Hello Artoo, could please give some insight to our reders on what you do?
Well, I do lots of things to make ends meet. Meaning I do a variety of stuff, some of them related to where I am coming from of what I have learned some of them just to get along I guess. It is unevenly devided between, designing, writing, travelling, being a single raising dad, doing pictures, djing and sometimes I just do the coffee in a Bike shop around my corner.
You are really a modern renaissance man. DJ'ing, writing, taking pictures, designing, work, a travelling family man and riding the bike when do you find time for all of that?
The tricky thing about time is that it is always there, you just have to take it, once you have figured out how to take your time it's all good, there are sometimes when time gets pretty thin here and there, but usually it all works out in the grand scheme.
I also have to give you the credit of being on the new shit before anyone else. You were one of the first people I know in Berlin into race bikes and it turned into fixed gear phenonemenon. You are also dicsovering brands before they blow up. For example wearing Visvim shoes, Acronym jackets, or BagJack gear before they became what they are now. Is it the matter of being surrounded by the right people, being in the right places, or simply maybe you put hem on the map?
I don't know if I put anyone on the map, but basically I am really into good stuff and I always got my own style somehow, if it then turns out that people can relate to what I do and then do it as well, good for the brands.
Acronym and Bagjack are old friends and I always loved the passion they put into their product, that is the main reason I think that I always find people with the same passion I have for things.
It is something that is lacking the last years, its about consuming fast, people do not use their things no more, they just show them to the others to show that they are part of a certain group of likeminded people, but they have lost the true meaning of likeminded, they are lacking the basic idea, because the basic idea is not have the same shirt or shoes, it should be about to actually do something to change something to get ahead as a group to get yourself heard, like skaters before they were nothing and over time tey became a force to be reckoned with. Today people just want to go the easy way buy a shirt be part of something is not how this works kids.
It's a funny thing; I remember when I was in school, I must have told that stor a million times, people laughed at me because I was wearing checkerd Vans but I did not care, it's about being at hime with yourself, then and only then nobody can touch you, let them laugh, as long you are happy, even when you are on your own, if you think its the next big thing stick to it!!
Stop watching Kanye west vidoes for the next shoe collabo, make up your mind about who you are.
Past summer you and few other guys from all over the globe known as Cutters Crew (CTRS) took a ride of the lifetime. A group of strangers at the begging turned into friends in just two days. You rode your fixies from London to Paris with the grand finale meeting Lance Armstrong. Can you tell us more about the experience?
This is what I mean somehow, you need to get into something, by no means will you be a star the next day or get everything handed over on a silver platter you gotta work to achieve things, like how we worked our way over 440Km in two days through England and the Normandie towards Paris. After you did something like this you don't take shit from no one no more because first of all you did it for yourself and it boosts your self esteem to a new height that is off the scale. You need to get back to do things for yourself then and only then when you have the passion for someting people will approach you to be part of the excitment they can see in your face, the joy you had and the hard work you put into it. The experience was something I missed or my whole Life before, and I will try to get more of these into my Life now. It takes you to totally new levels in everything you do if you have experiences like these.
Sounds pretty surreal. The whole trip was documented and there is a motion picture called London To Paris by London's finest Amazing Grace. Did you ever dream to be featured in film of any sort?
I knew that there were supposed to be some pictures taken, but I never thought it would be a movie like it is now, never ever. And the guys did an excellent Job. Top Pictures.
With CTRS there is another project. The Cutters Pack by Nike Sportswear. What is it?
It is a group of guys named Cutters after a famous gang of bike riders that did just their thing, they rode bikes. It's what we do, we ride and that's about our statement: go out and ride, see the World not from a SUV or on TV, go out and experience because time is short, make it count, not by what you own but by what you see and feel. We expressed ourselves while we got the opportunity to make shoe for our Team, one each. It's a Tiempo and we got to do colorway and materials.
