Numéro malchanceux - Février 2007
ÉDITO Texte tiré du site de Mr Chad Muska en personne. C’est donc en anglais, désolé... (de toute façon ça fait plus “cool”!)
JUST SAY NO TO BLANK SKATEBOARDS AND SHOP LOGO BOARDS
“So yesterday was a crazy day! I woke up and headed straight to Skips ditch where the I.A.S.C. (International Association of Skateboard Companies) got together almost every major professional skateboarder for a protest against blank skateboards and shop logo boards. I have to say that I agree with them 100%! I found out that these boards are taking up more than 70% of all sales! And that is crazy! The idea behind it is not that pro skaters need to make more money... Its that with out support for pro’s there are no icons of the industry for kids to look up to and inspire new generations of kids to go skate. And if shops just keep on selling their own products they take away money from the companies that give back to the industry and help keep it hype. I understand that some kids do not have the money to buy new boards and when they can, blanks could be the only option... But to the kids out there that can... Please support your favorite pro! And buy their skateboard! This will make sure that there is always new videos coming out and dope pictures to see in magazines and secure the future of the skateboard industry!!! Thank you. Holla! MUSKA- 12/06/06” 13
Après l’Édito en anglais, suivi de la lettre de Nike, encore en anglais, et bien, pendant que vous êtes chaud, voici donc, toujours en anglais, une entrevue avec Birdo (à droite sur la photo), réalisée par Mike Metcalf de Vitalskate.com; J’en profite pour les remercier tous les deux, ainsi que Leticia (à gauche sur la photo) sans qui, tout ce qui suit, ne se serait jamais retrouvé dans Versus. En espérant que cette entrevue fera comprendre à certains d’entre vous, le “pourquoi du comment de la chose”: DON’T DO IT
“Who the hell is ‘Birdo’?" That’s what my girlfriend said right after she finished proofing this interview. She doesn’t know dick about skateboarding, though I’m expecting that you might. Birdo is the man behind Consolidated Skateboards, and the madman behind the “Don’t Do It” Army (an anti-corporate campaign targeting Nike SB). After 10 years at the forefront, he has successfully built a following, MySpaced up a storm of propaganda, and even released a strikingly familiar shoe called the Consolidated “Drunk.” These days he’s still pushing the message, and even has something to say on the blank board issue. Enough from me, though; hear it all from the man himself… At what point did you decide to start the "Don't Do It" Army? We have had the “Don't Do It” campaign since ‘96-‘97, when the large sporting goods companies first really made a push. This last push for the “Don't Do It” campaign started in February of 2006.
How closely has your campaign been watched by Nike and other companies that you have targeted? Have you been threatened with legal action by anyone? I don't know (or really care) how close they watch. I thought before that they were capable of bugging my place, but I don't really care if anyone knows what I was doing. I haven't been threatened with legal action, at least not by any sporting goods companies. I don’t know what anyone would sue me for.
Do you think the movement by pros and customers to large companies can be stopped, or do you think the corporate grip will get stronger with time and eventually be accepted? Well, if we look at the direction that everything has been going for the past 10 years, the corporate grip is for sure getting stronger in different industries all around us. When you say, "accepted," I don't think that means that people embrace the idea, I think they just give up.
What brought about the Consolidated "Drunk,"? Do you plan to continue making footwear, or is it more of a one-time thing? It was a statement, telling corporate America you can't just take whatever you want. We are going to continue making them and selling them only through core shops. If they continue to sell, they will be empowering those who we believe are the soul and backbone of our industry. We hope that people will support the movement and encourage people to support other companies that do the same. Oh, and if we decide to do a "7.0" series, they will only be available in the core shops, too! Not the corporate mall and sporting goods chains.
What is the story behind the alleged "Consolidated Dunk?" Our former artist was approached to design a shoe, as were many artists. The company wanted an association with Consolidated and our artist said, "No way! It can have nothing to do with Consolidated." But when it was released, it was promoted as a Consolidated shoe.
Has the campaign against Nike helped promote Consolidated Skateboards in a negative or positive way? Depends on who you talk to. I can say I am thankful and inspired by the huge amount of support we have received for the campaign worldwide. I feel good about it, and I feel when I look back someday, the only regrets I would have had is if I didn't do anything, knowing I had the chance. I have no regrets.
