Louif Paradis // Bs 270 to fakie Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Quebec
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10 // slash snowboardmag
12 Video Days 22 Gus Engle 28 Summer Time 34 X-Games videos with Nic & Louif 46 Photo Gallery 60 Old-School, New-School 64 Scott Sullivan 70 Stan Matwychuk 72 Yob
Slash Magazine 425, GĂŠrard-Moriset, suite 8 QuĂŠbec, Qc, Canada, G1S 4V5 www.slashmagazine.ca email@example.com Editor: Pat Burns Contents director/photos: Oli Gagnon Creative Direction: Claudia Renaud, Claudia Simon, Big Mike Gonsalves Slash magazine (ISSN 1913-8385) is published 3 times a year. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the autor. All rights reserved on entirecontent. Slash magazine welcomes edittorial submissions; however, return postage must accompagny all unsolicited manuscripts, art, or photographic materials if they are to be return. Printed in Canada: ISSN 1913-8385
Jason Dubois // Fs Blunt Photo // Oli Croteau Spot // Quebec
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Video days! By T. Bird It’s video season again, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Longawaited teasers have started popping up on the internet, slow leaks uncovering footage from films set to hit the silver screen not soon enough. As of the last few years, it seems that the anticipation of snowboard videos has been quelled quite a bit, but not for me. You see, the whole video model has changed due to the breakneck speed of the internet’s capacity as an instant gratification news source that’s updated on a by-the-minute basis, giving kids what they want faster than they could ever want it…but the patience of those viewers wears ever more thin with every “Publish” click. I truly believe that we are still in our infancy in regard to the media model. Look at any snowboard-related content site and you’d be hardpressed to unveil one that didn’t post new content on their site at least a few times per day. Reason being is that there’s a gargantuan influx of substance being submitted. Any kid with a camera can film their friends, cut a quick edit, and get it posted in a matter of hours. Yes, it’s that easy. Trust me. And that’s why my anticipation of video season has inexorably heightened. First things first, this is the best season ever if anticipating snowboard films happens to be your thing. Travis Rice is about to reveal what he’s been doing for the last two years. CAPiTA is making a team video. So is Rome and Forum and Burton. Burtner’s at it again with his eclectic band of Think Thankers. Keegan Valaika and the Givin’ crew are in the process of editing their first project. The Brothers Factory, one of the most underrated video gangs in the game is making their umpteenth film. Standard will be premeiring their 20th movie. Rumor has it that Absinthe had one of their best winters on record, and their film Twe12ve is one for the ages. Shit, Videograss is putting out two flicks. It’s a good year for snowboard videos. Without sounding too ancient, when I was a kid, the internet didn’t exist. Well, I shouldn’t say that, but there was 99% less dependency on its utilization on a daily basis. AOL Instant Messenger was a privilege granted only if my math homework was finished and my English paper was proofread. Cell phones were less a necessity and more a novelty toy made use of by the well-to-do in their fancy suits and high-priced cars. Now, the internet has (pardon the pun) gone viral, and its hasty ascendance–as far as snowboarders can relate to–has saturated the market. Though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it opens our viewers’ eyes to a larger assortment of snowboarding, personally, it makes me even more excited for the videos to come out. A DVD is tangible; beautifully packaged and wrapped tightly in plastic, and there’s a ritualistic regimen that accompanies the hurried rush to open it and slide the disc into a DVD player. It’s an unmistakable sense of nostalgia, and I’m sure that one day, the majority of the snowboarding populus will have the technology to telepathically download edits and watch them via Bluetooth brain waves or some Tron-like IT evolution. But for now, here in the present day, it’s video season, and I couldn’t be happier about that, so do yourself a favor and go to your local shop and buy one of these tangible, beautifully packaged, wrapped tightly in plastic DVDs…or all of them.
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â€œ...this is the best season ever if anticipating snowboard films happens to be your thing.â€?
Danis Davis // Tail grab Photo // Aaron Dodds Spot // Snowmass, Colorado
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Engle By Sean Genovese Is this your first interview? Ummm, well, I kind of did one for King Snow, but it wasn’t super substantial. So the Canadian mags are all about you? I know! Well, I’m pretty much Canadian. I pretty much live in Québec. So you’re just working your way down south. Yeah. Seriously…I love Canada. So this is your first interview and you thought it would be a good idea for me to interview you? Yeahhhhh, pretty much. I could ruin you. Hahahhahaa, yeah. You could definitely ruin me. You told me this season that you were committing career suicide. How’s that working out for you? Pretty good. I’m enjoying myself, hahaha. Since this could be your first and possibly last interview, you should give everyone a bit of insight on how you got into snowboarding. Well, I lived in Hawaii until I was about nine years old and I started skateboarding when I was about seven. Then when I moved to Anchorage and it snowed, as it would in Alaska, so I couldn’t skate anywhere and I just tried [snowboarding] out. Robbie’s the one that taught me how to skate, and then how to snowboard in the winter, and then I was hooked, because it’s fuckin’ awesome. 22 // slash snowboardmag
Robi Gonzalez? Yeah! Robi Gonz… the drummer for Trouble. No big deal, hahahaha. So how old were you when you started snowboarding? I think I was nine years old. We would always go back and forth between Hawaii and Alaska, but the first full winter that I spent in Alaska is when I started. How old were you when you started filming for Think Thank? Ummmmm, I had a shot in Thunk when I was sixteen or seventeen. But I was seventeen in Cue the Birds. There’s a pretty big difference between Gus Thunk year, Gus, Cue the Birds year, and Gus Patchwork Patterns year. Yeah. Well, the only constant is…change? Hahaha, yeah, that’s all I can say ’cause I’m always evolving. I think everybody is. Yeah, I think that’s human nature. As much as people would like to think that they don’t change, not changing would be boring. Yeah, exactly! I think it’s what keeps things interesting. What if music didn’t change? Or what if art didn’t change? Or any of those things? It would be stagnant. Things gotta keep moving. I think when people get mad that something changes it’s because it reminds them of something from their past. But if the music didn’t change then they’d get bored of it. Yeah, nostalgia is so powerful. You know
when you go on vacation, and things are okay? Maybe not the best vacation but, 2 weeks later, when you get home and you gotta do a bunch of work and bullshit, you think back on that vacation and it was the shit! I feel like your brain is so selective; it always blocks out the things that are unpleasant. Or maybe they’re just not as memorable. You only remember the real good, and the real bad…and you laugh about the bad. It’s funny that negative things stand out in moment, but in the long term the more positive things are what stay with people. Yeah, I think you can be really critical when you’re doing it, but then later, people remember the good things that you contributed; like Amy Winehouse. Everyone was hating on her and now she died and she’s selling tons of records! Think about that from the perspective of filming a video part. In the moment things can be tough and a crew can be hating each other; having to pull a bungee, or sling someone in, or it’s freezing cold. And then once your part is done you look back on how amazing it all was. Exactly! I think it’s rare, but those moments are the best when you don’t need nostalgia to realize how beautiful a moment really is. I think that some things in my life are like that, like Boarderline Camp. I always knew when we were doing it that it was the shit. And now I look back on it and I still feel the same way. The very best moments, you get to enjoy when they’re happening, but I think those are more rare.
