90East Release #26

90East release #26 is now available here in the online shop and also at our selected dealers. Thank you for your continued support. -90East

90East x Skapegoat Freecoaster Hub Now Available

The 90East x Skapegoat Freecoaster Hub is now available here in the online shop and also at our selected dealers. Thank you for your continued support. -90East

Theories: Seth Ethier – “Today I Got Time” DVD

-Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

“Today I Got Time” is an independent video project from 90East crew member Seth Ethier who traveled up and down the East Coast as well as overseas to document what happens when you’re committed to meeting new people, riding new spots and having a good time in the streets. I asked Seth some questions in our latest “Theories” article to supplement the DVD which is available in our online shop.


1. What was the motivation for making the video?

I made a few short videos in the past with the people I grew up with called the Proven Videos. As I got older I got influenced by 90East and other videos to make more. Also It was influenced by traveling and meeting new people.

2. Where did you travel during the filming of the video?

I went to Japan, Spain, France, Columbia. In the US I was in NYC the most but also went up and down the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Florida. Alabama was sick too.

3. How did you chose who had parts in the video?

I bumped into Stephen Klein randomly when he came up to Boston with Grimaldo and then through him I met Mcthuggin, thats how the video got mainly got started. Also Matt Mantis lived up here in Boston for a bit and I ended up riding with him a lot. Terrence O’Brien, Shane Byrnes, and Zeeky I grew up with in Oxford and always rode with them So it was natural to film them. Joey Piazza and Johnny Monaco got involved through McThuggin, Thats basically how it all came together.

4. Any run ins with the police, camera problems, or injuries while filming?

No injuries which was surprising. No Camera problems except me learning the camera as I went along. McThuggin did get arrested at my wedding though.

5. Did Coronavirus lockdown effect the filming of the video?

Not really except it slowed down the traveling. I wanted to go a few more places but it did help me get the video done because it gave me time to edit. It did make it easier to ride especially in NYC, theres a lot of stuff that you would be able to ride before that you can now.

6. What camera setup did you use to film?

Canon t6i with Opteka fisheye

7. I enjoyed the soundtrack, How did you choose the music for the video?

It really just came down to music that I personally fucked with. Especially French Montana, theres 2 songs in there from his Coke Boys 2 tape. This dude Bouba Savage we randomly came across in NYC put me onto Joey’s song. The other songs from Currency, Infanite, Lloyd Banks, Termanology, Fabolous, Chief Keef is all just shit we we been bumpin.

8. Did you set out to hit particular spots or would you guys just ride whatever was around?

We had spots in mind but most of the time we would end up going to a spot and just hitting stuff on the way or around the actual spot. Some of the stuff was in neighborhoods of rappers that I liked. I would just want to see what their neighborhood was like and ride stuff there. Most of the time that led to nothing but its still fun.

9.What’s next, another video?

I would like to keep traveling and filming just the same. Its a vacation more or less, a documented vacation that isn’t a vlog.

10. Are you into any Conspiracy Theories?

I’ll listen to any of them and make a decision. I’ve done some looking into 911. Rumors usually have some truth to them.

Theories: Robin Slootmaker & Allen Liu – “Social Distance” DVD

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Despite producing the majority of BMX parts and frames for the rest of the world, Taiwan has yet to put out a full length DVD project until now. I asked Robin Slootmaker who produced the DVD and Allen Liu of Stash Taiwan Distribution some questions about the project in our latest “Theories” article. The “Social Distance” DVD is also now available in our online shop.

1. Making a full length video is not easy, What inspired you to make this project?

Robin Slootmaker: It was a confluence of things really. Back when we started it felt like there wasnt a lot of BMX content I was really enjoying. Everything seemed advertisement on cookie cutter spots. It was always in the back my head to make a full length loosely based on Taiwan and inspired by the videos I grew up watching in the early 2000s. Something more from the soil. I have always been into independent videos, brands, and projects in BMX. Thankfully now it seems like are more and more of these independents popping up.  

 When the Thorogood brothers visited from London and shared their scene based dvd project SHOP it really solidified the desire to create something tangible for me. Basically their second trip really precipitated this project. I mean having them come film, ride, shoot photos got us stoked. Archie and Chase came right after and we were going every night and weekend filming and riding. Zef was moving back to New Zealand after graduation so we wanted to make something before he left as well. Allen was coming up to Taipei a bunch, we did some trips over Chinese New Year, and by the end we were linking up every weekend to film. After Corona hit the world and we were still riding and filming and Allen and I looked at what we had and were like fuck it lets make it something tangible and not just passing bits and bytes on the internet. Ive been low key brocam filming stuff for over a decade with no real projects or direction just to document riding and life in Taiwan the last 7 years. This seemed like the opportunity dive in on something tangible that captured a unique time, place, and people and share that. Hopefully it gets people stoked to get out explore and try and create something. If you dont see the shit you like in what you do, or enough of what you like, go out an make it happen.

Allen Liu: I’ve been talking about making a full length video for over 5 years or so, it just never worked out and we ended up sitting on too many old clips that we’re never used. The problem is, its really hard to have a certain crew to commit to going out filming on a regular basis. For me hard copies of full length videos stand out way beyond any web videos, not to mention the Instagram clips.

2. What was the filming process like? Did you guys have spots and tricks in mind that you wanted to film or did you just pedal around and find stuff to do?

AL: It goes both ways, we usually have certain cities or spots that we want to go film and ended up finding more shit to ride along the way.

RS: Starting out it was pretty casual just pedal around look for spots and or take people to spots we know. Allen and I have a pretty extensive list of spots all over the island. I spend a bunch of time just wandering aimlessly through cities just observing. When I find something I will take picture and note it as a spot to come back to. Since we dont really ride or look for standard spots the set up really dictates the trick. Usually there is some learning curve on how to use the obstacle/shape and then to get something your happy with. I always just walk away after I land it one time, if it feels good and I roll away, its okay with me haha. By the end of the video we were going specific missions to get particular spots. Steel rails are rare here haha.

3. What camera setup was used for the video?

AL: I’ll let Robin answer this. He’s in charge of all the camera gear.

RS: The initial set up was a Sony VX-2000 with an Optima fisheye then I upgraded to the VX-1000 with the Century MK1. Cant beat the standard definition look and feel of it, Im a sucker for that early 2000s aesthetic. Around the the middle of the filming process the VX-2000 shit out and we ended up using the capture cam, a TRV-19, as the second angle camera. Nothing wrong with using new shit, its more convenient for sure, but I like the process and the feel of tape. We currently live in a hyper instant gratification media landscape its nice to slow down.

4. The video comes with a zine also? What is the idea behind the content in the zine?

AL: I gotta say, I believe most of the photos in the zine weren’t mean to be in the zine. We pretty much were just shooting whatever we felt in the moment of the trips and life out here in the Taiwan streets. All the photos were taken by Robin, Archie and Alic, which is a completely foreign point of view to look at Taiwan, I thought it was a sick idea.

RS: Last time I was in the states my dad gave me his old Olympus XA. I really didnt know much about film or photography but I got super into it. Kinda threw myself into learning it. I work in a pretty grimey industrial urban jungle zone in Taipei, so on my lunches I pedal look for spots and take it all in. In my neighborhood there are always goings on, never a dull moment. Being a foreigner living here itss all different for me everyday, it is kinda an adventure. I just pedal around and try and capture the essence of whats happening around me. The small compact camera and the feeling of 35mm film just feels better than snapping random shit behind a cell phone screen. I like taking time to just observe, waiting to develop, again its a way to slow down, actually think and experience something versus a pic just thrown on Instagram to be instantly forgotten.

 The zine is a way to try and share the fabric and essence of what makes living in Taiwan so great from the ground up. Its a special, fascinating place, little understood and underrepresented. Taiwan has become my adopted home and I just wanted to share that.

 Archie Kenward and Alec Thorogood supplied most of the riding photos from their trips here. When I said I was compiling something for a zine I asked if they wanted to send anything for the project. Couldnt be more stoked on what they sent through.

