今度の10月29日にマイクは35歳を迎える(このインタビューは2007年9月に行った)。現在のマイクの生活も一般的とは言い難いが、70年代初頭において、マイクが受けてきた教育もまた決して一般的ではなかったのだ。今回のスノーボード界のレジェントMike Basich独占インタビューではマイクの幼少期と、David BenedekとRobot Foodクルーと作成したフィルムについて焦点を当てる。

Welcome back for part two of our exclusive interview with a legend in Snowboarding Mike Basich. On October 29th of 2007 Mike will be 35 years old. A child of the early 70’s, Mike’s upbringing was certainly not what you would call normal. Of course his life today is not what you would call normal either! In this episode we will talk a little bit about Mike’s youth and then bring things up to date by asking about Photography and filming with David Benedek and the Robot Food crew.

Interviewer / English text : Neil Hartmann / Japanese text : TAK

photo-mike2photo-mike2- vol2title_01スノーボードが僕の人生に凄く多くのチャンスや機会を与えてくれたってことには変わりないよ。工作に夢中だったこどものころ、ある日ママがウチに帰ってくるなり「スケートショップにスノーボードっていうのがあったから見てきなさい!絶対やってみた方がいいわよ」って教えてくれて、さっそく次の週末に姉貴とスノーボードを借りてみたんだ。で、やってみたよ。その時はスノーボードがどこに導いてくれるのか想像もできなかったけど、僕ら姉弟の人生を大きく変えてくれたね。そして他にもたくさんの機会をもたらしてくれたよ。スポーツとして認められたから世界中を回れるし、こうやって今、日本にも来られるしね。最近こどもの頃に夢中だった木工工作の情熱が戻ってきててね、最近になってスノーボード的な家を建てたよ。



I would not change anything Snowboarding has always brought so many opportunities to my life. Wood working and building things as a child was my passion, then one day my Mom came home and said, “you have to see what they have at the skate shop” “They call it a snowboard, you have to try it out”! So my sister, and me rented one the next weekend. We tried it and that created a huge detour in our lives! It brought so many other opportunities. At the time we did not know what Snowboarding would lead to. Luckily it got accepted as a sport, which lead to traveling the world and even me being here in Japan right now. Now I am starting to go back to my childhood passion of wood working by building my own house and combining that with Snowboarding.

In the last year Mike has invested in buying land and building his own house, a place that he calls “Area 241”, but we will talk more about that later!

vol2photo_01 vol2title_02「人生の先生」だね。両親は絶対に何をどうやるかは教えずに、いつもただ場を与えてくれて、何をやりたいのかを聞いてくれた。


I would say my parents are my teachers for life. They never told me how to do things they would always just give me space and ask what I want to do.
I would ask questions, but they never gave me answers, they would just say, “what do you think”? So I would say I am very self-taught. The best tool that they gave me was letting me figure things out myself. So now I am always interested in how things work. I would rather build it myself then just go out and buy something.

My upbringing was also not “normal”.
I had Epilepsy all during my youth and my Mother always said it was ok to be different. I had seizures every week and it was hard going to school, I had a very different childhood. So my parents always made sure that I knew it was ok to be different and what ever I wanted to do in life then that was exactly what I should do!

So that was the seed that was planted that lead to me just doing my own thing and being very independent. Now I don’t know what else to do!


vol2title_03僕がホームスクールだった時に、家族一緒に住んでた。そのとき高校に行きだしたばかりの姉貴はペンキ小屋で寝起きしてた。彼女自身のスペースが欲しかったっていうのと、当時、人にティピーに住んでるって言うのはかっこ悪いことだったし。うちの家族がティピーに住んでることはみんな知ってたからね。家を建てている間の約一年間だよ。vol2title_03eThose were the years that I was home schooled. I lived in the Teepee with my parents and my sister who was just starting High School at the time she lived in a paint shed. She wanted her own space and it was not cool to tell people that she lived in a Teepee! Everyone knew us as the family that lives in a Teepee. The Location was in Sacramento, California, which is a pretty big city. We were building a house so we lived in the Teepee until that was finished, about a year.