Fakie ollie to lipslide Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Stockholm
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Or maybe it’s a state of mind. There’s so much negative stuff around, it’s so easy to get hung up on it. That saying is true, “It’s easier to be negative.”For sure. I think it depends on your nature, but as a whole it’s easy to let your mind slip into the negative. It probably speaks to the human condition. We have to put up with a lot of bullshit that wouldn’t be in our nature if we didn’t remove ourselves from the natural cycle, so it conflicts with our emotions. Maybe it’s easier to be negative because our brains can’t comprehend all the complex shit that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Well, for the most part, you’re a really positive guy. Thanks man! Yeah, more so than ever, I feel like I’m in such a good place in my life right now. I think I’m in my prime. You’re in your prime right now? I don’t know about snowboarding-wise necessarily. I think I peaked when I was eighteen, but as far as my general happiness level, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying myself. That’s awesome. What’s keeping you so happy these days? I don’t know man. I’ve been playing so much music. It’s all coming together, writing songs. I have the coolest chick; she’s so sick. I don’t know, just some shit that’s happened to me, some books I’ve read, and I did acid the other day, and that ruled. It cleared my brain. You know how it is. Aa! Shit, yeah. Well, it sounds like it’s all going pretty good for you. What books have you been reading? The one I’m reading right now is One Thousand and One Nights. It’s an ancient book that’s been translated from Arabic. It’s a collection of Arabic stories, all these little stories with morals.
The whole thing is crazy. It starts out with this guy who is super mad ’cause his wife is hooking up with a bunch of slaves. So he starts boning a virgin every night and then killing them at the end of the night and after a while there’s no virgins left in the whole town, and the dude that’s been going and getting him the virgins has to bring the king his own daughters. So the one girl tells the youngest daughter to ask if she can tell a story, and hopefully if the story is good enough it will save them both, and that’s where it starts from. And she just starts telling a thousand and one stories for a thousand and one nights. It’s an adventure. One story melds into another, and it has a real rhythm to it.
can sharpen your creativity. And music and books and the people that you hang out with and experience life with definitely build on it. I think it’s a big part of it. Like, if you don’t exercise your creativity, then you’re going to lose it.
Damn, that sounds amazing. Do you think all of the stuff you’ve been doing is a big influence on your creativity? Oh, dude, for sure! It definitely is. I don’t know what creativity even is. I feel like anyone I know that is really creative, like Jesse [Burtner], you, Scott [Stevens], Micah [Hollinger], I feel like it’s just something that you have, and I feel like you
Yeah, that dude’s crazy. What’s funny is that I think if you talked to people about the full spectrum of “creative” snowboarding, I think that a lot of people would credit you with being one of the original “creative” snowboarders. Well, shit…I’m down. Everyone wants to leave they’re mark, have a little legacy. I don’t think I was ever
Tail Press Photo // Bob Plumb Spot// Minnesota
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It sounds like a lot of things and people have influenced you. There’s a lot of creative snowboarding going on these days, Burtner, Scott… Bode [Merrill]. Did you see the last HCSC edit? Boardslide to rodeo!? Yeah! The thing that got me was that back seven Japan! That was so fucked up!
Hippy jump Photo // Oli Croteau Spot // Montreal
the best snowboarder, but I think I was the weirdest for a while, hahaha! I owe everything to Burtner pretty much, ’cause it was our two brains coming together to create our approach to snowboarding. But shit, I love snowboarding, I wanna have a positive impact on it; at least some kind of impact. But I hope it’s positive. So is that how you’d like to be remembered? As a “creative” snowboarder? Yeah. Well, I don’t know. I feel like snowboarding has this tendency to be really stagnant sometimes. It gets so predictable after a while. The jock constituent isn’t unrepresented within snowboarding…shit. I don’t know what the fuck I’m trying to say here. There are a lot of people that don’t put much stock in creative thinking and attempting to take a step out. It can’t always be about, bigger, bigger, bigger. It’ll end up being like motocross. Then there’s the opposite, like skateboarding. I guess it can be like that too, but I think it has more creative individuals. And snowboarding is right in the middle, between motocross and skateboarding. Do you think that skateboarding promotes creative people more than snowboarding does? Yeah. I think so. I mean, skateboarding isn’t faultless either. There are definitely times when I’ve seen it like, “Oh, another couple stairs, another couple stairs,” and that’s sick and bad ass too, but I think that, finally, in both skateboarding and snowboarding there’s this big creative movement. And I think that’s what all of us always wanted. We always wanted it to be more about an artistic expression. Burtner was saying that back in the JB Deuce days, not a lot of people saw it like that. But that’s the only way that I’ve ever seen it. I remember Jesse saying something before that stuck with me too. That doing Think Thank was his way of being in control of his own destiny. And I think that if you’re a creative rider, it might take a little longer to make it happen, but as long as you’re true to yourself, then you’ll be in control. Instead of doing something the way someone else wants you to, and then they’re in control and they dictate your future. Yeah, exactly. I think that if Think Thank had any troubles getting support from within snowboarding it was a price that
had to be paid for being ahead of its time…know what I mean? It’s crazy to see what other movies were like at the same time that Think Thank first came out, and to see that it’s how people are making their movies now. It had such a huge impact, but it took so long for people to recognize it. They were pretty abstract when they first came out, but now if you look at the way so many of the new kids are snowboarding these days, it seems so influenced by it. I think that it was all the creative riders in the movies, like yourself, being ahead of your time. Aww…thanks man. So you’ve been playing a lot of music lately? Yup. Guitar, right? Yeah, yeah. I play guitar, harmonica, and I sing. So, you’re Bob Dylan. Hahahaha! Pretty much. Do you see similarities between how you got into snowboarding and how you got into music? Yeah man, I totally do. I mean, at first you start just fuckin’ around with it ’cause you think it’s cool. Then you keep playing it more and more, and then it’s just like skateboarding or snowboarding. As soon as you’re able to flow a little bit with it, it becomes so uncontrollably addicting. You just cant stop; you cant think of anything else. For me, guitar is probably the biggest thing in my life right now. I think maybe as I get older I wanna take less risks, ya know? I’ve always been kind of a wuss, hahaha. I thought for a while I didn’t need to snowboard anymore because I loved music so much, but then I realize that it’s different. It gives me that same sense of satisfaction, and it’s endless. There’s no end to what you can make. It’s like the biggest playground ever. You can never run out of things to do, and snowboarding’s the same. Now I love the balance of having music and snowboarding. Having an artistic expression in the fine arts, and then the relationship between your body performing in conjunction with your mind. To have both expressions, I think that’s why I feel so fulfilled in my life right now. slash snowboardmag // 25
It’s good to have balance. Sometime you need to have a physical outlet for your energy. Totally. I wouldn’t trade one for the other. They’re both super beautiful things and I’m glad that they exist in the world. Do you think that you’re a product of your surroundings? Umm, in some ways, yeah. Especially if you include the people as apart of your surroundings. People from Alaska are so weird. I don’t know what it is. I think you just have to be a little weird to live in Alaska, otherwise why else would you live here? It’s just sort of a strange location to choose to live in. And plus, the climate makes you a bit crazy. It’s light all summer and then as soon as that’s done it’s dark all winter. I know a lot of people up here that are crazy and it doesn’t work out, and I know some real crazies that it works out really well for. It makes them really unique individuals, Like Micah, and Jesse, and Mark Thompson, and the list goes on.