5. I believe you guys mentioned that this was the first BMX DVD to come out of Taiwan. Thats pretty incredible considering that Taiwan produces the majority of BMX bikes and parts that the rest of the world uses. What has the scene been like over the years in Taiwan?

RS:think Allen will speak better to this but as a foreigner living here for 7 years I feel pretty embraced by the scene here albeit theres some social distance sometimes haha. From what Ive observed the scene ebbs and flows and each city has a different flavor.

AL: BMX has been on the island for over 30 years I believe but the culture’s just never continued to grow. For the past 15 years I’ve seen people come and go and I feel like the crew changes completely every decade in Taiwan. Majority of people here still treat it as stunt bikes with people wearing big helmets and uniforms joining contests. That’s the reason why we wanna flip that image over by introducing a more street approach stuff to really show people the other aspect of BMX.

6. How did the Covid pandemic effect the filming of the video? Were you guys on a strict lockdown?

RS: Besides Chase and Archie leaving a bit before scheduled and a slight feeling of impending doom in the air, there was no tangible impact and there was no lockdown.

AL: I’m proud to say that, it’s totally fine filming here through the whole pandemic thing. Our government was doing a great job handling Covid-19 in the beginning so we didn’t even have any signs of community spread. Plus, BMX to us is always “social distancing” cause we don’t really like to film with the people around. You can tell from the video and zines that I never wear a mask when I ride.

7. Do you personally know anyone effected by Coronavirus?, and how is the situation now?, Does it seem to be under control?

AL: Chase had pretty serious respiratory tract infection during the stays in Taiwan which kinda freaked me out, I think he was the first one I’ve known who actually got to the Covid test, it was all good tho, negative.

RS: Ya, only in the US, Europe, and India though. Taiwan arguably had the best and most swift response world wide. The VP here is a John Hopkins trained epidemiologist and there was a pandemic response team in place. Using the universal healthcare here we were all allotted masks and sanitizers, tests are cheap, available and offered to anyone. Clear calm daily updates, contract tracing, active testing, and people following rules all led to no community spread. As of writing this there are more Covid cases in the White House than Taiwan as a  whole country.

8. Any injuries, run-ins with the police, or camera trouble during filming?

AL: I think most of guys were good through the whole process of filming. Zef went down hard by hitting the huge kinker, and I sprained my ankle at exactly the same rail when filming for my ender clip. We think that rail is cursed. As for the Police, they are never an issue.

RS: Chase thought he got covid and got tested and self quarantined for a few days. But it was just a heavy beer/cig diet. The same rail sent both Zef and Allen to the hospital with similar ankle injuries. Pretty lucky for the most part though injury wise, besides Allen and Zef. Police here are chill, they usually roll up and say something like be safe.  Security seem to care a bunch more but its actually the nutty civilians that freak out. I was taking a picture of this rail hop and this guy just totally lost his shit screaming going crazy for being in front of his building. 7 cops ended up coming and surrounding me. Definitely not comfortable as a foreigner trying to explain in Chinese to them I didnt do anything  and this guy loosing his head. They made me play them the tapes on the VX1000 and watched 1 by 1 though the little view finder but I hadnt filmed any thing so they left me alone and that dood just looked hella crazy. There was another time we got chased by the cops with reason, but Ill leave someone else to tell that story. Besides loosing the VX-2000 and the VX-1000 over heating while wrapping up Zefs part, and some shit coming loose in the TRV-15 we lucked out with the antiquated equipment.

9. There is a lot of night footage in the video, is that by choice or did it just happen that way?

AL: I’d say it just happened naturally because most of us are hustling working during the day time and we just always end up riding and filming at night time. Waking up early at 5 AM to film a clip will not happen here tho (S/O to Pegy and D). They are crazy!

RS: We both work full time (9-6) in offices and live in different cities. Most of the footage is after work or on the weekends, so night was really the most logical time to film. I like the aesthetic as well, lit up spots, spot light with the fish, its just like a little window onto something much larger and hidden out in the dark. The normally packed streets empty out and you can kinda just do what you like.  Also whats better than cruising around massive dense cities devoid of people with some beers looking for new spots?

10. Are you into any conspiracy theories?

AL: Not really, but I do like to hear conspiracies tho lol. Taiwanese people like gossip.

RS: No, I am an Occams razor person, the simplest answer is usually the best answer.  People with money and power want to keep their money and power and will go to absurd lengths to achieve this. Its been this way throughout history. Truth is usually stranger than the fiction we come up with to explain away what we dont get anyway. I dunno for example using social media to homogenize society and steer people’s opinions and to purchase useless shit is pretty clear. There is no conspiracy with that.  If youre talking flat earth bullshit on the other hand, get outta here with that ignorant shit haha.

Theories: BMX Video collectors – Brandon Kline & Dillon McClain

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

While its obvious to give attention to brands or video productions, what really makes these things possible is the people that spend their money to support them. The video itself started as a means of advertising with an end of selling a product but over time transformed into an art of its own. This article is a quick interview with Brandon Kline (@Brandonkline) and Dillion McClain (@Hardcopy_bmx_archive), two people who’s love of the art of the BMX video has led them to collect the majority of hard copy videos from the past 20 years.



1. Lets start with the obvious questions. About how many videos do you own and when did you start collecting?

BRANDON KLINE: Few shy of 500. Around 300 are dvd and the other 200 are vhs. The first video I ever got was probably 1998 when I was 13. One of the older guys in town made it for me. It had until monkeys fly, face values and chain gang on it. I was pretty much hooked on videos at that point. I’ve worked at the same bike shop since 2003 so that’s made it easy getting videos as they’ve come out over the years. It wasn’t til 4-5 years ago that I really become obsessed with trying to find a bunch of old videos.

DILLON MCCLAIN: Right to the numbers, Here we go. Excluding DVDs I’ve got more than one of, the current count is 539 dvds in house, 12 currently in transit, and about 30 more on the hook or being held in a few different countries by some good people. In the year 2003, I got the Animal “Can I eat” dvd. This was my first dvd and I loved it. Watched it a thousand times. As I grew up, I occasionally bought videos. I wasn’t trying to collect them at that time, just got some when I had money to spare. Due to a bad injury in 2010, I had to take a break from BMX and it looked like I’d never be able to ride again. I sold all the DVDs I had at the time to a friend of mine. Seven years later, the hard work of trying to get back to my bike had paid off and my body became well enough that I could ride again! So I bought my old dvds back from my friend and started buying new ones. Had a huge culture shock seeing what BMX had become in the years I was away. This sparked a passion for collecting DVDs from the past years of which I’ve missed out on.

2. What are the criteria for a good video in your opinion?

BK: Gotta have good riding and music for sure. When I think about videos I really love though the one thing they have in common is you can tell the crew is all homies. Sometimes ill watch a video were the riding,filming and music is on point but the video seems like a bunch of randoms dudes thrown together. I guess what I’m saying is I like a video were it feels like the dudes ride and chill together.

DM: The type of videos I most enjoy are the ones that highlight the “have fun” aspect of BMX. The ones that make you laugh and think to yourself “my friends and I would probably do the exact same thing”. I typically enjoy those over any major releases, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy seeing a DVD from a bigger company. The trouble with those bigger companies now is that certain aspects of street riding have become so trendy that it’s common to see the same tricks in those DVDs other than the bangers at the end.

Brandon Kline, Photo: Chriss Huckaby

3. All time favorites and why?

BK: This is a hard one I love so many videos. Trash might be my all time favorite video. The progression of street riding and the raw feeling of that video is amazing. Nowhere fast, Animal Can I Eat, Standard Domination, FBM all time low/ Albert street, Ells Bells videos man the list could go on forever. All those videos are so good in so many ways the riding, music and just the vibe of the crew is amazing. Some of my favorite videos in more recent years though would be the ALYK series and Banned series. Those video series have been so good. They are completely different styles but they both amazing riding and I think they both capture there scene so well.

