Mr. Robsonís Neighborhood
Whatís your favorite shred-flick jam? Mr. Robson asks Tonino and E-Stone their opinions on the soundtracks of snowboarding.by Mr. Robson
What happened to the music in snowboard videos over the last five years? Seriously, I donít need some stupid electronic pop beats or cheesy í80s songs to convince me snowboarding is fun. Maybe I am just old and bitter, and the young kids actually like this music, but I just donít want videos with crap like that to be a part of my snowboarding world. All that music does is make me want to wave glow sticks around and take Ecstasy, and that doesnít sound like fun.
There was a time when the music in videos seemed more important. The bands and songs were listed as the movie played, and for a few years Mack Dawg even included a CD comp with their videos. Now I just feel like music is taken for granted. I know music rights are hard to get and that the whole process is a pain, especially when they have to come out with a new video each year (unlike skateboarding vids every 5 years). Maybe the lack of style in snowboarding has resulted in a lack of good music too.
Thanks to last season, however, we are moving back in the right direction. We heard James Brown in Hard to Earn and The Sword in Nice Try, and pretty much all of This Video Sucks had good music. The fact is that a great song can make a good part unforgettable. How about Jamie Lynnís part in TB2 with "Our Only Weapon" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones? I canít really explain it, but that combo has stuck with me for ages.
To me, there are two companies in snowboarding today that I think have stuck to their rootsóroots that were established based on their strong relationships with music. I donít think that anyone would disagree that Nitro or Technine both have a rock/hesh and rap/reggae feel, respectively, and that they have stayed loyal through years of changing trends and crappy music. I am lucky enough to have the two minds behind these brands as neighbors. Tonino Copene is the man behind Nitro, and Ethan Fortier (E-Stone) heads up Technine. I had them over to get their thoughts on the soundtracks of snowboarding.
What are your Top 5 songs in a snowboard video?
There are so many good videos; I will give you my top 3 openers as a kid that got me stoked and two straight up all-time songs that get me stoked to hear Ďcause I think of the their parts.
"Holiday in Cambodia" by Dead Kennedys, Meltdown Project
"Sticking in My Eye" by NOFX, Roadkill
"My Way" by Sex Pistols, Brainstorm
"Chan Chan" by Buena Vista Social Club, Burning Bridges
"Hole" by No Use For a Name, The Hard, the Hungry and the Homeless
"Express Yourself" by NWA, Represent
"Protect Ya Neck" by Wu-Tang Clan, Represent
"Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest, Destroyer
"Iron Lion Zion" by Bob Marley, Forever
"Mass Appeal" by Gang Starr, Hard To Earn
What did Music mean to you in the early years of snowboarding?
Tonino: Music in general is what would drive me. If matched with the right rider, songs you wouldn't be into could become new favorites.
Ethan: Music was everything. My friends and I would sit around smoking herb and listening to hip-hop and Rasta music all the time. These types of music really helped mold my style as a young shredder and were the largest inspiration behind Technine.
How do you feel about the state of music in snowboarding today?
Tonino: Well in the past it was a little more personal. The editor and rider worked together on whatever they wanted to use. It still is that way, but at a certain level it has been curbed because of music rights.
Ethan: I think it is doing well. In the early years all of the shred movies had the same type of music playing. We used to call it Snowboard Rock. Now there are so many different crews putting out movies with all sorts of different music styles. From FODT to Video Grass to people who use all death metal. Seems like kids have options these days.
Your companies seem to have a music feel or background. Was this a conscious decision? Marketing decision? Where did it come from?
Tonino: It comes from music playing such a big role in what we do. It's funny Ďcause everyone sees Nitro as a hesh company, but we have done tribute graphics to N.W.A and Public Enemy.
Ethan: I started Technine when I was 18. I think I was really too young to even be thinking about a question like that. I grew up on hip-hop and reggae. We just wanted to bring the sounds we grew up with into snowboarding. We were riding all day then mixing records and having mic sessions at night. It was only natural that the two things would integrate and become a major part of the direction of Technine.
Is the lack of quality music in snowboarding correlated to the lack of quality style in snowboarding?
Tonino: I think it depends on who you talk to. There are very different styles in snowboarding and music taste. For me personally, everything has gotten too polished the last couple seasons, except for the youngsters that are making videos without caring about profits.
Ethan: HAHA who said there is a lack of good music in snowboarding? If you want to hear a dope soundtrack pick up any FODT movie. All ten are dope! So I guess it really depends what type of music you like. Snowboarding goes through phases. I think there are some crews that have style for sure. The problem is that the majority of them have none, and are either super bland, or just switching it up with whatever is popular with the time. At Technine we have never pretended to be something we arenít, and whether it is popular at the time or not, our style has remained the same. I think you can also say this about brands like Holden, Capita and Nitro.
How do you feel about the current state of snowboarding?
Tonino: If I was a kid I would probably not get involved with snowboarding these days; it has moved in a direction that is very different than why I started. It is still fun and if people just getting involved are having fun then everything else doesn't really matter.
Ethan: Snowboarding has shrunk over the last year! But I think as the economy comes back around so will a lot of snowboarders that left the sport because it was so expensive. To people like you and I snowboarding is the world and we love it and would never go a season without riding. To lots of other people out there itís just a luxury they can do without when times get hard. Companies have seen this in sales and have had to really pull back on marketing as well as many other important agendas and reevaluate whatís important to keeping a brand afloat. The result has been companies getting more creative and really trying to get the most out of dollars spent.
How about we lay down top 5 artists/bands/musicians of all time?
Tonino: Man, that is impossible to answer. It depends on what mood I'm in, and now that I'm getting older it is really expanding.
Ethan: Thatís a hard one man. So much good music in the world...Biggie Smalls, Nas, Wu Tang Clan, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin. Kind of a mix of music but all of them have inspired me in one way or another over the years.
And lastly, what song has not been in a snowboard film that should be?
Tonino: "Mean Machine" by Motorhead.
Ethan: Thatís a good question...Let me know when you get the answer so I can suggest it to Cole when he starts editing FODTís new movie The Arena. Thereís one right there..."Step in the Arena" by Gang Starr. Sick track that inspired Cole and Marcoís new movieís name. Iím sure it will be in the teaser or in the movie, and maybe even both. Never been used and super dope. Guru has been a huge inspiration to us over the years and to hear about his death this year was a bummer. The title of the movie The Arena is a tribute to him.
Thanks to Ethan and Tonino for stopping by Mr. Robsonís Neighborhood!
Mr. Robson would be stoked to hear your thoughts on music and what your favorite song in a video is. Also, if you can tell me what video used the song, "Thorn in my Side" by Quicksand, there might be a little something we will send your way. Hit me back at email@example.com with your answers.