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Does it help that you’re able to get out of there every once in a while? Oh, dude, I think so. I mean, so many of my friends are so messed up. Yeah, I think I have sort of a skewed view of it ’cause I’m here during the best parts: spring and summer, and then back for Christmas to ride some pow days at Alyeska or something, and I’m like, “God, Alaska’s beautiful.” But then one of my buddies will remind me that I wasn’t there during January and February when it was so fucked. It’s so cold and dark. Most animals are migratory, and I think that’s the way I wanna be. When I’m down in the lower forty eight in the summer and it’s like ninety eight degrees, I don’t wanna be there. I need to get back to Alaska where it’s like seventy five or so…that’s perfect. And then in the winter I gotta bail when it gets the coldest. You’re a migratory beast.Totally. What do you think it is about Alaska that
creates such a well-rounded snowboarder? Because you would be classified as a ‘jibber’, but you’re pretty good on a jump. Yeah, I’m just lazy, hahaha. You enjoy it though. Yeah man. In all honesty, I know kids always say that they love riding powder, but I’m down as fuck…it’s so much fun. I think that in general, people from the Northwest are my favorite people in the world. They just don’t make ‘em like [Matt] Edgers and Blair [Habenicht], or Lucas Debari, anywhere else but in the Northwest. Those guys are definitely meant to snowboard. Could you imagine Edgers doing anything else? I think that people from the Northwest are real…for lack of a better word. And northern California…it extends down to there. I think that the Northwest makes the most well-rounded riders. You got kids up in
Anchorage that are jibbing, but they’re also jumping. It provides the best opportunities to do that: major metropolitan areas that are right next to big mountains. Yeah. The surroundings definitely help. Sometimes when you see someone that’s really, really good at rails, you can almost tell sometimes that they can’t ride powder. It’s not like seeing someone that rips a mountain all day and can ride a rail. It’s the same as a skater. You can tell when someone can skate a bowl and skate a handrail and skate a street…they just skate different. It’s shit that transcends. If you went and got really good in the halfpipe it would help out with other shit. Like, if you can rip down a mountain, it’s going to help you rip down a street and lipslide a handrail. That’s why Northwest snowboarders are my favorite, and East coast skaters are my favorite. Dudes from Cali are doing the technical shit, but I like the guys that look like they can just skate around a city and are just well-rounded.
So what keeps you in Alaska then? Shit, I don’t know. Well let me just tell you what I do on a daily basis. Pretty much every day I’ll wake up, and since my house is kind of out in the woods, it’s pretty peaceful. I don’t have any neighbours that I can see. I’ll pack my backpack full of fruit and little goodies and then I throw a book in there and I just climb up into the mountains and I just post up next to a tree on this mossy little hill and just look out over the inlet for a couple of hours and just read a book and then when I come down, I chill with some buddies, and all of my buddies play music, and…shit man…I just love it. I mean, I can see why people don’t wanna live here all year round, but as far as the summers go, it’s hard to beat. It’s light all the time. I’ve noticed the energy that you get from being up there in the summer or the spring. Before you know it, it can be eleven o’clock at night, it’s still light, and you’re not tired at all. It’s crazy. That sun keeps you going.
So basically, your summer routine is about hiking up a mountain by yourself? Last time I was with you and we parted ways to hike up higher by yourself, when you came down you told us that you nature jacked.Hahahah! Dude, I almost nature jacked the other day. Man, I’ve been jackin’ it a lot lately actually; unhealthy amounts. At least two times a day. Wow. Well, I was going to say that based on how this interview had gone, that your “career suicide” was going to be a long, slow death, but with that comment it could be sped up a bit. Now you may just be remembered as “that guy that jacked it a bunch.” Hahaha! That’s going to be my legacy now? I’m pretty down for that. Just think, if that caught on and everyone was up there jackin’ it, think about how less stressed everyone would be up there hitting jumps?
Bs tailslide to fakie Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Stockholm
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By Charles Gagnon
Summer is, for most of us, a season to recharge the batteries and take stock of our lives. It is very important to take a break from the daily grind with some welldeserved holidays. Even our favorite riders need to have some rest to be able to give us something to feed on year after year in our favorite magazines and videos. Personally, while on holiday myself while writing this, I was wondering how riders such as Benji Ritchie, Jed Anderson, Alex Cantin and Devun Walsh spend their holidays. What are they doing at the moment? These guys have shaped the way people from all over the world see Canadians so I asked them to tell me about their summer and the year to come. Are they sitting in the sand waiting for the next wave, on the golf course trying to make a birdie, or skating a mini ramp? The possibilities are infinite so why bother with estimations? Let’s see what they had to say.
cantin Boardslide to boardslide Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Quebec
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In the recent years, you showed the world–through your video parts filled with good backcountry and big rails–that you are a wellrounded rider. You must have busy winters. How do you let go of the pressure during summer? During the summer I spend most of my time with my girlfriend, my family, and my friends. I like to travel and discover new places so I try to go on a trip once every summer. Last year it was Mexico and this year we went to Indonesia. I also try to remain active to stay in good shape. I do different sports such as biking, skateboarding, playing tennis, and golf even if I spend more time in the woods than on the course. It is for sure the hardest sport I have tried and that’s why I like it.