DM: Deadline, Facad, Strangways2(UK),Business2(Canada)

Deadline – That amazing intro. The outrageous riding from the crew. And of course the 15 minutes of Garrett Reynolds GOLD at the end.Facad – The authentic mid 2000’s feel that video has. The energy is very chill then picks up a lot for Seth’s part which then sets you up nicely for Mike Hoder’s part. His best video part to date in my opinion. The last clip is pure insanity, if you don’t know it Youtube that. It’s nuts even by today’s standards. Strangeways 2(u.k.) – The filming and music are exactly what I’m looking for in a street dvd. It has that classic street vibe with some really pleasant fisheye work. Filmed mainly around Manchester with a solid crew of guys. Music is a lot of mid 90’s east coast (USA) underground hip hop with some other musical genres mixed in as well. Gets me stoked to go ride every time. Business 2. (Canada) – This one is a blast to watch. It has the feel of a big budget and represents multiple levels of talent. Showing that you don’t have to have a whole crew of assassins to have fun and put out an amazing video. If I had to choose a “deserted island” DVD this quite possibly would be the one.

4. Do you think there has ever been any merit to the “video of the year” announcements that the media makes?

BK: I don’t really think so. Its a good effort and I appreciate what they try to do but I definitely think it could be done better/different. 2018 for instance had so many amazing full length videos come out and hardly any of them even got a mention. It just had me wondering who the hell actually gets to vote and what videos did they fucking watch. Cause we must have watched some completely different shit. I also think there should be another category or something too. It’s hard to compare one dudes 5 minute long part to a whole crew who filmed a full length. I also feel like the riders should have more of a say and not just the “pros”. Ive spent the last 20 plus years buying every magazine and video I could get my hands on and I know a ton of other people that can say the same. Seems like all those people should have a say in things like this. After all we are BMX not the “industry”.

DM: No I’ve never watched a single one or paid any attention to the Nora cup. I’m not a fan of the industry trying to make BMX into a sport that values being the best over having fun. The guys winning that stuff know they are very talented so I never really understood what the point was I guess.

5. What appeals more to you, a big budget video with the highest paid riders/filmers or a small brand/local crew video?

BK: I enjoy watching videos of both kind but lately the small guys have been killing it. 2018 was an amazing year for full length videos and all my favorite ones were from small crews/companies. Lightworks, US/Them, Alyk, 90East, Duts Comp, Daily Grind all came out in 2018 and were all from small brands. Seems like a lot of the big guys are just about web content and not real into putting out full length videos at the moment.

DM: Small/ local every time! Guys doing it for the love and experience of filming each other and having fun.
Nowadays I feel the riding in most of the bigger budget videos is just a reflection of what’s been poplar on Instagram in that time period. With originality few and far between. Harsh, right? That’s why I look for the older stuff by those bigger companies.

6. There is still a debate surrounding SD/4:3 vs HD/16:9. Do you have any preference in viewing either of these or do you not care about the format of a video and what camera its filmed with?

BK: The camera the video is filmed with doesn’t matter at all to me. You can have all the best equipment and still film a shitty video. Look at the Banned video series for instance. Its just filmed with whatever camera was around and tons of bro footage but the videos are amazing. I filmed personally with a vx for years and loved that thing but mainly film HD these days.

DM: Personally I enjoy seeing people make the most of what they have. I’ve got some old UK street stuff filmed on shit cameras with the thin black bars on each side of the frame and they are still very enjoyable to watch. Although if you have the funds to go “Joe Simon” with it, that’s bad ass.


Dillon Mcclain, Wall ride tuck
7. Instagram has changed how video content is viewed. Do you think it has effected the latest generations desire to watch or produce a full length video?

BK: Ya I definitely think its had an effect. It’s just a difference in how they grew up and learned to view media. I grew up buying videos and reading magazines cause that’s how you found out what was going on. Its not the same for them anymore and I feel like they kinda dismiss things that don’t fall into the media format they are familiar with. There is some exceptions to this though so I don’t think we have to much to worry about. Long as bmx riding exist I think there will always be people making full length videos.

DM: Yes, completely. Why film for months/years when you can “flex on Instagram “ is usually the view point of the younger generation. I’d say Instagram did a lot more damage to BMX than just kids desire to make full length videos.
When I was younger, if you ran into another dude on a BMX bike, you guys were instantly friends. Now it is not even close to something like that. This aspect has been the hardest thing to witness since coming back.

8. Do you buy any of the digital downloads or iTunes videos? Also do you watch or bookmark any favorites you might have that are on Youtube/Vimeo only?

BK: I pretty much try and buy every video I can so ya I buy from iTunes and digital downloads. There is a few online only things that come to mind but always first is the Scavenger Pop Off edit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve went backed and watched that. Its so fucking good!

DM: Yeah I still buy those digital downloads if that’s the only option. Gotta see it somehow. Though if it’s amazing I may try to reach out to the editor and see if they would make me one. Depending on who that person may be. Youtube and Vimeo are good for stuff I’ve not got my hands on yet or can’t find a hard copy of anywhere. I’ve been able to see some videos on those websites that then become videos I’m most trying to find for purchase.
As for non-full length web videos, I don’t ever watch new stuff by the bigger companies. Not unless there’s an older name in there I want to see.


9. Are there any videos that you missed out on buying and wish you owned?

BK: Ya there is a ton of videos I wish I owned that I don’t. Most of them came out before I was riding or I was riding but just young and didn’t know about them. Bunch of mid 90’s trail videos I wish I had and some early Ells Bells stuff that’s pretty high on my list to find.

DM: So many videos from 2010-2017 I’m hunting for now. Around 200 DVDs that I know of and I’m constantly adding to that. So if you have DVDs don’t be too surprised if you catch a DM from me.

10. A lot of BMX riders and fillers watch skate videos for inspiration, Do you watch skate videos at all? If so any favorites that come to mind?

BK: I don’t watch a ton of skate videos but I definitely watch some. Probably watched Baker 3 more than any other skate video. I also watch all the nine club podcast does that count haha

11. Are you into any conspiracy theories?

BK: Stop filming with a skateboard and use a bike………

DM: I believe the Moon landing was fake. Man has never set foot on the moon. Look up the “Van Allen belts” then listen to NASA talk about how they “lost” the technology to overcome this problem and now are unable to send humans safely through that radiation. But, they were able to do it in the 1960s? With suits that look like they would rip like a paper towel if you gave them a tug.

Theories: Mason Gray & Badventures

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Mason Gray has had a history of putting out creative and solid printed works amidst the current ‘print is dead’ era. In conjunction with his latest release I asked Mason some questions regarding his new book and about the Badventures brand  for our latest “Theories” article. The book “13-A” is now available in our online shop.

What was the inspiration for starting Badventures and who is involved behind the scenes? 

I got into zines & all that when I was really young through Union Press done by Brad Hill & Prashant Gopal. The local shop I used to kick it at all the time had gotten a few of the first issue and I just thought it was really cool that somewhat local dudes had put that together, it just made Canadian BMX look tight. After that I ordered a bunch of Yo Sick issues and it was pretty much set immediately in my 16 year old brain that I wanted to try and make a zine.

I do all the art & design and handle everything else for it though. I’ve been interested that stuff for as long as I can remember but I have a hard time sitting down and making something unless I’m really into the idea. This sorta gives an outlet for that because I can do whatever I want with it really haha, have had quite a bit of free time since shoulder surgery in July.

That being said though, I like to bounce idea’s off Jack (Leonard) & all the team dudes, nice to get their input so they have a say in the direction things take.

– I like how you assembled a crew to represent Badventures. What led to the decision behind that and what are the next plans? 

I’ve always wanted to have a crew or team of some sort, I mentioned I had surgery earlier this year and with the time off due to that and a small amount of financial backing I was able to sorta sit down and make it happen. All the dudes I picked are all people who expressed an interest in the brand long before there was a chance of getting free shit haha. All just good dudes with similar outlooks on BMX and how it should be.

I’d like to say that a full team video in the future would be ideal but, I don’t want to jinx it. We’ve got some of the dudes cooking some video stuff up though, other than that just to make more books & clothes. Got a few things planned for that.


