Mikey LeBlanc – Workin’ Hard
BRANDON RUSSELL: Mikey, thanks for taking time off of your busy schedule, touring for loveHate. How is the tour going?
MIKEY LeBLANC: A party, a plane, an hour and another party.
B: Are kids getting as stoked as you hoped they would?
M: I think so, the tricks are unquestionable, the video and the music grows on you like fine wine… I’m really at the point where I edited it with Shelby, and have seen it so much. And I still really love the video so… at this point, selfishly, I don’t care… because I love it.
B: Tell us a little about Kidsknow and the loveHATE video.
M: Kidsknow is my production company, I did the vid In association with Burning Bridges. That is Shelby’s company. loveHATE is a lot of my friends and me making what we do during the winter visible to kids.
B: Who is touring with you for the loveHATE and Positron tour?
M: Mostly Justin Hebbel, Darrel Mathesen and Jon Kooley for loveHATE, and Devun, Dufficy, and Dionne for the Positron video. It’s a nightmare, or, a dream come true. Six a.m. flights, one hour in the hotel room, straight to the premiere, straight to the bar after. Drink all night, and then get a cab to the next flight. It’s rock star shit.
B: Who are you most stoked to be touring with? Who in this video do we most need to be watching?
M: I like everyone. For loveHATE; Hebbel is insane. So tech. It takes a lot of watching to tell what he’s doing. And Darrel is also ridiculous.
B: What is your vision for Kidsknow?
M: Make snow videos that are non-scripted, and in the middle, have some social commentary fun. Possibly say something without beating you over the head with it.
B: Switching gears to some other projects of yours, How is Holden going?
M: Amazing and crazy. The gear is making me happy and I pretty much know the whole business now. From start to finish.
B: Why should kids buy Holden gear?
M: Because they like it.
B: How is the Block doing?
M: Good I guess. It seems like alotta fun down there.
B: So, what did you do this summer when you weren’t traveling around looking for snow?
M: I moved to Portland in May. Started designing the Holden gear with Scott Z. and also moved in with Shelby and started editing the loveHATE video… We “finished’ editing loveHATE in late July… Then I went to China in August for three weeks to handle the production, and 056 development for Holden. When I got back I left two days later for the premiere tour. That ended for me yesterday.
B: In August of 2002 you moved from M3 back to Ride, why the change in companies… again back to Ride?
M: M3 was done, and Ride was where it all began. I am friends with a lot of the people that work there, and I respect the stuff they do up there in Seattle. And the paycheck of course. Also I looked through the mags and tried to see who I’d want to ride for. At that time, Ride was the best option.
B: What should we expect from you in the next year/few years?
M: More videos, more powder, and a lot of behind the scenes at Holden.
B: You have had some injuries over the past few years, have the injuries ignited a spark in you to not waste any time in this industry?
M: Actually I think injuries are a wake up call, and a great time to slow yourself down and see where you are at, and where you are going. When I get hurt I have time for other things in my life/ work, all equally important, or unimportant. I think injuries give me a good time to regain focus and direction, when I’m healthy I tend to run around with my head cut off, never reflecting on what I’m doing.
B: Why do you do it (snowboarding)? What makes you get out of bed every morning and risk injury?
M: I have analyzed it so many times… Two things stand out. One, is it’s fun to see what you can do. The other is almost primal. A survival tactic. A weird pride thing. A domination gene. Who knows?
B: You probably have the worst falls I’ve seen on street rails, how do you just get back up and try again?
M: Sometimes I don’t…
B: When you were 20, did you think you’d still be doing this at 31? Do you have days where you think, “I’m too old for this!”?
M: It’s all in your mind. And I didn’t get sponsored until in was 23.
B: How many more years do you have in you?
M: I got my hand read and they said I’d be at least 86. Ever work at a restaurant?
B: Who do you most admire in snowboarding today?
M: Little kids, that are having pure fun…
B: If you could ride with any three people, still in the game or not, who would they be?
M: Terje, Peter Line, and Ingemar Backman. All in their hay day…
B: Would you live your life differently if you knew you were going to die soon? How?
M: Do all charity, all giving, and no monetary cares. And tell everyone I loved them. Probably what I should be doing now.
B: If you could go back and do anything over again, what would it be?
M: It depends if I could keep my memories, if I couldn’t then I wouldn’t go back… if I could, I’d probably not be a snowboarding pro.
B: What are your views on God and life?
M: I think we are all one, we are all interconnected, and how deep that goes for you is how far you can take that knowledge at this point in your life. I think people are clouded a lot, I know I am. Sometimes we need to be. If we saw all that we do and its real effects on everyone else, I think we’d go nuts… I think the greatest spiritual leaders, icons, etc, have or had a very broad view of our togetherness in the world/universe and beyond. People that don’t see this, can’t right now, I know I can’t. I think that is ok for them right now in their lives. Maybe they’ll get wake up calls. Like deaths around them. It’s up to them to see these, and if they don’t, they aren’t ready to change. And I think you can’t tell anyone anything unless they want to hear it.
B: What/Who is God to you?
M: Everything is my best visual answer, but to be truthful, I don’t know. And I won’t ever know for sure.
B: What in your life has shaped your view/understanding of God?
M: Deaths. Pain. Suffering. Happiness. Love. Teachers all around me.
B: You’re 31 now, any words of wisdom for the kids out there?
M: Don’t waste time in your life. If you see something you want, do it. And remember that everything you do affects a lot of people, everything. Consider your actions. And make your wants few. Then it’s much easier to get what you need, and be happy.
B: And last, anything I didn’t ask that you want the world to know…
M: No, but thanks you to everyone that I know and love, and everyone else for the help along the way.
bye – mikey