For your summer trips, what was your favorite destination so far? How was it? I have to go with Indonesia. I was there with my girlfriend and my brother last June and we always felt very safe. We rented mopeds to drive around the islands and we were free to go wherever. We found some desert beaches, we surfed and scuba dived. We discovered a different culture on every island we went to. We encountered people from different religions: Hindus, Muslims and Catholics. I learned a lot during that trip. Traveling is the school of life.
Last year, you came up with a crazy opener in Bon Voyage from Videograss and you were also filming with them this year for Retrospect. Are you happy with the result? What are your future projects? Yes, I was filming for Retrospect. Videograss were doing two videos so I was with a new crew this year. It was such a nice winter. I wasn’t lucky with the weather and my snowmobile died but it’s all part of the game and I am still happy with it. I went to Japan–Sapporo to be exact–and it was one of my best trips. The snow was amazing. I had never ridden snow so light. The mountains were very cool and there was a lot of space in between the trees. On that trip we were lucky with the weather. I would recommend Japan to everyone. I don’t know what will happen this winter, but I would like to keep filming with Videograss.
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walsh Having been a professional snowboarder for as long as you have, recuperation during the summer has to be different. Can you tell us how it changed over the years for you? I used to just skate and party all summer but since I got older, married, became a homeowner and a dad, things have drastically changed. I now golf, workout to stay in shape, and do chores around the house all summer. Not much time for skating and absolutely no time for a hangover. What would be the number one thing you look forward to during the summer, and does it make an impact on your snowboarding? Golfing. I think it helps mentally, but probably not really. Maybe ’cause the twisting is similar. How did the Polar Opposites wepisodes come to the table? Do you think that this is the future of snowboard movies since anyone can see the videos online? I was tired of the same old thing and Iikka and I decided to try something fresh. I do think it is possibly the future. I’m sure it’ll be refined but it’s basically meant to give people what they want as soon as possible. I don’t think people want to wait anymore. I’m not 100% sure we’re going to continue, but probably. Only a handful of people can say that they’ve been in the game for as long as you, and you’ve seen professional snowboarding change radically over the last decade. What keeps you going? Enjoying what I do and trying to only treat snowboarding like a job when I have to. It takes all the creativity out of it when you’re way too serious.
Switch Bs 540 Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Whistler
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benji Riding backcountry the way you do requires a lot of energy and mental toughness. How do you manage to come back so strong year after year. Actually, every season is very demanding physically and mentally. Backcountry is not the easiest thing and I get reminded of that every day I go. After a long day where nothing worked out and I didn’t get a shot, I know I still can go back the day after. It’s with the succession of good days and bad days that you get experience and that’s what helps me manage my energy during the season, year after year. Recently, you joined the ranks of YES Snowboards. How do you see this new partnership? I find myself very fortunate to be part of a company owned by real snowboarders that make snowboards of great quality. Romain, DCP, JP and Tadashi have always inspired me with their skills and passion for snowboarding. It’s really cool to be trusted and have the support of these guys. It means a lot to me. You really like hunting and golfing right? Tell us about these two hobbies and what they mean to you. Yes, I do love hunting and golfing! I grew up around Mont-Tremblant so I was always close to the forest and close to nice golf clubs. I started hunting when I was very young with my grandfather and I still hunt with him to this day. He’s 82. It’s been a family tradition for many generations. Was YES It’s A Movie your first team video? Are you satisfied with the results? Are you going to do it again this year? Yes, it was the first time I was filming the whole year for a team movie. We had an amazing winter in BC. It was one of the best I had ever seen. The quantity and the quality of the snow was impressive and it was great to film with the YES crew during the whole season. I haven’t seen the final result yet because it’s not done at the moment but I know there will be spots and snow to make a lot of people dream. We are planning on doing another team project next season.
Switch Bs 360 Photo // DomG Spot // Whistler
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anderson As one of the best street snowboarders alive, how does skateboarding influence your snowboarding? I guess it just helps me think of new ideas and tricks. It’s just a way to look at my snowboard to do stuff I can’t do on my skateboard…or that I wish I could do on my skateboard. What other activities do you like to do during summer? Do you feel when the winter is over that you have to disconnect from snowboarding? I like to bike around a lot, hang out at home, go rafting down the river, go to parties, etc. When winter is done it’s really nice to just stay away from it for a good solid while. Shit gets kind of crazy and when it’s done it’s a pretty big relief. I need that time away from it to stay motivated throughout the winter. I can’t go stay at summer camp all summer. I’d go nuts. Is motorcycling a new hobby of yours? How did you get into it and would you consider building your own bike? Yeah I just recently got into them. I rode dirtbikes a little bit when I was younger and now a bunch of my friends own and are buying bikes. I started riding my friends’ bikes around and I was like, “Damn, this is so fun.” I just bought one and it’s awesome. I’d love to learn how to build them for sure. It’s pretty cool to know how that shit works. What’s the one thing we’ll never see you do during the summer beside shit like rollerblading? Haha. Umm. I don’t know. I love summer! Not much I wouldn’t do I guess.
Switch bs lipslide Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Calgary
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Everybody has seen it and everybody was blown away by it. Eight dudes did it, and two were from Québec. Louif Paradis and Nic Sauve dropped hammers left and right during the one-month window they had to film a part for the X Games “Real Snow” contest. When the dust settled and the votes were tallied, Louif and Nic ended up in second and third respectively, and went home with a fat check. I mean, I’m sure the money on the line was good motivation, but these two did it for themselves, which is something that separates them from a lot of other pro snowboarders. Well, that and the fact that they’re two of the best rail riders on the planet.
Interview by Java Fernandez
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What was the first trick you filmed for your Real Snow video?
Louif: It was that nosepress to 50-50 on the down ledge.
Nic: The fence ride, flip out. We scoped around Tahoe for a week, got kicked out of everything we tried. Then we found this dam. We had to sled to get there, [which was] pretty funny. We set up some other wallride that I don’t think we even hit. Then our filmer pointed out that fence that Pat [Moore] did and I hadn’t even thought about doing. I was trying a frontside wallride with like a front 360 out and at some point I did the flip almost by accident and I was like, “Shit that’s what I’m gonna do.” it took like two or three tries. It ended up being easier than the 360 I was trying in the first place.
Jesus. That’s the first trick you filmed all season? That’s fucked up. When did you start filming? Do you remember the date? Nic: It was the last week of November. I went to Tahoe for about a week but as soon as there was snow in Québec we went there. Louif: It was December 7th.
So really, everything went down in about 3 Louif Paradis // switch bs 270 Photo // Oli Gagnon
Louif: Yeah, I think so.
