a collaborative process and I think the result is much more engaging for everybody involved and you end up with a much better result.

SC: For sure, because then everyone gets their input to assure that it is the best possible outcome.

ER: Yeah. For me, when I’m writing something for somebody, it’s about serving the purpose, it’s about giving them what they’re looking for and I try to take my ego out of it. If I’m not hitting what they’re looking for then I want feedback from them so I can change it and this was a really great process.

SC: Have you seen the final cut of Lazer Team yet?

ER: I’ve seen a complete cut, the final cut may have one or two more cuts but it may have been the final cut.

SC: Did you enjoy the film?

ER: I loved it! I think the news anchor is fantastic, just an incredible piece of acting.

SC: That cameo was fantastic. It’s part of one of the BNL music videos, right?

ER: Yeah.

SC: When can fans expect the Lazer Team song to hit iTunes so we can purchase a copy of the song?

ER: That’s the question we’re asking right now too. There are some hoops that have to be overcome, that we haven’t been able to yet. We want to get it up on iTunes as soon as we can.

SC: When can we expect a new album from the Barenaked Ladies?

ER: Planning to record this fall, probably next spring. We’re going back out on tour this summer to hit a bunch of places we didn’t make it to last summer, probably back to the UK again. We have a bunch of touring to do before we go back to the studio.

Lazer Team is now available to purchase on YouTube Red.