Skinnie Entertainment Magazine - FREE publication delivering coverage of today's music, sports, entertaiment, fashion and lifestyle to Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and the Inland Empire
Skinnie's Links to Friends and Affliates
Skinnie's Calendar of Events. Need something to do? Click Here
Skinnie Entertainemnt Magazine - Read This Month's Issue and Download in PDF
Skinnie Magazine's Streaming Video Galleries Events, Concerts, and Clubs
Skinnie Magazine's Photo Galleries of Events, Concerts, and Clubs - Come Find Yourself
Learn All About Skinnie Entertainment Magazine
The Maloof Money Cup (only the biggest skateboarding contest, ever) after party was held from July 11th all the way to the 13th at the Sutra Lounge, featuring an appearance by Travis Barker and a performance by crunkster Lil Jon. DJ Andy Rourke of Til along with The Smiths graced Cafe Sevilla in Riverside with their prescence on July 1st. The other Cafe Sevilla (Long Beach) threw its two-year anniversary party on July 18th and July 19th.
Skinnie Magazine's Official Interview with Andreas Wiig Andreas Wiig - Bringing Style To The Slopes
words by: Eric Bonholtzer  
photos courtesy of: Rockstar Energy Drink

The 2007 X Games heralded a changing of the guard in the snowboarding world as Norwegian shredder, Andreas Wiig, proved he was a force to be reckoned with, taking home a gold medal in both the Best Trick Showdown and the Snowboard Slopestyle events. While Wiig had won bronze and silver metals previously, his first place victories were made even more impressive by the fact that he beat snowboarding legends and event favorites, Shaun White and Danny Kass.  “I had a second place last year and I had a third place from before and I felt like I was the guy who always almost made it,” sWiig explains, joking that, “I was kind of sick of it.”  But the snowboarder attributes most of his success in last year’s event to his positive mindset as opposed to any significant change in his training regiment.  “My skills were better, but at the same time everyone else’s skills are better,” he explains candidly.  “I just think my mindset was better in the way I was thinking about the contest.  I think back and I think that I really did my best.  I really wanted to win and I really wanted to make it.”  Despite the intense pressure surrounding an event like the X Games, Wiig stresses how keeping his focus helped him win.  “I kept my head in the right place.  I was nervous so I used that nervousness to do better.”

While Wiig has been hitting the slopes for years, the victories in last year’s X Games have propelled the snowboarder to a new level of fame.  But Wiig acknowledges that with the success comes a whole new set of challenges. “I feel like there’s more pressure,” he explains.  “There’s more talk about it because of the interviews and people expect me to do good this year.” Even with the wins, Wiig remains humble and acknowledges the difficult level of competition he faces each time he enters a competition.  “I only won one year so it’s not like I’m supposed to win every year,” he relates.  “I feel the pressure, but I still feel like an outsider and I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself because that’s not going to make it any better.” Wiig explains that the success he had at the X Games has not fully alleviated his perception that he’s viewed as a bit of an outsider when it comes to the top tier of professional competition.  “I guess it’s just the feeling I’ve had over the last couple years,” Wiig explains. “Maybe it’s more of a feeling I have myself, but maybe after this season people won’t see me as an outsider anymore.” Still, always one to turn a negative into a positive, Wiig cites, “I feel like maybe that’s the best attitude to have because you always want to do something more and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Wiig’s drive and passion for always taking things to new heights is nowhere more evident than in his long climb to the top of the professional snowboarding mountain.  Growing up in a small town outside of Oslo, Norway, Wiig began boarding when the sport was practically non-existent.  “It was more like a toy that no one really thought was really going to go anywhere,” Wiig states, explaining the lack of support for snowboarding in his community. “It was a small thing with maybe like five to 10 riders in the local resort that actually snowboarded.  It was a small tight group that was just stoked on shredding and it was kind of a cool thing to be able to be a part of that group.” While it would seem like the cold climate where Wiig grew up would be advantageous because of great mountain runs, the truth is that was far from the case.  “Where I grew up, the mountains are only a thousand feet long with maybe just one jump and no rails,” Wiig says, explaining the excitement he felt at first being able to shred on American snow. “The parks over here are insane compared to us. That’s why I became really stoked when I came to the States.” Having to overcome bad conditions, though, is something that Wiig considers a plus. “It helps because I’ve been able to ride bad conditions and when it’s good I’m super stoked.  I think that’s an advantage, and it’s good because I’m not always used to riding in perfect parks.  It’s a good thing for motivation.”