How different was this filming process for you? Nic: It was just game on from the first trip. I had been thinking about it for a long time before that, so I was already in the mindset. I ended up riding with Pat Moore who’s a good motivator and a super hard worker. Pat was hungry, and he wanted to get shots. Most people were still riding resorts, getting their legs ready. Louif: Well, there’s a couple of things, like the nosepress to drop to ledge in Edmonton. If it was in the regular season, I would have been like, “Ok, we’ll come back later and someday I’ll do it.” But for this, I was like, “I have to do this right now.”
Was that a good or bad thing? Louif: It was good. It was just not the best conditions. I still eased my way into it but a little more aggressively than I usually do in December.
Did it make it difficult to resume filming for your video parts afterward or was this a momentum push to start the season? Nic: It was very good momentum. After [X Games], I went out on some trips and I kept going ’til I hurt my back pretty bad in the backcountry and that sealed the deal for my season. But I think if I didn’t get hurt I would have kept going until the end of the season. Louif: A bruised heel kinda slowed me down a lot. But without that, it was really a push in the back. It was very motivating, like a kick start to the season.
What are your thoughts about the X Games? Louif: It’s like a circus. I’m super stoked that I went and I have my medals that I’m going to keep forever but it’s really crazy to go. When I was a kid I used to watch it because it was like a free snowboard video on TV, you know? Eventually I just kinda stopped watching it because I didn’t really find it that interesting anymore. But I started watching it again just because I think it’s pretty impressive what people can do under pressure like that. And it’s interesting to me also because it’s snowboarding and I love it so…
Do you think Real Snow is a good thing or a bad thing for snowboarding? Louif: I don’t know, to me it’s pretty good I think. It puts this part of snowboarding out to a world that doesn’t know it exists. But at the same time, it doesn’t really have to reach that audience. I don’t really know what to think about it, to be honest; I just did it. slash snowboardmag // 35
Louif Paradis // bs air wallride to fs invert Photo // Oli Gagnon
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“I have to do this right now.”
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Nic Sauve // bs 360 to 50-50 Photo // Tim Peare
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Nic Sauve // Wallride backflip Photo // Tim Peare
it was so weird. I mean, I wasn’t embarrassed but when I watch it the feeling I get is so weird that I didn’t spend much time watching it (laughs).
Do you think the event was judged accurately? Nic: It just depends on what you want to see, you know? I mean, how do you compare someone’s style to another person’s? How do you give points to that stuff you know? How do you get a winner out of that stuff? That doesn’t really work with snowboarding. To me that’s the reason I don’t really like to compete but I still liked watching all of it. I don’t know. I was stoked overall. Louif: It was pretty obvious that Nic won the live event. I thought he was also going to win the video part. But, it’s pretty weird to start judging video parts and give a winner so it’s pretty much up in the air who wins. It’s kind of personal what you like, what you want to see. To judge it more accurately maybe it would have been better to bring in more judges maybe.
What was it like riding in front of the X Games audience? Was the pressure different knowing that you were going to be on television? Nic: Oh for sure. I was stressing so hard. Just thinking about the actual contest was worse than doing it. Once we got to do the actual contest I just tried to focus on my own shit and I actually had a pretty good time. I was surprised because I’ve never done anything quite like that. I remember showing up with Louif and being like, “Whoa.” So much security, all the TV cameras, all the PR stuff you know? I thought it was too much but once I did the contest I was surprised that I felt pretty comfortable. Louif: It was pretty intimidating, I thought. But at the same time, I don’t know, for some reason I felt kinda comfortable. It’s mostly the days before that are super stressful to me and then when it’s going it’s pretty mellow.
Is there a difference between the pressure you place on yourself to film a video part and the pressure you felt in the contest?
Nic: I think it’s good. Overall, it’s bringing forward a different aspect of snowboarding that I feel is a lot more underground, [and it] helps people understand the whole thing. It brings more recognition to what we’re doing, to this side of snowboarding.
Did you ever go back and watch yourselves on TV? Louif: No. I was kind of following the views online for a while but then I stopped. I
really hate to see myself on TV, talking. Any interviews, I don’t watch. Nic: No. I don’t want to see that. (laughing)
You never even YouTube’d it just to see? Nic: Yeah I saw it on YouTube. But my parents recorded it and wanted me to watch the whole thing. I was like “No, you guys keep this, I don’t want to see it.” The feeling I got from watching
Nic: I feel more comfortable putting the pressure on myself filming [rather] than at a contest. At a contest, the pressure just comes down on you. It’s like an obligation. I just don’t like this kind of pressure. I don’t consider filming in the season pressure. It’s just motivation, that’s what I like. It’s like scary pressure in the contest. I don’t really like that. Louif: Yeah. Being at a contest brings me a lot of stress, but going filming doesn’t do that to me. I think it’s because of the crowd
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itâ€™s bringing forward a different aspect of snowboarding that I feel is a lot more underground, [and it]
Louif Paradis // Wallie back flip Photo // Oli Gagnon
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Louif Paradis // Fs blunt 270 pop out Photo // Oli Gagnon
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I mean, how do you compare someoneâ€™s style to another personâ€™s? How do you give points to that stuff you know? 42 // slash snowboardmag
Nic Sauve // frontside wallride Photo // Ian Ruther
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maybe. When I go to film stuff, I wait until there are no spectators at all really. A crowd just adds some pressure that I don’t need at all. I know for some people it’s probably a motivation, but for me it’s a buzzkill completely. I don’t know why. Also, when I film, I have friends with me and I can kinda discuss: “Is it doable? Can I do it better? Should I do it again?” It’s a mission that I do with my buddies. In a contest, you’re by yourself. You versus the world pretty much. So in that way it’s a little more stressful.
With such a huge prize at stake, did this influence the tricks you tried? Nic: I just went with what I’m comfortable with. It’s funny because the flip off the fence, we were laughing about it. The filmers were like, “Oh shit, people are going to be tripping on this because you went upside down.” So, I mean, it’s just funny. I tried to keep with the evolution of what I’ve been doing in the past years. This was the next step for me. I was just trying to do the best I could. Everyone had their own thing so I just tried to do my own thing. Louif: I just wanted to try tricks that I liked. Things that were good to me. I wasn’t trying to please the crowd really. I was just trying to please myself. I thought if I did that I would do well.