-Were are living in the supposed “post DVD” and the “print is dead” era. What do you make of people in the industry hyping up those two narratives? 

That one’s sorta funny to me, people harped on it so much that everyone actually just started making zines & doing DVD’s again. If you’re someone that actually follows the people in BMX who are doing the shit that matters and not just trying to come up on a cheque, you’ll see theres plenty of print titles and videos still coming out in a tangible format. Of course the bigger magazines took a dive but its only a matter of time until another pops up to take its place. Stuff like Challenger, and all the crews & individuals making their own books are proof of that. People have an interest in it there’s just not a central platform for it all currently, u feel me?

– Any photos from you have always a very real and genuine feel. Are there any processes you follow to get shots like searching out certain scenarios or do you just shoot whatever comes your way? 

Thanks man, I appreciate that. I don’t really plan anything, my friends were always just doing some funny stuff when we would be out riding or hanging out. I sorta started off just trying to document that stuff, then moved on as I got a little more into photography. All the more street photography oriented photos are from when I’m just out doing whatever, lately I’ve been slacking on it but for the past few years I’d make a point to have a camera on me even if I was just going to the store to grab beer or something. You never know what you’ll run into and missing something you know would have been a good photo because you were too lazy to grab your shit is up there with the top 10 worst feelings ever.

– If someone were to ask, what would be the “artist statement” for the 13-A book? 

I would say it’s a collection of photos documenting a sort of rougher side of life one might see while out cruising around any given city with his friends. From broken mannequins w tribal tattoo’s & crack-pipe cleaning demo’s, to bouncer’s choking people out and terminally ill smokers there’s quite an array of characters & things featured throughout. Of course there’s plenty of BMX photo’s sprinkled in, but the aim was definitely to make this one more street-photography oriented. I’m not sure if that counts as an artist statement but thats all I’ve got right now.

– Your layout and design is always on point. Do you have any formal schooling in that or do you just freestyle? 

Thanks man, I was in school when I was 18 for Graphic Design briefly and it just wasn’t for me. They had me making websites for funeral homes and all this other wacky stuff, found it really hard to drag myself through it haha. Dropped out after I finished up my first term, and that was 4 years ago. I’ve sorta just been trying to teach myself by trial & error I guess making stuff on my computer and following that sort of stuff since. I spend a lot of time just sitting and editing photo’s, or scanning drawings to mess around with, it’s mad fun.

– Whats your current and favorite camera gear and film? 

For photo’s I usually use a Contax T2, I have an old Minolta X7A & a bunch of random other thrift store point and shoots I’ll pull out from time to time though. I like using Portra 400 for colour and Tri-x or Ilford Plus pushed to 800 for B&W stuff. Gives it a cool look.

For filming I have a VX2100 with a MK-1 fish. Hasn’t got much use the past little but I got plans for it this spring.


Mason Grey by Andrew Phillips

– What do you think about the media landscape of BMX at the moment?, Any crews/videos you look out for? Is there any stuff you avoid? 

Uhhh, a few crews out there I like. TeamSAF, AMPM, Skapegoat, Strangeways, Flukelife, ALYK, a lot of the stuff coming out of Vancouver & Philly these days is good. Same with the UK. I really wish there was more coverage of the East Coast and everything happening there, can’t get enough of the grime. Got mad love for anyone making BMX look fucked up and gritty. There was something in that Fathead piece on DIG recently about how the old ‘pro lifestyle’ is a lot different than it is now, like the individuals in the spotlight are more tame for lack of a better word than in previous years. A very good observation, and something that I wish would change haha. How are you ever truly supposed to get into riding as a young kid until you’ve seen your fav pro puke in a van on some shady roadtrip? I don’t know man, kids nowadays confuse me. That’s what got me so into it early on, all the characters that just genuinely exuded something different & seemed not to care about anything going on.

I’ll be brief but there’s definitely people out making BMX look pretty wack right now, but that’s not really news to anyone, so needless to say I definitely avoid a lot of stuff. I don’t know though, I try to immerse myself in the good side and not pay attention to that ish. It’s easy to avoid the crud if you just don’t partake, you know? Glass half full.

– I gotta ask, are you a Drake fan? 

Jake Frost’ gonna hate me for this one but I can’t really say I’m too into the 6ix god. There’s one song that remind’s me of an island with palm trees and shit for some reason and I used to be into it when it would play at work but I haven’t a clue what the name is and I really can’t describe it other than that. I guess I’m just in the dark on it all.

– Are you into any conspiracy theories? 

Oh buddy, you ever heard about the Radioactive Sewer Worm-man that escaped from that Russian freighter off the coast of Jersey?

Ok so, the FBI finds this body after the ship just disappears right. They do an autopsy on it and find these little worm like leech things inside him and naturally have their suspicions about it. The next day a guy working in the sewers gets pulled into the water by what he claims is an escaped python, and the FBI is sent to investigate. After a phone call is placed to the bureau later that day by another NJ Sanitation employee, they discover a full grown Radioactive Sewer Worm-man in a boiler room deep in the sewage plants catacombs. After a small skirmish with the beast, it finally eludes the grasp of the agents and escapes back into the sewage holding tanks from whence it came.

I can’t remember what happens next but there’s a really good documentary about it on Netflix called “The X-Files: S2 episode 2”



Thanks Mason

Theories: Chris Reyes & Face Value Zine

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Face Value is a new zine project from life long New Jersey BMX rider and Rodeo Peanut founder Chris Reyes. The zine focuses on raw street photography from the Philadelphia area. I have known Chris for a long time and have traveled many miles with him. He is never afraid to speak his mind or crack a quick joke. I asked Chris some questions for our latest “Theories” article to supplement the zine which is now available in our online shop.

-Your history in BMX goes back quite far. Your from Metuchen, NJ correct? How was the scene there growing up?

I started bmxing in 97ish. I had a chrome dyno air with black trispoke GT mags. That bike got stolen no longer than a year later and I ended up with a taiwanese Hoffman Taj, and that’s when things got hot and heavy. Metuchen was small, but had some spots. It’s like a small city, it wasn’t some backwoods town where you had to ride like 12 miles thru grass to get to the nearest ledge. We had a small industrial park with tons of banks, small banks to ledges/curbs, there was small ledges all over town and maybe even a wall ride if i remember correctly. I was also lucky enough to be a close train ride away from manhattan  and new brunswick, which had the real spots. Those cities are where I met a lot of people in bmx and probably would not have held onto bmx for so long if it wasn’t for those cities/people. The scene we had in NJ was tight, I remember meeting up with Jared and our soon to be crew for the first time ever during a new brunswick street session with probably close to 25 other people. I heard about this street session on AOL and next thing you know we’re eating grease trucks sandwiches and getting chased by cops. I guess its the same shit except now we’re all on instagram. It’s sick how you can make life long friends from something like this tho.

-The Jolly’s bank to ledge and the New Brunswick Black Rail are two spots that come to mind when I think of riding with you. Are you fond of those spots or any others in the area?

I loved those spots more than anything else back in the day. I couldn’t go a day without grinding that rail. It was an obsession we all had with that thing. Its insane. Jolly’s was amazing too, it wasn’t as close to us as the black rail, but you better believe we were there draining our car batteries with our headlights pointed at that shit on any given night.  That part of NJ had so many spots, so many classic spots that we even saw when we were younger in older videos like DQYDJ and Grizzle, we would find them and be hyped and they became staples for us. New Brunswick was by far my favorite place to ride, it had everything and you didn’t have to drive. Just the ability to pedal from spot to spot and not sit in traffic made that very appealing to me.

-On to the zine… If someone were to ask, what would be the “artist statement” for the Face Value zine?

The zine is focused on street photography, mainly portraiture. It ranges from drug addicts and strays to young kids and cops to  a few of my close friends. I love the idea of documenting the streets and showcasing its true grit, and after compiling and sitting on a few photos of my own I decided to put em into print. The zines are printed in Philly and hand numbered/stamped. This is the first issue in the series and expect  to see more in the near future.