When you hear that someone lives in a teepee you expect it to be way out in the country, but Mike says the teepee was in a residential area where everyone could see. Apparently they had electricity from the house next door and the UPS deliveries would be left right out side the Teepee door!





She has helped a ton to make the right connections we both fed off each other to progress in the sport. I don’t think we looked up to one another, just a little brother sister competition kind of thing. Having her three years older helped, especially when she got her drivers license. Until then our Mom would drive us to the resort and then just sit in the lodge and read a book while we rode. So as soon as my sister got her driver license we were gone Friday to Sunday night ride all weekend and back to school on Monday.

She also started traveling a year or two before I got out of high school When I started traveling we were on the same team so that helped me out a lot, like teaching me how to find a flight at the airport and stuff like that. On my first snowboard trip I think I was 15 and I had to take a flight to Colorado and the airline makes you wear a junior pilot tag. The stewardess shows you the way etc., not cool when you are 15 years old!




I decide it is time to talk with Mike about photography. I am a photographer myself, so over the years I have watched Mike’s photos as they appeared in magazine. His use of remote control and then self-portrait style photo’s always amazed me




その時はあるイメージの写真を撮りたかっただけだから、後は撮影を続けるつもりはなかったんだけど。そこからは僕自身に見える情景を撮りたくなった。本に自伝を記す人がいるように、僕にとって木工や写真が自伝だよ。vol2title2_01eThe rail off the top of my car with the sunset in the background was the first one. That happened in 1999 or 2000. The whole reason came from… well when I shoot with a photographer I am very vocal with my ideas. I know what I am going to be doing in the air so it is easy for me to say you should shoot from here or there. It does not go very well when you tell a photographer what to do! (Laughing) I started thinking of so many ideas for photo’s and I wanted to capture these images that were in my mind. I saw a photographer using a remote control to “fire” his flash and from there I thought of the idea to put the remote on the camera instead of the flash. So I spent 600 dollars on camera equipment and it took me four days to shoot that one photo. The location was in the Nevada desert where there is no snow. I had to bring snow in my van and on the first try the remote button got stuck and I did not know it. So the whole roll was shot on the first try and I did not know until I got the film back from developing. So I had to go back again two more times to get the shot that I wanted. I had not planned to shoot more photos after that I only wanted to get that one image… I just wanted to see if it could be done. From there it has developed into trying to capture what it is like to be me. You know some people write books to describe who they are, for me it is the woodworking and the photography that is my book.


次のステップとして、自分が見ている観点(Point of View)ですべてを撮ろうと思った。スノーボードをやらない人に、僕が見ている世界を味わってもらいたかった。作品を通してアラスカにあるピーク頂上がどんなものか少しでもイメージできるようにね!もちろん実物とはほど遠いし、巨大な山で滑ることを表現する事は難しいんだけど、写真の中で少しでも伝えたかったんだ。vol2title2_02eThe whole POV point of view shooting what I am seeing, that was the next step. I wanted to share what I was seeing with someone who might never snowboard. In that way they can get a little glimpse of what it is like to be on top of a peak in Alaska! Obviously it is not the same as the real thing, but it is very hard to express what big mountain riding is like so maybe those photos can give people a little idea of what it is like.vol2_05



デイビッドと一緒になる前は映像はやってこなかった。ここ何年か毎年春にはヴィクトリア(ジェラス)とアラスカに滑りに行ってた。3年位前かな、彼女と一緒に行くのをやめた年の3月半ばに、やっぱりアラスカに行かないくちゃいけない気がしてた。アラスカに行くのは習慣になってたけど、何も計画してはなかった。だから、昔ルームメイトだったRobot Foodのジェス・ギブソンに「アラスカ行くって聞いたんだけど、一緒につるんでくってのはどうよ?」って聞いてみた。ジョシュ・ダークセン以外はみんなアラスカに行くのが初めてだったっていうのもあって、彼らは僕が仲間入りすることを喜んでくれだんだ。自分の車でアラスカまで行ってRobot Foodのクルーたちと合流したんよ。まぁ僕はツアーガイドみたいなもんでさ、彼らに「これぞアラスカ!」ってのを見せてやったよ。彼らは僕が毎年アラスカで何をしているかがわかったし、その体験が一緒に収録をしようと思わせたのかもしれないね。その次の年に、Robot Foodは二つに分かれて、デイビッドとクリストファから「91 Words for Snow」を撮影するから参加してほしいと頼まれたんだ。スノーボードをやってきて、映像製作に参加してくれって頼んでくれたのは彼らが初めてだったんだ!僕にとっても映像に自分のパートを持てるチャンスだったよ。自分の視点を撮影したくて自前の16mmカメラを買いに、一度ハリウッドまで飛行機で行って、帰ってきてから車でアラスカまでいったよ。その年の冬は合計四回、1月、2月、3月、4月とアラスカに行ったんだ。その時これが僕にとって最優先事項だったし、最初の映像製作だったし、つまり頭にこれしかなかったんだ!