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ass; the one were you almost killed yourself trying? Nic: A lot of those tricks I got beat up trying, but I got worked trying that gap to frontside boardslide down a double stairset. I thought it was going to be pretty mellow at first. I guess the way it was lining up just wasn’t right. I was airing pretty high up, and the rail wasn’t very steep, so I was coming down hard on it. And that little donkey at the end, which you can barely tell from the video shot, made me clip a gnarly back edge a couple of times. I ended up getting the shot, but I kept trying it to get it a little better, until I caught again and hit the back of my head hard on the ground. Got myself a little concussion. That was it for that night. Louif:I’d say the switch backside 270 on that gap to down rail was the trick that required the most effort out of everything else. We went to the Red Ledge earlier that day and I tried it for two-to-three hours and had to give up ’cause it wasn’t happening. Then I went home for a family dinner. As the night went on, I kept thinking about how I needed one last shot, so I decided I could probably just do that trick at another spot. So [at the] last minute I called Oli [Gagnon] and Frank [April] and recruited my brother and my girlfriend to come help. We ended up going there at around ten or eleven. I thought it was gonna be pretty easy but with how the rail is, you can’t see it as you take off, and spinning backside, especially, I had a hard time lining up properly with the rail. When
I finally got it, I looked at the shot and decided to go again and bruised my heel bad [which ended up lasting] for two months.
Was there anyone that you think should have podium’d that didn’t? Nic: I was very surprised to not see JP [Walker] on the podium for some reason. I thought he was going to be on it. Louif: I thought Nic was going to be 1st and that maybe JP was going to do well.
Were you happy with your video? Louif: Yeah, it was pretty cool. I was lucky to have Hayden (Rensch aka “The Tool”) film it. I was happy with the song. Hayden’s friend made it. But I kinda wished that we had a little more snow in that time of year. There was only maybe a foot so there were less options.
How important was it to have a good filmer? Louif: It’s very motivating to know that you’re not trying something for nothing. To know that it’s certain that the filming is going to be really good.
Would you do it again? Nic: Uh, yeah. Yeah I would. I guess so.
Bs wallride Photo // Alexis Paradis
I enjoyed doing the video thing and the live thing was kind of torture. I’d do it again just because I felt like it made me push myself more.
Do you ever wear your medals to the bar? Louif: I do, but under my shirt. Just in case.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
It’s a mission that I do with my buddies. In a contest, you’re by yourself. You versus the world pretty much.
Louif: I’d like to thank Hayden for sure. He was there the whole time and we did this whole thing together. Chris Grenier, Phil Jacques, Frank April. They really let me choose the spots we were going to. They gave me priority, which was kind of weird. They were still riding as much as I was but they let me pick the spots. I’d like to thank Oli Gagnon for taking photos, being there the whole time, and shoveling. Java Fernandez for filming C angles. All my sponsors. Harrison Gordon. My girlfriend Eve and the people that invited me to do this event. Nic: For sure. I’d like to thank Pat Moore and Cameron Pierce. They went to Québec and helped out a lot. Our filmers Nathan Yant and Kyle Schwartz. Those guys were a lot of help. Ian Rhuter and Tim Peare, our photographers. My mom and dad. Also Kevin Keller, Bryan Knox, Jeremy Pettit and my girlfriend Gen.
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Todd Williamson // Blunt to fakie Photo // Ashley Barker Spot // Calgary
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Rusty Ockenden // Fs 360 Photo // Mark Gribbon Spot // Whistler
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Nic Marcoux // Stailfish to lipslide Photo // Dave Demers Spot // Sherbrooke
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Gaetan Chanut // Fs 360 Photo // Mark Gribbon Spot // Whistler
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Ben Bilocq // Switch nosepress Photo // Mark Welsh Spot // Minneapolis 52 // slash snowboardmag
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Sean Genovese // Fs 360 Photo // Sean Hoglin Spot // Mt, Seymour
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Wolle Nyvelt // Pillow line Photo // Oli Gagnon Spot // Hokaido
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Frank April // Lipslide to fakie Photo // Oli Croteau Spot // Toronto
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Anto Chamberland // Andretch to fakie Photo // Alexis Paradis Spot // Quebec
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Harrison Gordon Favorite old video?
Stepping it up to big mountains soon?
Brainstorm and Happy Hour
Old video part that blew your mind?
What got you going in snowboarding?
Travis Parker with that one song by Stiff Little Fingers.
Shred legend that influenced you the most?
Old school board shape?
MFM: His style.
I had a Morrow with a pointy nose and a cut off tail.
First trick you learned?
Favorite old Board graphic?
Ride the board.
The scratch M3 Mikey LeBlanc.
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Boardslide to boardslide Photo // Mark Welsh Spot // Minnesota
Photo // Oli Gagnon
Did you watch the Whiskey videos?
A big whiplash, broke my hand and wrist.
Yes, they are still to this day the best homey videos to ever happen.
Greatest method of all time? Jamie Lynn, Terje Haakonsen, Nicolas Müller
Sickest first descent from any rider? Tom Burt: Everything.
Favorite TB video?
What’s better, The Garden or Technical Difficulties? They’re both good for different reasons. The Garden shows footy of the Anderson brothers, Guch, Jamie Lynn, and the rest of the Volcom dudes just going out and killing shit, and Technical Difficulties was just gnarly video parts from all.
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Photo //Jeff Hawe
HI B RYAN IG UC
Favorite recent video?
Favorite place to ride you discovered recently?
Yellowstone National Park.
Recent video part that blew your mind?
Funniest snowboard technology “gimmick?”
It’s all pretty mind blowing these days
Any new kid influenced you lately?
Recent board graphic that got you stoked?
Aaron Robinson. His spirit for snowboarding will live on forever.
T-Rice Parillo graphic.
Last trick you learned?
Was a long time ago...
Shiner, skateboarding last week.
Your comeback in the streets?
The key to blowing a decent fireball?
A deep breath, lots of 151 and a propane torch.
What keeps you going in snowboarding?
Where is snowboarding headed?
Finding new stuff to ride, powder days.
I don’t know but it seems to be just as fun as ever.
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Bs 720 Photo // Jeff Hawe Spot // Jackson, WY slash snowboardmag // 63
JP Solberg - Cab corked 540 - Mt. Hood Over the past decade of shooting photos there are a handful of moments that stand out to me as benchmarks in the progression of the sport, both stylistically as well as technically. There was a vibrant energy field encompassing our small but effective crew that made up Absinthe Films this season. Names like [Travis] Rice, [Nicolas] Müller, [Romain] De Marchi, Gigi Rüf, Wolle [Nyvelt], and Fredi Kalbermatten were all about to make their introduction to the broader consciousness. Filmmakers Justin Hostynek and Brusti [Patrick Armbruster] were in their second year of a new partnership and had something to prove. Basically, people were fucking motivated. JP Solberg had joined us earlier in the season in Whistler at the ripe age of fifteen and often flew alongside the intense and 64 // slash snowboardmag
amplified personality that was Romain, on course to the peak of his career. Romain is actually the one that had the idea for the bunny suit but he was nursing an ankle injury and couldn’t ride to the level he wanted so he suggested that JP don the suit. For those that remember it, the final segment in Transcendence speaks for itself. JP Solberg, bunny suit, The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” soundtrack and some beautiful, artistic film shots in 16mm and black-and-white Super 8. It’s one of those situations where the sum is greater than the parts and it stood for the whole film as well, capturing a time in snowboarding where the guard was changing and the new kids were unleashing a whole new bag of tricks, with a sense of humor and artistry to boot.