-What camera or cameras were used to shoot the zine? Also what type of film?

I have a few different cameras that are in constant rotation. If I’m going out shooting I will usually have an SLR on me- either a canon f1 or canon eos a2. I will always have a point n shoot in my pocket as well. In my f1, I usually have ektar 100 film. Olympus stylus or Yashica t5 will have anything from tmax400 to portra 400 or 800 even. People always give me expired rolls of film too. I will use almost anything, but the ones i mentioned are my favorites.

-Philly can get a bit dicey in the streets and a lot of the photos in the zine are up close and personal shots. Did you end up getting into any uncomfortable situations while shooting?

There were a few uncomfortable situations. 99% of the time I am out alone. There have been a few times where I have felt cornered and had to leave the situation asap. I know my gear would mean nothing to them after they saw no digital screen on the body and know some shots just aren’t worth it. Philly is grimy and truth is I have been lucky. I look at street photography like street riding, you know from the start what you’re getting yourself into.

-I mentioned this to you before, but I particularly like the two page spread photo of the Cop on the dirt bike. That photo looks like its from some 70’s movie. What was happening there?

It was a few blocks away from home. I saw smoke from our street and decided to ride up there. As soon as I got there the cop sped off on his motorcycle from the side street where the fire was. I dont know why hes still dressed like its the 70s, maybe the cops in kensington haven’t updated their uniforms/motorcycle gear yet hahah.

-Some may not know this but you are a very early member of Rodeo Peanut. Can you explain how that came about?

Yea. Me, Jared, Alfredo and Brian Tunney were among the originals to start prankin pro bmxers. It was all fun and games and mostly jokes, we never hated anyone personally. I came up with the name in art class in high school by combining a coffee brand and a popular peanut brand. Long story short, that dumb ass name stuck since 2001. We would go on trips together and smoke weed and prank call people. They wouldn’t even answer and we would be laughing our asses off. Fast forward to the age of instagram and we got a lot more to make fun of.

-A couple years a go I was in LA and someone pointed out that Rodeo Peanut was  the biggest East Coast BMX “media” outlet and they were bummed it was based on making jokes or what some would consider negativity. I thought that observation was hilarious, your thoughts on that?

We are def making jokes. We def are negative towards how wack some shit in bmx is. I’m speaking for myself at least. But at the end of the day you can’t take that too seriously. Its just bmx and half the guys that were roasted on the instagram I have never even met/dont even know. You cant deny it, theres a big difference between real street riding and park riders riding street. We may be haters and negative, but we’re not that bad.

-Anyone ever directly threaten you over a Rodeo Peanut joke?

Yea of course. it usually always comes back to me for some reason hahahha. Im not gonna name names. We all know who made all the IG videos for rodeo peanut and now look at him. Im pretty sure he never caught any heat, he should be gettin roasted now for the videos he be making. I dont give a shit either. most of the riders names I know these days are people who I am actually friends with. I have never made a video for the rodeo peanut IG and probably never will. I will sell you a rodeo peanut shirt tho, so if you’re interested get at me.

-Are You into any conspiracy theories?

Yea, I’m into this theory that bmx/print/video making has been bastardized by the internet. I still love the internet tho. peace out and thank you Lino and 90 East.


Thanks Chris

Theories: Clarky & Sam Waller – The Central Library

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

The Central Library is a U.K. based project by Andrew Clarke (Clarky) and Sam Waller which focuses on selling interesting BMX based zines and DVDs sourced from crews and individuals around the world. Both Clarky and Sam are life long riders with unique perspectives on BMX that are usually not presented in the current day of pay to play mainstream BMXmedia. I asked both of them some questions about The Central Library, media, and world events for the latest “Theories” interview…



-What was the inspiration for starting The Central Library and who is involved behind the scenes?

Sam: The seeds were sown on a cold winter’s night on the outskirts of Manchester. Me and Clarky are both absolute suckers for splashing cash on videos and stuff, and often buy the same things, so it made sense that if we were both getting stuff shipped across the planet, we may as well just get a few more and make it into more of a thing.

I’m not going to lie – we basically ripped off a skating website called Palomino that sells loads of sick zines and stuff. Pretty much everyone we ride with makes things, so a more bike-centric version didn’t seem that much of a wild idea.

Not sure about Clarko, but I suppose long-standing independent outlets like Drag City and Corwood Industries maybe also deserve a mention on the inspiration front too if I want to sound snooty. I think it’s good when people can get hold of interesting things relatively easily.

Behind the scenes it’s all pretty high tech. We’ve got a fleet of drones for delivery purposes and we have warehouses in most major cities for rapid-fire dispatch.

Clarky: Yeah, we basically ripped off Palomino. I was into what you (90 East) were doing with getting videos from the UK into America. Record shops from the 90’s played a big part for me, I remember small outlets selling mixtape packs of early rave, jungle and hip hop. They were always run by people who really loved the stuff.

We started it because both Sam and I were buying zines and DVDs a lot from abroad, not just riding stuff but all sorts of stuff. We’re both pretty obsessed about physical copies of things for some reason. Really it’s just us expanding our own collections and getting more copies at the same time to save import taxes and postage costs. We just thought if we buy 10 more of the same thing and sell/trade them to friends, and then it kind of snowballed into a website. I’m not sure how legal this shit is, but we’ll just keep on until we’re ratted out.

Sam is a good wordsmith so he generally does the website and interviews. I house all the products on two shelves of my Ikea bookcase and post out the orders on my dinner hour. So usually if your order is wrong or late it’s my fault. A real high tech operation.

-Is there a sort of theme or basic criteria for stuff that you guys carry?

Clarky: Not really, it’s just meant to be an outlet for like-minded underground stuff that doesn’t really get acknowledged too much all in one place. It’s good to get stuff in lane if you know what I mean? Seems a shame to have good stuff rubbing shoulders with goofy pizza seats or wacky weed print garbage.

Sam: No real criteria. Sickness is sickness whether it’s a photograph, a t-shirt or a tea-towel. ‘Sickness’ isn’t limited to just riding stuff.

I guess the riding stuff makes up the majority of what we stock, as there are plenty of other ‘normal’ zine shops around, but it’s good to have some other bits. Again… I’d be buying it for myself anyway – so we may as well get a couple more copies to gather dust on the shelf.

-Were are living in the supposed “post DVD” and the “print is dead” era, But that is your main product on CL. What do you make of people in the industry hyping up those two narratives?

Sam: It’s all pretty boring really. I’d rather hear funny stories or something than listen to people whinging about things.

If the old magazines want to stop printing and start some wacky, flash-in-the-pan Youtube channel instead, then that’s fine with me. There’s probably zero business sense in printing magazines and burning off DVDs today, but that’s why the ones that do come out these days are interesting… people are doing it because they want to – not because they’re being paid to by shady conglomerates or multinationals.

On a different subject, I’d like to say a big thank you to Kellogg’s, Swatch and Maoam for all their help with the site.

Clarky: I probably put too much value on video and print but it’s a way of keeping it going, I think it’s important. I’m not against web videos — I watch shit on the internet all the time. Soon it’ll be ‘the website is dead’ and some nerds like us will be running a webpage shunning whatever the next medium it is to present this shit.

If riding was first shown through cave drawings or sculpture, someone would be saying that’s how it all should be presented.

-I know people can be sensitive about stepping on others toes when selling product in regards to shops and distros. Did starting The Central Library cause any beef on that front?

Sam: Hahaha, who knows? Hopefully people are developed enough not to be too bothered about two goons from the North West with a few DVD-Rs. Nowhere in England sells this stuff anyway so presumably the beef is minimal.

Clarky: I don’t even know. The reason it happened was because this stuff wasn’t being catered for in the UK anyway. It’s a pretty small fry operation and poses no threat… yet.

Even if it did, I wouldn’t be bothered. I like a bit of beef, it keeps you on your toes.

-On the info page of the site, you mention that CL is run “ by people with full time jobs, so if something takes a few days to arrive, bear with us”. What do each of you guys do for a day job?