When Wiig first hit the States, his foray into professional riding came in a crash, literally.  “When I was 19 I was finishing school in Norway and I worked my ass off to save up money to travel over to the States and I bumped into a photographer who was actually filming for Mack Dawg,” Wiig relates. And when he says “bumped” he really means it.   “I accidentally crashed into him and that’s how I met him.  After that he wanted to film me for a couple of days.”  While not the ideal way to begin a career, Wiig made it work and ran with it. “He filmed me and then there were some rumors and suddenly a bunch of sponsors were calling me out of the blue,” Wiig says.  “So it all happened in a crazy way and really, really fast, going from totally unsponsored to being pro.”  Wiig adds with a laugh, “it was a lucky crash, you know?  It’s kind of crazy because that’s the first time they noticed me and I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t crash into him.”

Wiig’s professional career has taken him to the top, and while the snowboarder was equally dominant in both the Best Trick Showdown and the Snowboard Slopestyle last year, he has a strong preference for the downhill Slopestyle event.  “I prefer Slopestyle because you have to be a better rider overall,” Wiig states. “You have to be able to jump, do rails and sometimes there’s a quarter-pipe in there, so it just shows more of your style riding when it comes to a lot of different stuff.” He also says, “Best Trick is more about the one trick that you do and it’s like Bingo. You could have a good day and you get lucky or you have a bad day and you’re out.” Wiig acknowledges the difficulty of the Slopestyle event and explains his special strategy going into it; “I don’t really do any tricks that I haven’t done before or I’m not too safe on. I’m definitely going for difficult jumps but I play it a little bit safer on the rails because it’s so easy to screw up and throw you out of your plan.”  According to Wiig, “it’s about finding that right balance.” The weather too plays a significant factor. “It’s just a thing where you have to change your run up depending on the snow and the wind.  That’s a big part of Slopestyle”.

When not participating in competitions, Wiig is active filming snowboarding videos and defying the odds with his insane runs.  “We went up in Alaska for two weeks and that was the best riding I’ve ever had,” Wiig explains, citing the excitement of dropping way back into the mountains via helicopter.  “It was a lot of fun being able to drop 5000 feet vertical or even more in one ride.  It’s is pretty amazing, almost a little overwhelming.”  Wiig acknowledges, though, the inherent risks that come along with the excitement.  “Especially after taking a beating, sometimes you sit down and you think that, ‘my job is actually pretty crazy,’” the snowboarder relates, but with his usual good humor adds, “but it’s still more fun than sitting behind a desk.”  Wiig sums it up by citing that, “I think you just have to have to think about what’s fun about it and forget about the bad side. Sometimes you have to take a beating if you want to get better.”

One of the most extreme moments of Wiigs’s career actually came this year, not in a competition but while working on a snowboard video. “I was taken by an avalanche this last winter and it was in all the newspapers,” Wiig explains, relating that the footage actually made its way in the Mack Dawg release Picture This.  “It’s in the movie. I hit this jump up in Montana and I lost my goggles,” he says. “As I was looking for my goggles I just look up and I see this huge white cloud coming at me.”  With tons of snow barreling down on him, Wiig made a narrow escape.  “I just started diving onto it and trying to stay on top. It looks like I’m trying to fight it but I was actually just trying to stay afloat,” he relates.  “I was dragged down for a little while and I was underneath but then I came back out so I was lucky.”

Even with the dangers, Wiig is more than happy with his career choice and encourages all the young riders who have a passion for shredding the slopes and one day hope to compete professionally. “I think that you just really have to want it.  The level nowadays is getting better and better and you just have to be really into it and devote a lot of time to snowboarding and just really think about how you’re going to be a better rider when you ride.” Wiig stresses the balance between professionalism and enjoying the sport for riders who want a career in the sport.  “You have to have fun, but it’s important to really focus on getting better and learning new tricks. You have to spend a lot of time doing it and take it step by step,” he says, adding, “if you try and take it too fast you might wind up getting hurt.” Whether aspiring to become a pro or just seeing a weekend of hitting the slopes, Wiig, acknowledges snowboarding’s widespread appeal. “It’s a lifestyle and at the same time it’s about how you’re doing your tricks.” And with talented boarders like Wiig shredding the slopes and continuing to impress, it’s a guarantee that no one is going to get bored with extreme snowboarding anytime soon.

