CLUB MUMBLE MEMBER INTERVIEW #1:
Welcome to the first of many, many (MANY!) Club Mumble Member Interviews to come. I’d like to try to keep the intros short and let the interviews speak for themselves so, without further ado, I present Mr. Mark Whiteley…
What’s your job title and what does your job consist of on a day to day?
My title is editor-in-chief, and now I guess I’m a dot-commer. My days vary, but in a given week I’m writing, interviewing, shooting photos, shooting video, talking to all the people on the forum at our site, setting stuff up with team managers, skaters, music label people, writers and photographers, artists, dealing with all the office crap like budgets, meetings, etc, and doing way too much email and phone work. I think shooting portraits of people is my favorite part of it all.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to do what you do for a living?
Meet as many skaters, photographers, artists, etc as you can- it’s all about who you know and your relationship with people when it comes to getting things done in skateboarding. Get ready to wear a lot of hats and have something you love turn into something you still love but stresses you the hell out.
Are you guys planning on releasing any sort of Slap print projects in the future? A book with all of the “Gallery” images from over the years would be insane.
We’re talking about a few ideas, from something like you mention to a best-of issue from all the stuff that goes on the site every six months to little ‘zine-type projects when we do trips with companies for them to distribute with product to all kinds of little ideas. I think we’ll do something in the next few months to get the ball rolling, it mainly depends on money right now as as everybody knows, money is a little tight these days. But yep, there shall be ink!
Who’s the biggest asshole you’ve ever had to deal with in the skateboard industry?
There’ve been several, at least. I don’t think I want to call anybody out. Scott Bourne once told me “I came to California to watch my heroes die in front of my eyes” and I’ve had a few similar experiences to the sentiment there, but at least I didn’t have to move anywhere for it. There’ve been way more awesome people than assholes.
Who’s the nicest person you’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with in the skateboard industry?
As far as people I looked up to before I knew them, Tommy Guerrero and Jason Jessee have been the greatest to become friends with – totally great people. As far as the straight-up nicest person, with smiles and nothing but great things to say every time, probably Whitney Slobodian who works at Dwindle.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you in the past year?
The birth of my second child, Aila Rain Whiteley. Being a dad has been the best experience of my life.
What bores you?
Waiting on other people to decide what to do when the answer doesn’t require that much discussion. That answer might just be because I was just in a meeting though…
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Adams peanut butter, blackberry or raspberry jam, wheat bread.
No way to answer that when you have more than one child. I love a lot of people.
You ask some very hard to narrow down questions, Bob. Here’s 5 that come to mind:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
The Man In The Crowd, photos by Gary Winogrand
Shakey, the biography of Neil Young
How often do you get to go skateboarding these days?
Sadly, right now I’m at an all-time low. When life is more normal I skate maybe once a week. But wait for the new Tiltmode video! I’m still throwing myself around.
What’s your favorite skateboard brand of all time? It doesn’t have to be one that’s still in business.
Toss up between Blind circa-Video Days and Stereo circa-1995. These days I like Habitat and enjoi.
Wait, can I do a Top 10 skaters of all time list? I think I finally got it nailed:
Where were you born? Do you think you’ll ever move away from the Bay Area?
Mountain View, CA, midway between San Jose and San Francisco, pretty close to where I live now. Up until a few years ago I probably wouldn’t have ever considered moving away from the Bay Area, but these days I’m feeling like if there was a good reason to move somewhere else I would – Hawaii, New York, Tokyo, Portland, parts of LA have all become more appealing to me – but I think Northern California will always feel like home.