Clarky: I’m a fitter at a factory that makes machines for hospitals. It’s a bit like Homer’s job in the intro to The Simpsons. I have to wear a silly looking protective suit, gloves and a hairnet all day. Daily duties usually consist of trying to do as little as possible, playing cards with the two Romanian cleaners and mostly sitting around waiting for parts to fit to machines. It’s an easy number and I’m under no illusion that the bubble may burst.

Sam: By day I work for a men’s clothes shop. My job is a bit like Elaine’s in Seinfeld when she works for J. Peterman. I write stuff about functional lightweight cotton overshirts and that sort of thing.

The highlight of my job was when I answered the phone to none other than television’s Michael Barrymore. That probably won’t mean much to American readers, but he was a big deal in England before a young man was found dead in his swimming pool with various unsavoury wounds. All that aside, Michael seemed like a very nice guy.


Sam Waller via TheFancyIsland Instagram. Photo: Wozzy


-Employment and money seems to be a hot topic in BMX at the moment with the recent TIP plus fiasco where some of their riders had payment issues. Being that you have full time jobs, ride, and continue to contribute great art in the form of videos/riding, what is your take on a situation like that?

Sam: I’m not too sure what this Tip Plus fiasco is, but to be honest it’s completely mental that people get paid to ride in the first place. From my outsider standpoint, it seems that people believe their own hype and start thinking they’re owed something for doing varying rotating motions on a small bicycle. It’s all pretty insignificant in the scheme of things.

Half of these people don’t even make videos or take photos or anything… they’re just chauffeured around from city to city like little emperors hunting out Wi-Fi. I don’t even know where these guys are from or who they normally ride with as they’re just shown on dream-team fantasy football concept trips instead. Pretty funny really.

Saying that, I 100% think Jambul should be living a life of absolute luxury thanks to his dope, Muska-esque style. It seems crazy that he has to pay for his XXXL sportswear out of his own pocket. The same goes for sensuous mini-ramp king Gareth Hunt (although I’m not sure he’d wear a XXXXXL basketball jersey). Those guys are loads sicker than any flavour-of-the-week goon nose-manualing across the moon for some zappy sherbet dib-dab edit.

Clarky: I see this stuff like I’m watching a soap opera. I love being on the outside and hearing all these murky stories about shady companies and riders with a sense of entitlement. What do people expect? As soon as riding is your job you’re fucked. Grinding handrails isn’t a legit job, why try and treat it as that?

I don’t know why people want to turn the good bit of life into work. Riding is an escape from all that, it’s a luxury if anything. Like most employers they don’t give a fuck about their employees. It’s the same as a contract builder being ripped off by the firm he’s contracted to work for. That happens all the time in ‘real life’, just because its bike riding doesn’t make it any different. People get all wound up about it because they’ve loved that brand from being a kid etc etc. You got ripped off mate, no use whining on the internet, either take them to court or torch the warehouse.

-From your point of view, what seems to be some differences in the way the US and UK scenes present themselves in the media?

Clarky: I don’t know man, they seem pretty similar media-wise. Hopefully you don’t judge UK riding by what Ride UK puts on its website. All those major sites are the same on both sides of the Atlantic, they pretty much make a living out of lazily taking without consent, re-posting stuff without any words or real consideration.

There are definitely good, interesting things going on in both countries though. I like the small underground networks that have developed away from the slop that’s tried to infiltrate in recent years.

Sam: Maybe the fact that there’s less ‘mainstream media’ here means the scene looks better? Apart from a few whack outlets that shall remain nameless, people here are sort of left to do things for themselves. People work through the day, ride a bit at the weekend, and maybe make videos or zines or whatever if they have the time. It’s all pretty basic and detached.

Maybe the useless weather helps out too. It rains at least 678 days a year here, so there’s plenty of time to practice outdated darkroom photography techniques for niche zines or mess around in After-Effects.

We have worse teeth in England too, so any sort of self-promotion posery is generally out the window.

-Clarky and I have spoken through email about a few world Issues recently, namely Trump and Brexit. Both of those issues have seemingly divided up the people within the UK and US quite a bit. What is your guys’ view on each of those? Were you for or against Brexit, and how does Trump effect your view of the US from the outside?

Sam: I don’t know very much about politics so I can’t really say much. I’m oblivious to most news and only find things out by reading front covers of newspapers at the shop whilst I’m buying chocolate bars or a refreshing bottle of Heineken.

That said – most of Britain is pretty wild. People get swept up with slick coffee bars and fancy apartments, but beneath this glossy sheen there’s men walking around with half their heads missing and ten year old kids getting their fingers chopped off. There are a lot of places where people are really struggling for pretty basic things and are completely ignored. When you’re in a shit situation, you’re going to go for the new option. These people have probably been lied to, but I can understand why they voted the way they did.

Clarky: I voted to stay in the E.U. I like Europe. Any way to make this damp island a little more like Spain and I’m down. I try and stay away from newspapers and outside influences at the best of times and try to use my gut instinct. It just seems like a step backwards to me and it’s usually the most vulnerable in society that end up suffering in these situations.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that Trump got in. You’ve had the Bush family business running the gaff before, The Terminator was governor of Califor-ny-yay which I buzzed off. You’ll probably have John Wayne or Marge Simpson running the country in a few years.


Clarky via Euroskum Instagram. Photo: Sean Malone


-Any plans for a next volume of the Strangeways videos? If so who is going to be involved?

Clarky: Yeah, very slowly. No time limit or deadline, just as it happens. It’ll be the usual cast of toe-rags and loiterers.

Sam: Either that or Clarky has just been filming people for his personal DV tape stash? I think stuff would be the same either way.

-Are you into any conspiracy theories?

Clarky: Not really, I can’t be bothered with all that stuff. I mean, I know shady stuff goes on all over the place and given half the chance I’d abuse my position of power too. I’m not losing any sleep over whether or not someone went to the moon, we shouldn’t be messing around up there anyway.

Sam: I get that there’s probably loads of crazy stuff going on that’s hidden from the masses, but I can’t really be bothered to think about it. I’m too busy sitting around on benches to be slo-moing 911 footage or taking soil samples at the grassy knoll.

Unrelated to conspiracy theories, now seems like a good time to say thanks to people like Ed Rush, Thomas Vidal and Rahlin Rigsby. I’ve never met these people, but they’re always the first to order something and must have very expansive DVD collections.

A lot of people like to spout off and talk loudly about ‘independent BMX’ and ‘core values’ and all that nonsense, but these chaps I mentioned above and countless others from towns I’ve never heard off are the ones who really support this stuff.


Thanks Clarky and Sam

Theories: Rob Dolecki & Maintain Zine

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Few people in BMX have traveled more miles and really lived the BMX lifestyle the way Rob Dolecki has. Following the release of the third zine in his independent “Maintain” series, I asked Rob some questions about the zine and BMX in general. Rob is a very interesting person, always has a refreshing perspective, and is not afraid to speak in depth on issues. Enjoy..

-The Maintain series involves a heavy amount of traveling and a wide variety of people. Do you plan all the traveling out ahead of time and know who you want to shoot or do you sort of wing it?

I’d say about 80 percent of the photos in the Maintain series are byproducts of trips I planned directly, and the rest are from trips I was invited on. Almost all the video footage is from trips planned and funded by me and my frugal ways. I enjoy experiencing different riding communities, especially in other parts of the world. Some of the purest enthusiasm for riding exists in places I never would have thought about going to 10 or 15 years ago. Not to mention the amazing riding architecture in many of those locations. But since most ride-able architecture is a limited resource at best, I’m not one to consciously blow out any particular cities (other than Mahwah, New Jersey). I try to let what I capture speak for itself and hopefully inspire those who like traveling for the right reasons.
As far as whom I want to shoot with in the Maintain series, photo-wise I’d say more often than not I’m just winging it. Video-wise, it’s pretty much the same. I try to seek out riders, scenes and crews who seem to present, in various media, agenda-free intentions and add them to my list of places to go and people to meet. All of those trips are really only possible due to the ridiculously amazing hospitality of the locals I meet or already know. When I do visit, I usually just document whatever comes of it; first and foremost, the priority is documenting the natives before anyone else.