Gigi Rüf - Stalefish - Mt. Cook, New Zealand I was traveling down to the south island of New Zealand with the Volcom team and we had a new member of the team that was being kept hush hush until the contracts were finished. Volcom pulled off a coup of sorts when one of Burton’s top riders, Gigi Rüf, jumped ship in the wake of a rash of guillotines falling on the Burton team. I think Gigi saw the writing on the wall and chose the family-like environment at Volcom as a place where he could promote his riding and his sponsor from his heart. So this was the maiden voyage with Gigi on board, and speaking of boards, Volcom had just begun making boards of their own. As I saw it this was a pretty monumental
moment within snowboarding, similar to when Burton got Craig Kelly from Sims and Craig had to ride blank, red-based boards for the season due to legal obligations. There were a lot of similarities between the two scenarios. That being said, Gigi arrived with a fire under his ass when he was set upon this new course. This cover shot that went down amidst the glacial ice of Mt. Cook was one of the many great moments that went down on that trip with the classic style of Gigi, one of the great modern snowboarding legends.
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Zac Marben - Method - Mt. Baker, Washington At the time this photo was taken this gap over by Chair 1 at Mt. Baker was no secret. Rippers like [Pat] McCarthy, [Mark] Landvik, [Nate] Lind and countless others had sessioned this to its glory. But the thing with Baker is that when the sun finally does pop out, you find yourself standing in one of the most beautiful places on the planet and you can easily feel like itâ€™s the first time youâ€™ve ever been there. The place is magical like that. On this day, luck was on our side as a glorious Mt. Shuksan revealed its face behind the gap after hiding behind clouds all day. I remember thinking that I really had to look for a different angle because this had been shot so many times, so I ended up digging a hole in the snow about six feet deep with my shovel so that I could get an angle from this perspective and get Marben over the peak. Marben happens to have one of the greatest styles around in my opinion, and his method is right up 66 // slash snowboardmag
there. There have been so many iconic methods that have come out of the Baker grounds, from Jamie Lynn to Craig Kelly, so thereâ€™s no slacking allowed when it comes to paying tribute with a method at Baker. One of the great rewards of this came when Zac and I were at Baker with Jamie Lynn the following season and when Jamie saw Zac he complimented him on his method in that cover shot. Enough said. On a separate personal note, a week after this shot was taken I was in the hospital requiring emergency spinal surgery after I almost sliced my spinal cord in half in my neck. It was only February but that effectively ended my season and made this my best shot of the year and luckily, landed Zac and I the cover of Snowboarder Magazine.
Nicolas M端ller - FS 720 - Utah For me this was the moment when Nicolas M端ller left the pack behind in the natural freestyle realm. He had been progressively expanding his seemingly supernatural ability to find things in the terrain that no other riders would ever see. One could sense a growing boredom within Nicolas when it came to the usual protocol of riding around on sleds and looking for a place to build a kicker and hit it with a crew of four. This day was a turning point. We were out with Absinthe films in a big crew and Nicolas just started drifting off on his own looking for something he could play with on his own terms. Shane Charlebois and I stuck
close by Nico as he meandered until he came upon this zone. When first looking at it, all we saw was a cliff wall to flat and a bump underneath it. He told Shane and I that he was going to take off on that bump, so we just set up our cameras not really knowing what was going down. He hiked up around the cliff and dropped the small part into a mini tranny and disappeared for a few seconds before blasting up and out into the light with this frontside seven. He landed and started laughing, while Shane and I just looked at each other with jaws dropped.
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Gigi Rüf - Method Bosco Gurin, Switzerland With a population of 54 people living in Bosco, Gurin, our group of six effectively added to the population of this small mountain village on the Italy/Swiss border during our two week residence. The village has a settlement history of the Walser people dating back to the 13th century. Gigi’s family living in Austria, also has Walser roots. The village itself was a candy store for Gigi’s hyper-creative snowboard imagination and as we took advantage of the biggest deposit of snowfall in over fifty years, we inevitably ended up on the rooftops of this hibernating village. This shot ran as the cover of Neverland as the shot shows the empty village that had the qualities similar to that in Peter Pan with the Lost Boys running rampant with no adults around to discipline us.
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STAN MATWYCHUCK Director of Creative Development www.homebasestudios.ca 604.849.1151 firstname.lastname@example.org
own. It’s basically a communal art room that we all share the cost of and then we get to program and create all sorts of cool stuff! It’s really amazing to see the ideas and inspiration that rolls around a room of creative people all working on different projects. At present, we have six artists sharing a space: A silversmith, a texiles/ sculpture artist, a large canvas painter, a motion graphics artist for TV and film, a media graphics designer, and myself–a graphic illustration artist. Check us out at www.homebasestudios.ca or on Facebook!
Questions by: Mark Kowalchuk of Artschool Skateboards You do a lot of artwork in the snowboard community. Is there a reason you target that market and why do you think you’ve been so well received amongst the snowboard/art community? The “real” snowboard community is, let’s face it at its core, a bunch of dirt bags, ya know? We were all at one time in our lives a skier or a snowboarder living six to a room, working shitty jobs in a resort town just to wake up in the morning to shred the hell out of it and cheers our “dirtbag” comrades that we made through another day of our “self-defined” lifestyle, our choice to forget long term pursuit for a short term thrill to live in the moment. A radical chase of living in the moment at a “take it now and ask questions later” pace. The choice to be an artist is similar to the snowboard culture. It is a kind of personal self-inflicted exile to chose a way of life that allows your higher creative self to permeate everywhere in your daily life. To live comfortable so far outside the box that you are not really sure where the line begins and ends. Both communities are very self-defining and lifestyle driven. I was introduced to art very early on by my mom and even later I was introduced to snowboarding by my best friend James Bussey. These two people were pivotal in my life and kinda from there I always carried these lifestyle “lenses” around with me ’til I came out west to Whistler. Looking back on it now, Whistler is kind of a petri dish for self expression! Do you have any upcoming art projects that are snowboard related? If so, with who and tell us a bit more about them. I just finished working with Bass Coast Project, an annual music festival in the upper Squamish Valley in BC. I was building some art signs/installations for this four day camping/DJ/music festival. I am pretty stoked and can’t wait to see the art installations in the forest! What is Homebase Studios? It’s a peer driven network of artists that gives back to the community and it’s a business I 70 // slash snowboardmag
You’ve done the Telus Winter Snowboard Festival each year. Can you tell us a bit more about that? The Telus Festival is an annual industry party that happens at the end of the season in Whistler. There are a bunch of artshows, concerts and events that always are about progression in general and I like to use this festival as a way to progress my own art style each year. It’s a great way to see what my other art friends are doing too. Good times!