What is it that you think attracted core skateboarders to the Nike brand after Nike had tried and failed twice before to penetrate the skateboard market? I think it’s twofold. I think the large sporting goods companies lured and enticed the core shops at a time when they felt they were getting no loyalty from other brands. I had skaters and shops say to me, "I know the large sporting goods companies are lame, but who should I support, then? Who doesn't sell to the corporate mall and sporting goods chains?" I didn't have an answer for that. And they said, "I gotta pay my bills". The shops were right! But the attitude, "who cares, fuck it, I’m gonna just get mine," is going to be the demise of our industry. I think we can both agree that the large sporting goods companies don't need any core shops for distribution of their products. They have a distribution that can serve almost everyone in the entire world. They just need them for legitimization. If they really cared, they would ONLY sell to the core shops. I know the mall chains appeal to the people who just wanna look like skaters, surfers, or snowboarders (which attributes to 90% of the sales). But who created that? Who does that market belong to? It belongs to the core shops that created and built it. Check out this link- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_rule. I think the romancing of the core shops is a step toward taking over the entire industry.
While they are pitting core shops against each other, guess who has the top selling shoe at the corporate mall and sporting goods chains? It’s no wonder the core shops are dropping like flies.
What do you think about huge companies like Adidas, who are only now starting to place an emphasis on skateboarding, but have been supporting pros like Mark Gonzales for several years? I see it as just keeping a stick in the fire.
Is there a "right way" for brands like Nike to incorporate themselves into the skate population?
Any names you want to call out? Hey Chet, I got your message from Leticia. Thanks, it’s all good!
Any brands you want to call out? I don't want to dilute my efforts, so no, not right now.
2007 plans for the "Don't Do It" Army?" Spread awareness like never before and have the most fun I have ever had doing it.
No; watch the movie "The Corporation." Seriously, rent it and watch it. I think it’s cool if skaters want to hire businessmen to help them with things, or to do things the skaters might not want to do. But if a bunch of businessmen want to hire skaters so they can exploit them, I say fuck that! Our industry is like the last refuge of the American dream. There are hundreds of companies owned and run by skaters, surfers, and snowboarders. I am not saying it’s pure, and I know its becoming more poisoned each day, but can you tell me of some football, baseball, basketball, and soccer playerowned companies? Shit, those sports have been around for a long time! Way longer than skating; there should be tons, right? Try none.
If you were gonna give $100 bucks to a charity, you would for sure look into where it was going, and what you were supporting. Well, when you buy something, you are doing the same thing. Support what you want, but know what you are supporting. I don't hate anything, and I encourage people to do what they want. But a lot of times, what you see in the mags and on TV is just what someone wants you to see. I just want people to know what’s behind the curtain and think. Money IS power, but YOU are in control, because all the money comes from you, the consumer. So take the wheel! And if you read this, thanks!
Do you think it's good or bad that these large companies have the money to pay pro riders larger salaries?
Encore merci à Mike Metcalf @ Vitalskate.com, ainsi qu’à Birdo & Leticia @ Consolidated skateboards pour cette entrevue. Pour plus d’informations, allez voir les sites suivants:
The only way these sporting goods companies can continue paying the riders is by taking other companies' market share and putting them out of business. If it wasn't purely for the money, they wouldn't have pulled out twice before and cut their team. For the riders, I say let them get it while they can. We even did an ad that said, "Ask for a raise and lock 'em into a long-term contract."
How do you respond to the people who say you take a "fanatical" stance on the Nike issue? I have been living the dream with Consolidated for 15 years now. I love what I do. I get to do whatever I want. There have been very few times over the past 15 years that I ever thought "I don't want to go to work today". Its actually the opposite. I know I could get a job. I know I could get one making more money than I make now, but that’s not what it’s about. Sure, we all need to make money, but the American dream isn't the game of Monopoly. It's making a living doing something you love, not becoming manager at Wal-mart. So you can call it "fanatical," but the ability to have your own business and be able to do whatever you want is the raddest feeling in the world. So I am just fighting to preserve the dream I am living and to try and ensure it for the next generation of skateboarders.
www.vitalskate.com www.consolidatedskateboard.com www.dontdoitarmy.com www.myspace.com/dontdoitarmy
Max B.: ollie photo: Andrew Poudrier 13