-The drawings by Jeff Martin in the new issue are awesome, what gave you the idea to include that in there?

I’ve known Jeff for years, and have seen him really progress as an artist. He posts so much great stuff daily on Instagram. I always wanted to add some type of art to the ‘zine from day one, but I doubt my horrible stick figure drawings that look like they were drawn by a three year-old would enhance anything. So when I was starting Chapter III, I hit up Jeff about some ideas, and he was down. He put in so much work on the drawings; I can’t thank him enough. He also drew up the newest Maintain sticker, which came out amazing.

-Do any funny or interesting stories come to mind from the travels in this issue?

There’s some sort of story behind every photo that was used. I’ll try to keep it brief and pick out a few:
Chris Silva, Newark, New Jersey: in the mid- 2000s, during the post-9/11 security lockdown era at many buildings and landmarks in the NYC area, I had started setting up to shoot a riding photo at a rail in front of a federal building in Newark, New Jersey one evening. An officer patrolling the building walked up, started confiscating my camera gear, and put me in cuffs, with not a word said to me. 15 minutes after seating me in front of the building, he realized I wasn’t plotting to destroy the building and let me go. It was the first and only time I’ve been arrested for shooting a photo. Ten years later, I’m at the same building one summer evening with Chris Silva. It’s under construction, has this crazy wood wedge structure out front, and I’m climbing up the second-story scaffolding in front of the building in order to shoot that fufanu photo. It was kind of surreal, and pretty funny to me how chance, and the passage of time can significantly change the same experience at the same location.

Martin Ochoa, New York City: That was the first time I had ridden the Banks since they had closed 7 years earlier. They were (and technically are) still closed, but apparently the bridge repair work is now complete so it’s been a ghost town there, and sort of a free-for-all. Riding those red bricks was just as good as I remembered, even in the freezing temperatures that were upon us when I shot that photo. Martin wears shorts no matter how cold it is.

Jonathan De Loa, Mexico- That structure appeared to be a makeshift home for a few people, as well as doubling as a toilet with no plumbing facilities. You can sort of make out the piles of shit in a few corners. It smelled like roses.

Eddie Grabert, Philadelphia- I shot this less than a mile from where I live at about midnight. Under the El can get pretty grimy with all kinds of characters lurking, but I guess we caught a quiet night. The long exposure captured a ghostly image of one lurker standing in front of a parked minivan, though.

Trey Jones, Longwood, Florida- Burning coals and plywood isn’t a good mix. Road flares have a tendency to litter burning coals pretty frequently, so when we did the light trail photo at Trey’s backyard ramps, a hose was positioned close by to avoid any unintentional bonfires. Fortunately it was never needed.

Brandon Perez, Philadelphia- Grimaldo Duran was staying in Philly, and gave me a heads up that Brandon Perez wanted to try something that day next to the monumental Van Homan rail. A few tries later he pulled it. It’s such a huge drop; I don’t know how Brandon’s body put up with trying that truck driver more than once. Easily one of the crazier things I’ve shot in Philly. Grim also has a cameo, if you look closely at the photo.

Mariano Buzzalino, Buenos Aires- Due to a shitty economy and failing city infrastructure over the last few years, there have been random abandoned/ burnt out cars sitting all around Buenos Aires, Argentina. It reminded me of late 80s NYC (Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, specifically). There were so many, that I was able to film a full section of local friends riding them in Maintain II.V.

Steven Hamilton via @Doleckivisuals

-You’ve weathered the change in the photo industry from film to digital, and now from just digital cameras to cell phones. How have those changes affected your approach to photography?

I feel like my approach to shooting photos is still the same as it was 15 years ago (pre-digital), regardless of the medium being used. Whatever tool fits best for the situation, be it 6X6 film, or an iPhone. Obviously digital has made it a lot easier overall since that era.

-Back in the day you used Canon 35mm/digital equipment, then switched to Nikon. What equipment do you use now mostly and are you loyal to a brand or will you switch in an instant?

Ha, ha, I think we talked about that back in the day when I was contemplating switching to Nikon due to the superior DSLR offerings they had compared to Canon during a span of a few years. I’m glad I didn’t. Making a switch like that would have been a very, very expensive pain in the ass. Once Canon released the 1DX, I stopped thinking about changing to Nikon. That, a 5D Mark III, IR-converted 5D, Hasselblad 501CM, some random film point and shoot cameras, and a good old cell phone camera are my main tools. I don’t really care so much about which company is making the equipment, it’s primarily about what they are producing. Which is a lot different than bikes, where both are huge factors to me.

-You’ve been involved in all sorts of BMX media over the years from magazines to videos, and websites. What do you think about the current climate of BMX media (vlogs, twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc), and what changes can you see coming in the near future?

This is going to be a long-winded answer, ha, ha. It’s kind of crazy how much BMX media, and media in general, has changed over the years, even in the last three alone. Communication is easier than ever, which I like personally. But there is so much shit to sift through to find anything remotely of quality (a word with a broad definition) that is not also a simultaneous advertisement. Media “trends” seem to be changing so fast. In two years, ask the average 15-year-old what Vine was. It makes you think, what’s going to replace Instagram or YouTube in 10 years? And if they do end up going the way of MySpace, what was the point of all the insane amount of time and effort some people put into getting “likes and followers”? There is a possibility that “Like, Comment and Subscribe” might not mean a thing to anyone then.

There are plenty of entertaining things being put out on YouTube and Instagram. And Instagram is really the only social media platform I personally use regularly. I do find it strange that they’re becoming the hubs of BMX media for the average rider. Anytime a media platform is not controlled by riders (even if the content essentially is, based on who you follow), and the main priority is about potential revenue through views, you can’t help but question the integrity of so-called statistics that deem a video “popular,” especially when there is ad revenue generated from auto-plays. And Instagram … the algorithm-driven feed is kind of bullshit. I don’t believe Instagram should be deciding for me what’s priority viewing, as opposed to the old way of chronological appearance. I won’t get started on the sponsored posts.

On top of that, in the BMX world, the industry seems to be increasingly motivated to use these platforms as their primary avenue for sponsored rider exposure, more often than not via regurgitated content. Instead of some companies providing tools of promotion to the riders who represent them, it’s now mostly put on the rider to promote themselves. The balance is off, in my opinion. With Twitter, some riders would really benefit from having a content filter before posting whatever randomly pops into their head. But then again, this is Trump’s America, ha, ha. I don’t necessarily love or hate vlogs; for the most part I just don’t watch them. I have heard people make the comparison that the modern-day vlog is like Road Fools. Whether you love or hate the Road Fools series at it’s various stages, it really doesn’t compare at all for one point only—Road Fools trips were about the riders who were invited, not the people who made the videos. But I could be just some jaded old guy who has a disdain for overt narcissism.

Honestly, all that doesn’t really matter to me. Regardless of what’s next on the BMX media horizon, most likely I’ll still be riding and hanging out with and documenting the people I see representing the most real agenda-free sides of riding. Any media, and any representation of culture/community outside of showing bike tricks, will always be secondary to real-life experiences and interactions in culture/community. A healthy BMX future to me is one that involves a network of independent media and continued gatherings and events in the grassroots BMX communities. And I could see a new paradigm taking hold where the next wave of BMX companies avoid the more common models of operations that can include pushing gimmicks, fads, fake culture and/or self-promoting machines in order to sustain an unrealistic lifestyle today, for a different model that reinvests in and facilitates the growth and promotion of actual communities, the realest riders, and true culture for a universally prosperous tomorrow. Regardless of whether the media and industry evolve or disappear, real BMX culture will continue exist. Neither are essential components for its existence, no matter what anyone tries to say otherwise; history has repeatedly proven that.

-You have always killed it on the bike, but your footage in Maintain I.V is on another level. How do you stay healthy and continue riding well into your 40s?

