One of the coolest parts of my job is that I get to interview some serious badasses. This was particularly fun because Freestyle Motocross pioneer Ronnie Faisst is originally from South Jersey.
I actually met Faisst back in 2006 while covering a winter X Games. It was my first and only experience covering moto - intense dudes, backflips on ice, and the Godfather of the sport trashed the competitors tent and told everyone to go fuck off. And when it was all said and done, this solid guy from New Jersey took the bronze metal. They pulled freestyle moto from Winter X a few years later because it was just psychotic.
So this time I got to chat with Faisst about coming up, shaping the sport, staying at the top of his game for two decades, his new career in off-road truck racing, and of course, tattoos.
“I was like 14 and got tattooed by this biker guy in my town in South Jersey. His name was Al—long hair, big burly beard. He basically just did flash off the wall, typical biker tattoos,” laughs Faisst, “No shading, straight outline… real basic. He used to tattoo at the 4-H Fair in my town out of a little ghetto trailer.”
It’s been about seven years that I have been contributing to Huck Magazine. From a feature on gender identity and sexism in punk music to the Superstorm Sandy rebuilding efforts, an interview with a photographer from the 1961 Beatnik riot, to wooden surfboards and snowboards, I have always enjoyed the subjects I get to cover.
Huck recently released Paddle Against the Flow a creative bible that “features lessons on life – original artwork and words of wisdom – from inspiring individuals previously featured in the magazine, who we love and admire. It's a celebration of independence, freethinking, creativity and collaboration.”
For the book they selected quotes from my interviews with influential street artist, Shep Fairey and Fugazi/Minor Threat frontman, Ian McKay. Needless to say, both of these guys were pretty inspirational to me. It also features tidbits from Mark Gonzales, the Beastie Boys, Spike Jonze, Kim Gordon, Judd Apatow, and many others. The book is available through Huck, Amazon and you can find it now in Urban Outfitters too.