was not doing any filming before working with David. For the last few years I had been going to Alaska every spring with Victoria (Jealouse). After we stopped hanging out, it was mid March about 3 years ago and I still felt like I had to go to Alaska. It had become a ritual trip for me to go there, but I didn’t have any plans. So I called my friend Jess Gibson who was a Robot Food Filmer who used to be my roommate. “I heard you guys are going to Alaska, do you think I could hang out with you”? I asked him. They were happy to have me join, as it was the first time in Alaska for everyone on their crew except Josh Dirksen. So I drove to Alaska by myself in my car and joined the Robot Food crew there. I was basically their tour guide, I showed them Alaska! They got to see what I do every year in Alaska and I guess it moved them to want to capture that experience. The next year Robot Food split up and David and Christopher were going to make “91 words for snow” so they asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. In my whole snowboarding career they are the first people who asked me to be in their movie! This was my chance to have my own part in a movie. So I actually spent a lot of my own money on a small 16 mm camera to shoot the Point of View stuff. I actually flew to Hollywood for a few hours to buy the camera set up and than flew back and got in my car and drove to Alaska. That winter I think I went to Alaska 4 times, in January, February, March and than in my car in April for the spring. That was my main project and my first film segment so all my focus was on that!


マイクとデイビッドはどちらも非常に自立ししっかりと意見を持っているという点で実は似ているのではないか?とニールは感じている。両者ともにスノーボードで自分のスタイルを築き成し遂げてきた。デイビッドのRobot Foodでの作品やそれ以降の現在のプロジェクトは、市場のスタンダードから正反対に進んだ製作。そしてそれらは功績を収めてきた。マイクが言った通り、違う方向から同じビジョンに向かっているのだ。この組み合わせは最高のパートナーと呼べるだろう。vol2title2_04e

Whenever I do something I want to bring something new to it so I really tried to capture what it is like to be me through that film. Working with David… we are certainly two different types of people. David is a perfectionist he likes to plan everything out, he is very much the Producer, where as I am more like “hey I am feeling it, ok let’s go”. I had struggles working with him, off and on, but as far as the finished product I think we are both on the same vision, just how we get there is different. I like working with him, on the hill it can be hard to do things my style especially when there is a group of people. There generally needs to be a plan of some sort! I prefer to just be the sidekick that keeps it fun for me!




Looking at Mike and David, I think they are actually similar in that they are both very strongly independent. Both of them have always done things their own way in Snowboarding. David’s Robot Food movies and now the projects after that have all gone against what is the standard in the industry and been very successful. Like Mike says they have the same vision just different ways of getting there. Those are probably the best kind of partners!

Growing up as Mike did, certainly has affected his whole life. His parents never giving him the answers to questions lead to him always wanting to figure things out himself. I am sure that is what lead him to taking pictures. The Snowboard world is lucky to have a Mike Basich, someone who shows us what it is like to be a Pro-rider and what it is like to stand on top of those great peaks in Alaska. Now we can all sit back in the safety of our homes and enjoy the Mike Basich experience! Although Mike does not say it I think he hopes to inspire other to do the same. Whether it be photography, snowboarding, or even building your own house. He is a leader and a trendsetter and I think he hopes to influence people to make the right choices and be a better and happier person because of those choices.

Next Episode we will talk to Mike about what the future holds for 241 and the Basich family!

Special Thanks
NAOMI / Mr. / ATSU / 3rd eYe’s DESIGN




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