Thanks man. For a number of years now, I’ve tried to make it a priority to take care of myself in the best way I can in order to help ensure that I can do the physical activities I enjoy for as long as I choose, be it riding for hours on end or hiking up a mountain all day. I feel as good as I did 20 years ago; I actually feel more comfortable on my bike and ride local terrain better now than ever. Maybe that’s just in part due to the compounding effect of consistently riding for years. I’m not really some health guru, though some things I choose to do or not do may not necessarily align with the prevailing notion of what a stereotypical bike rider is. I’ve been eating a primarily whole foods vegan (plant-based) diet for 20 years, don’t drink alcohol, and try to be active multiple days a week. That’s what I’ve found works for me. I do see real scientific evidence pointing to this, even when you read between the lines of so-called evidence proving something else. I’ve seen the signs of crippling aging in people 10 years younger than me, and have seen the destructive results of negative daily habits in people 20 years older than me. I don’t want to be living in a nursing home thirty years from now; I want to still be doing what I do now. Some have proven that true health can be a reality in your 60s, 70s, and beyond via a good diet/supplementation and exercise, regardless of pre-disposed genetics, and free of prescription meds and all the other conventional, yet debilitating so-called options to slow the onset of what could be potentially preventable and at times reversible, degenerative disease. For me it’s not really about trying to live longer; I just want to live the fullest active total life possible, regardless if my time is up tomorrow. If skipping out on McDonald’s burgers and weekend blackouts is one way to achieve a full life throughout the twilight years, then I’m going to continue doing what I do.

-Being that you are vegan and travel a lot, what restaurant and dish do you look forward to the most in your travels?

Too many- Austin is Mr. Natural’s Taco Salad and Snow Cake; Salt Lake City is Sage’s pizza night; Orlando is Ethos’ Coconut Curry wrap; Terri in New York City; Vegab in Krakow, Poland; Vegano Hooligano in Kiev, Ukraine; Pizza Vegana in Buenos Aires; Veggie Heaven in Teaneck, New Jersey; any falafel and hummus spot in Tel Aviv, Israel; and Ananda in Managua, Nicaragua, to name a few.

-What’s in store next for the Maintain series?

The II.V video will be dropping in the next month. It has 7 sections: abandoned/ wrecked cars in Argentina, Argentina/ Santiago, Chile streets, Philly mixed in with random NYC to DC, Salt Lake City snowbiking, Grimaldo and George Duran father/ son split section, a New England transition excursion in Henry the VW van, and a Ukraine/ Poland section centered around my longtime Ukrainian friend Anton Kutafin, who has a classic no-frills 2000s-era riding style that I really appreciate. The video is about 30 minutes long, and will be available as a small-run DVD/digital download/ zine combo. After that, I have a rough idea for chapters IV- VI, but they never really seem to come into their own until the previous chapter is finished first. I also have this idea for a documentary-style video, and possible print books of sorts that I’ve been compiling photos for over the last few years, but who knows. Ask me again in six months, and it may be an entirely different answer. The only absolute is that there are things in the works.

-Into any conspiracy theories?

Of course. I love them all, usually for the entertainment factor more than anything else. I do think some people like to label ideas which differ from the prevailing status quo that they align with as “conspiracy theories”, especially when they ignore facts and/or get overly sensitive when said ideas challenge their belief systems. So I’d rather not mention all of the ones I find to be more truth than hoax. A few theories on human genetic origins and time travel/ illusion of time are some I subscribe to the most. For anyone who’s experienced the wormhole that is my tardiness, they already know about my continuous attempts to divert from the space-time continuum.


Thanks Rob

Lord Leopold & Huscija Crew “Takeover” DVD

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Marko Mrđenović, aka “Lord Leopold” and the Huscija Crew out of Pula, Croatia just released their latest full length DVD entitled “Takeover”. This DVD as well as their previous projects have payed respect to a certain street riding aesthetic which they have continued and built on. I asked Marko some questions in our latest “Theories” article to supplement the DVD which is available in our online shop.

– Why is there so much night footage from your crew?, is it by choice or is it too busy to ride during the day?

I remember filming at night ever since I started making videos somewhere in 2006. The camera was shitty, we used a door spyhole for a fisheye and nobody liked it. Getting the Sony vx2100 was the best thing we could have possibly done back in 2012. She sees so well it would be a waste of tape not to film at night. We only end up filming in daylight when we’re going on trips because you know how it is.. you can’t go to London and wait for evening to come to film a line, it’s either take it or leave it.

– What camera and light setup do you use?

I use the vx2100 with a little Sony light for the aesthetics. I also got a big Sony light with 2 bulbs that I barely ever use and 160 LED light to shine the riding area when its too dark to ride it.

– Are you a die hard SD video guy, or does that not matter to you as long as the content is good?

I am a die hard SD video guy and I don’t plan on going the other route. SD kinda represents what’s real street nowadays. Everytime I see a video in 4:3 in 90% of cases I will watch it till the end, and even if I dont like it I will respek it more than what HD has to offer. HD may have it’s benefits but I dont see it as such in bmx world. But for example when I watch ratkid’s animal house part in HD I don’t think about it.

– What do you think about the video landscape of BMX at the moment?, Any crews/videos you look out for? Is there any stuff you avoid?

To be honest, if you asked me this question few months ago I would probably shit on 95% of stuff I see online.
I completely stopped watching stuff on the web because its garbage. I have crews I like and always keep my eyes on. If there is something new poppin out thats good I got my homie bartek to let me know about it. As i always say whenever someone asks me its 90East, old Animal crew (till 2010),  LA crew from back in the day when the music, clothes and 180 rollouts still meant something to people, and of course my personal favourite Strangeways Crew (till infinity).

– Who has your favorite style in BMX? Could you think of a single clip that you showcases that style perfectly?

Its hard to pick only one person for it but if you could combine Edwin Delarosa’s style with E-man Cantero’s smoothness, Bob Scerbo’s landing delivery, and Clarky’s ability to make everything look so dope even if its just pedalling through the dark alley I would say that would be my favourite style to watch. That’s why I need to start playing lottery, win the ticket and pay for everyone’s trip so we can all meet up. I’m sure it would be one hell of a video.

– You seem to really be into 90’s Hip Hop, what are your favorite albums or artists?

Yeah im pretty much all in when it comes to old school hip hop. 80’s and 90’s are my jam. My favourite artists are Slick Rick and MC Eiht even tho you couldn’t tell in videos. There’s just so much good music out there its too bad these kids don’t see/hear/care about it.

– Are you into any of the new American hip hop?

hahaha No! I dont like new stuff and even if it catches in my ear I later hate myself for it. I do check what’s on the market tho but its always a big dissapointment with “where this whole thing is leading”. Only new song I can remember right now that I like is “A.D.H.D.” by Kendrick Lamar, and i dont even like the dude. I accidentially fell asleep in my bed while playing GTA 5, woke up hearing that song because fucking Franklin changes any radio station to Los Santos radio and it stuck in my head for some reason. I don’t think I would like it otherwise tho.

– With all of the Ancient Roman architecture in Pula, are the spots a bust?

Pula is a small town with really good spots but we do lack a lot of stuff too. I guess it’s just boring to ride the same small town for 12 years everyday. Ancient Roman architecture means nothing to me to be honest. I live 50 meters from the colloseum and I couldn’t care less about it. The biggest problem is that in the summer the city is flooded with tourists and you lose a lot of spots for like 6 months.

– What are some of your favorite buildings or examples of the Ancient architecture in the city?

I like twin gates that are 20 meters from my home and only reason I like them is because of this chain you can ride in front of them haha

– Are you into any conspiracy theories?

haha I can pretty much say that there is nothing left for me to watch about 9/11 that I haven’t seen yet. I studied it all for years and years. WTC collapsing made me so mad as a child. I remember my only wish back in the day was to go to NYC see the twin towers and ride in a yellow crown vic cab. As the luck is serving me, I might not even see the yellow crown vic at all either. Even in movies I see it being replaced with all those shitty vehicles. I tried to watch other theories too but none of them stuck.

-Thanks Marko