I know you're into shoes, so it must be lots of fun of creating your own model. How big was your input in design process?
Well I came on board of this whole thing very last minute so I had probably the least amount of time for all this, but basically we did not design too much I guess, the shoe was as it is, got a little stiffer sole so we colored it in.
OK you know where to find me (remember US 10). When are they coming out?
I hook you up no worries, they should release soonish, like in November 09.
While we are on the sneaker tip. You were also in responsible for the biggest trainers exhibition in the universe, during Barcelona's Outerspace. I haven't seen it live but on even on pictures it looked beyond amazing! How did this happen?
Well as funny as it sounds, again I just happen to know some people who asked me and Marko from Milan to put together something and as we went along we just so happen to have one of the biggest exhibitions thers was until now.
It had sort of a natural flow, it all came together pretty organic and it kinda worked out pretty good, thanks to the guys from reversible in barcelona.
You do work for Coarse Toys what is your role in there? Can you say besides vinyl records vinyl toys are your passion as well?
I do sometimes Production Management in Hong Kong, travel to the factories do the Quality Control and such, sometimes I have some input on colorways and names but thats about it. Mark is doing all the big work there and that kid is a genious, a total one.
Honestly I do not see these things as toys, they are but modern sculptures, if they were made from china ( porcellain ) you would not call them toys, so I have some still in my flat and they are sort of modern pop culture sculpts I'd say.
In the beggining we've mentioned you are always ahead of the game. Can you shed some light and reveal the secret of top 5 things to watch, whether it be brands, artists, or trends?
Bikes in all forms will still go strong in the next years to come, track bikes will do go down a bit instead there will be cyclocross coming. I think also small brands will have a revival, even though they will be mad expensive but they will be something you'd cherish and love. Watch out for more and more outdoors stuff from family owned companies. I also think we will see sneaker brands into maturing more and more to produce shoes that will last. Also people will try to get value for their money not only some value that is created virtually.
Music wise I feel there is a lot of things going on in the folk scene that is also getting bigger and earns more and more attention, also a sign for people wanting more quality in things they consume. The last thing that will be seen more I think is that art will have even more leverage than before, artists will even get bigger and bigger until the bubble will burst, until only the ones that have substance will survive that "I'm an artist too because I cut stencils" thing. The ones that get out of this will be out new Renoirs, Warhols and Beuys ( whom I personally never liked that much, his art that is ).
In your dream gig, for whom and with whom you'd like to DJ?
Basically I am used on DJing alone, if a partner it would be DJ en or Dejoe or Alex, whom are my friends. Why should I play with people I don't know? The where is a tough one, but I guess Berlin can get pretty exciting at times. What I really do want is a block party in summer outdoors and the coolest thing if my parents would be there to dance to the music I play.
Top 5 albums and top 5 artists of all time?
Artists: Michael Jackson ( when with the Jackson 5 ), Joe Jackson ( is she really going out with him ? ), David Bowie , The Beatles ( basically any Album ), The Rolling Stones ( basically any Album )
Favorite spot for getaway and for riding?
Like I said, if you are at home with yourself it does not matter where you go. If you have some friends with you its all good, but it's especially good in Italy, because the cappuccino is out of this World...
Besides Gummi Bears, what is your favorite meal and best restaurant you would recommend?
My favorite restaurant is called Black Sheep on Hong Kong Island, southside, and I love good Steak.
Since Tenisufki is focused on sneakers, you won't avoid that question. Name your top 5 sneakers of all times.
Vans eras, Visvim FBT, Nike Lava Dome ( old ones ), adidas Stan Smith, Nike Dunk Low/ adidas Rivalry Low
This Year must have been like a roller coaster for you. What's in the pipeline for 2010?
We ( the CTRS Crew ) are planning another Trip hopefully this thing gets through...
Thank you for your time and we're looking forward on hearing from you in the future. Any shout outs?
My mom and dad for everything, my son and my awesome friends around the globe.