Sunday, January 18, 2009
THE MIKE VALLELY INTERVIEW.
Being from New Jersey Mike Valley was always the man in my eyes. He had a raw style, attack and bag of tricks all his own. He is arguably the first pro "Street Skater" (at the time...for lack of a better term) to make it from New Jersey which made him an idol to many. When I was a kid, I'll be the first to admit...Mike was like a God to me. Now as an adult I look at Mike as a great inspiration. Someone who has followed his dreams and lived them out. Not many people have the balls to do that and Mike continues to pursue life with the vigor of a wide eyed teen ager. Heading towards 40 Mike still destroys on a skate on any terrain put before him. He is a family man, a touring musician, Hockey player and someone who no matter what the naysayers had to offer continues to walk his own path in the world of Skateboarding and beyond.
It's been almost 6 years since the last time I've interviewed and as per usual with you, you have a ton of shit going on. So the first thing I want to touch on is the root of it all for you which I would suspect is Skateboarding. It's insane because when I was a kid it seemed there was no life for a skater passed 25 let alone 35 but it seems you just keeping going. You have worked hard and have been blessed to be one of the few who have made a solid career for almost over 2 decades.So my question is where are you at now with 2008 coming to a close with Skateboarding?
Thanks man. Yeah, I've been doing this a long time but you know I still love it and value it as much as the day I started. The actual act of riding and what I get out of it and what it means to me has never changed. Professionally, through the years, I've been up and down, championed and shit on -- that's just the way it goes, especially when you don't play by the rules. I just try to find a way to participate and be a link in the chain every step of the way and I don't really pay much mind to what the industry is churning out. I'm too busy and too focused on my own skating, on my own projects.
Last time we spoke at length it was after a Mike V and The Rats show you had played with Greg Ginn, I believe in Santa Monica. I dug The Rats stuff but I have to say Revolution Mother is a huge progression and I'm glad to see the band is doing so well for you. What are the plans for the band this upcoming year. Record releases, touring, etc???
I think 2009 will be a good year for Revolution Mother for sure. We will start recording a new record in January and hope to have it out by late spring where we will begin touring the world in support of that record. We feel primed after almost two years of touring to really make a great record and be able to support it with a rocking show that no one in attendance will forget.
Now in addition to Skateboarding and Music you have all this other stuff happening. Man, you are like a fucking machine. I heard you etched a deal with The Anaheim Ducks and it's pretty well known you are a pretty big hockey fan and player. What exactly is the deal and how did that come about?
I'm not a machine, just an intensified and inspired individual. I believe we only get one time around in this life and I'm not about to waste a minute of it. I get up early and I give it my all across the board all day long. You know, I just love life and I go about staying in love with life by doing what I want to do and pursuing my passions. Hockey is and has been a great passion of mine and from that this relationship with the=2 0Ducks has formed. Being a Ducks fan, one thing lead to another where I now have a mini-reality style TV show that airs on Ducks broadcasting, I do a blog on their website and I am coming out with a cobranded line of apparel with the Ducks and Element that will be sold exclusively at the Ducks Team Store at the Honda Center in Anaheim. On top of all of that I am pursuing playing in a professional hockey game or games in the ECHL or with any league that will take me.
Alright man, as if all this wasn't enough you got in a movie Mall Cop. I've seen the trailer and it looks pretty damn funny. When is the movie coming out, how was the whole experience and do you plan on doing any more acting ventures in the future?
Paul Blart: Mall Cop starring Kevin James hits theaters on January, 16. It was a great experience working on the film and I feel like it's going to be a really good, well received movie. I feel great about my role and work in the film and I can't wait to see it. I definitely plan on pursuing more acting and stunt work in the future, I found it agreeable with me for sure.
What about the wrestling, you were going hard with that for a while and imagine somewhat like skateboarding it has to be pretty brutal on the body. Is that something you are still doing or has that been put to the side with all these new projects?
I haven't wrestled in a long time. It was something I did at a certain level at a certain time just to do it. I would definitely wrestle again, I still love and watch and am a fan of professional wrestling. If I could work with the WWE at some point I would drop everything and do it.
I was watching the Drive dvd and noticed when you were in Africa you were eating what looked like meat. Yourself, Ed Templeton, the influence of hardcore music and Eastern Philosophy turned me onto vegetarianism in 1991. But the first initial thought of it was when I heard you were and at that point it was almost something I had never heard of. I was just wondering is that a dietary choice you still follow somewhat or have you decided it no longer makes sense for you at this point in your life?
I've been eating meat since 1999. I would say I have a pretty well balanced diet at this point in my life and that although I eat animal products I'm still a very conscientious eater, maybe even more so then when I was a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian since 1988 and a vegan for several years but those dietary choices were more like religious subscriptions than dietary or health decisions. When the hold of the cult of vegetarianism got old for me my diet changed and I think and feel in many ways it's personally for the better. The vegetarian diet never actually agreed with me physically so it was a very hard thing to maintain for nearly 11 years.
When we spoke in 2003 it was post 9-11 and the country was in a pretty crazy state. I thought you had a lot of thoughtful things to say in reference to the political and social climate that was present at that point in the United States. I'm curious how you are feeling now with Bush finally exiting the White House, Barak Obama entering and all the challenges this country now faces?
Politics absolutely bore the hell out of me. I don't really value the people, processes or propaganda associated with any of it. I don't care who the president is, I don't care what the political or social climate is, I don't have time for the rat race -- not one ounce of my energy gets spent on any of it anymore. I'm more interested in true freedom, true liberation and I don't see politics as an answer. No government, so system and no political or religious ideal can solve any of our problems. It all comes down to the individual. I'm only interested in individual revolution -- that's the only thing that matters.
Ok those were to serious questions in a row. Maybe I need to lighten the mood a bit. Mike, tell me about the insane hair growth. You went full on gnar rock star with it. You got the Hesh hair and beard going on. You were always the dude with the shaved head. What prompted the hair farming?
I broke my leg three years ago and I was laid up for awhile, the hair just started growing. But more so, I just wanted and needed a change. Just when you think you've got me figured out... well, I go and change it up.
How is the family doing? Everyone knows you are a solid family man and for us fathers out here you are an inspiring guy. You have a ton of creative things going down but you still maintain the family. How do you do it because I imagine it can be hard.
The most important thing is being consistent. The same energy and passion I put into my skating and music or whatever it is I'm doing -- I put that same energy and passion or more so into my home life. Beyond that, I have an amazing wife who covers for me and who supports me and believes in me. It's really not hard at all -- or I don't look at it that way. This is my life, these are choices I made, I embrace each moment and give it my all, nothing hard about that, that's just my life, that's just what is required of me.
So that's all I have for you today. Any last words, shouts, etc?
Thanks for the time my friend, it's appreciated.
Mike I wish you a great 2009 man. Thanks for the interview and 20 years of inspiration.