What other advice do you have for artists that may be up-andcoming that would like to follow in your footsteps? Geez. No pressure, eh? Umm, well I would say that the successes I have surmounted were only possible by the network of people in my life. Always nurture this network. It will be the source of boundless opportunity and possibility. Do things that scare you everyday; stuff that pushes your own personal boundaries. Draw as much as you can everyday. I carry a little black book around with me to jot down ideas and to write To-Do lists. These lists keep me accountable to myself. I really hate the cliché of the typical “flaky” artist. Give back to your community. Volunteer your creative time to others. You will be surprised at the reciprocal outpouring of people that will help you open doors. It takes time to get paid for your art. Keep a couple part time jobs to keep money flowing. It does get easier. I also hate the “starving artist” cliché! Don’t stop working. As they say, “No rest for the wicked!” You can sleep when you’re dead.
“An Artist should only make art for himself for a longtime until people start to notice.”
Boot Pub Chair: The story behind this chair is legend. In Whistler, there was this legendary bar/hostel called “The Boot Pub” This was Whistler’s very first ski bum bar. This place had beer, legendary après, cheap accommodations, and best of all…strippers! When the landowner eventually bulldozed it, I ran through the pile and salvaged some stuff. I had also been to a bunch of concerts there so I had stuff that the bands tossed out. The chair came from the Shoestring lodge (the hostel beside it) and the caster wheel from a PA speaker. The chair is also covered in cedar shakes that came from the roof.
“Sisu Benched 40” Silk Screen on Wood
“The Year 2020 When Trees Give Birth to People There Will be Balance and the Night Shall Sleep Again” – Acrylic Ink & Spray Paint on Canvas slash snowboardmag // 71
YOB: Les Fleurs du Mal
“If you don’t like heavy music, you’re never going to listen to Yob.” That’s fine. They’r e not making music for you. They’re making it for themselves and a few select creeps out there who get it. Most often their sound is called doom, metal, stoner; and it’s got elements of all these but those definitions are loose approximates. There’s no denying Yob is really f&%king heavy, the sound is oceanic, flowing, punishing. But unlike metal, there’s no Satanica, no 666. Unlike pure stoner-rock, Yob has no weed anthems or wizards. The drums are like thunder and the riffs are molten lava but there’s something in the sound that’s more spacious, more cosmic than the limits of any sub-genre classification. Let’s just say the music is big. This trio from Eugene, Oregon just released a new record, called Atma, which is a Hindu term for the concept of self. And after a four-year break from touring they’re back on the road. But what the hell happened while they were holed-up in Oregon working their day jobs for the last four years? For one, a New York Times article called Yob “America’s best heavy band” and placed Burning The Altar on their list of the top 100 songs of 2009. Then, just as rumors about Atma began to rumble, the New York Times blew them up again while National Public Radio featured the entire Atma record on their First Listen program. All this is pretty strange stuff for a band that has never sought approval from anyone for anything and plays 15-minute songs. Singer-frontman-guitarist Mike Scheidt is a walking contradiction: a friendly, warm, intelligent guy who also happens to be an axe-shredding, death-howling, beast. I got him to do an interview before they played San Diego’s Casbah club. I thought we were going to talk about music. Did we? Who knows, but after our happy little chat, Yob plugged in and mystified the crowd. Muzzey Photo
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What is Atma?
What about the record, Atma?
The term Atma or atman is a Hindu term. It means the self, as in our individual self. It also means the self as a higher self, like, as we go through changes in our lives, there’s something outside of us that’s a witness to everything but not affected by it. It is a part of us yet it is beyond us. At any given moment—right now—there are billions and billions of eyes seeing, billions and billions of ears hearing, there are supernovas exploding, there are black holes, there’s universe upon universe we don’t even know about. There’s every creature that’s living, there’s everything we can’t see, all the things we don’t even know exist, and it’s all happening in one moment. From moment to moment to moment, in all these little snapshots that we string together, it looks like it’s continuous, but in one moment, it stands still. It’s right here and right now and we can’t even think about it. The thought comes after the thing that already happened. That giant sense of all being happening in one moment—from rocks to shrubs to everything—that is also atman. It is the sea of consciousness. And it all sounds kind of dorky or gimmicky when it’s said like that but these are very difficult things to conceptualize and talk about but it is a fact. Everything we can’t see outside of this room is living and breathing and doing its thing. There are a billion children that are the center of their universe, a billion cats that are the kings and queens of their universe and nothing exists beyond what they want. Now extrapolate that out to every being—every shrub—in each moment being self-aware, self-important and yet having equal importance to every other thing all at once. It keeps going, that consciousness that all we share and take part in, it doesn’t need us. It doesn’t need our thoughts—our googoo and gaga—or our concepts. Like this whole diatribe that I just said, it doesn’t need me to say jack shit. It’s way beyond anything that we can even think of or talk about. And those ideas I find incredibly comforting. Whether human beings survive our neuroses or not, time will tell but all this has been around long before us and it’ll be around long afterwards.
Atma’s definitely got a lot of punch to it. There’s kind of an economy on this new record, in the riffs; how long they’re played and how they shift and change continuously. I was listening to a lot of Poison Idea and early Sleep, while I was writing this album; Animosity, Corrosion Of Conformity, early High On Fire, earlier Neurosis, not Pain Of Mind so much but like, Enemy Of The Sun, when they started getting mean. After getting to play with them, I tried to get a little bit of that into the sound of this record, too. And I also wanted the production to be hard, too. I mean, Sanford [Parker] did an amazing job on our last record but I wanted this one not to be as clean. You know, what brings me back to the first Cathedral record or Holy Mountain or Art Of SelfDefense or Surrounded By Thieves? These recordings are very visceral and rough and not clean or perfect yet the music is just breathing and clawing its way out of the speakers, you can barely contain it, you know? That’s what we were going for on Atma.
“It is the Sea of Conciousness”
Artwork for their new record ATMA slash snowboardmag // 73
PHIL JACQUES wearing the finger hood
trick : Frontside 180 To Switch 50-50 â€” photo : Joel Fraser
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