AT A GLANCE...
+ Andreas Wiig, Soccer Star
While Wiig’s talent in snowboarding is undeniable, the shredder originally dreamed of becoming a soccer star before setting his sights on the slopes. “The rush you get from snowboarding isn’t something that you get on the soccer field,” Wiig explains.

+ Andreas aka “Mandreas”
Wiig was given the nickname “Mandreas” by a former manager after attempting some wild stunts.  “He started calling my 1080s, ‘man-80s’ because I did a lot of practice and I had to ‘be a man about it,’” Wiig explains. “It went from that to ‘Mandreas.’”

+ Favorite trick
Wiig has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, but there’s one that stands out.
“It really all depends on the jump, but right now I’d say the 540 Tailgrab,” Wiig relates.

+ Mountain Man
You can’t separate Wiig from the mountains as he attests that, “I probably snowboard more than 150 days a year.”

Visit Anreas Wiig here

++TOP

Skinnie Magazine's Official Interview with Andreas Wiig Dave Dillewaard - Austrailian for BMX
words by: PJ Yatar 
photos by: Andrew Benudiz

It was only supposed to be a holiday; a quick stop to California. Four years ago with no roof over his head and a few dollars in his back pocket, Dave Dillewaard realized he didn’t own his dreams. They owned him. He wondered how his family in Australia would react to his decision to remain in the U.S. in an attempt to jumpstart his BMX career. “They were pretty stoked,” Dillwaard states, recalling his parents initial response. “I had been working three years straight to save enough money to go on holiday to the states. Then when I found out that I could make a living out of it, they loved it.” Since coming to the U.S. in 2003 the playful yet aggressive 6’4“ wonder from down under” has had an impact on the pro tour that has been nothing short of inspiring. Whether it’s his forceful tail tricks, gigantic air maneuvers or his accelerated handle bar grabs, his riding style reveals, as in the case of his own life, a willingness to take big risks for even bigger rewards. Describe the difference between riding in Australia and riding out here in the U.S., particularly in Southern California. In Australia there are not too many dirt trails, that’s the main thing, we mainly go to skate parks. You come back here and there are big skate parks here but there is a good bunch of trails out here too.

For you what was the toughest part making the transition from amateur to the professional ranks?
Consistency mainly, when I first came to the states I mainly did not know what to do in a contest. But after you do so many you realize what you got to do… the big tricks but it’s mainly consistency and putting a good solid run together. Some people pull tricks once before they go to a contest then try it. I don’t know. You just have to be consistent and be able to pull those tricks when they count.

With the season already to an end and with the new season about to start what do you do in the off-season?
 Pretty much hang out. Get up at noon, Ride everyday, just chillin’ nicely.

Do you have a set training routine?
No not really. Wake up. Ride a trail until it gets dark then from there go to a skate park and ride there for a few hours then head home. That’s usually about it. What do you do to prepare yourself before each contest? Not much really I just ride or jump the trails around here.  I don’t train too much. I try to stay healthy and keep consistent on my bike so I can, I don’t know, do it in a contest.

Looking from the outside in, BMX continues to prosper from inside. Describe the current state of BMX.
The Dew Tour has been amazing right now… it’s really brought BMX out a lot more. It’s good for the sports, it’s brought a lot of coverage with good pay outs too.

From a technical side where do you see the tricks in BMX progressing?
There are a lot of crazy tricks and maneuvers, some of the stuff going on now people didn’t think it was possible.  I think it can only keep going that way if people keep progressing, learning and creating new tricks… tail tricks get people going off.

I am amazed at the unspoken camaraderie action sports athletes share. On one hand the athletes are locked in the heat of the battle and then with one trick they are cheering for one another. Are you close with most of the athletes you compete against?
Yeah, there is like, different groups for sure like, who people hang out with… it’s not like everyone hates each other, everyone is mates. We all have fun. It’s because they all know how hard it is, what you are doing. They appreciate it. If they see something they have never seen before they aren’t going to hate you. They are going to be stoked for you.

You are a tall guy about 6’4”. I would imagine that your height would be a hindrance, especially with tricks where you have to rapidly maneuver the wheels of your bike around before you land.
I don’t think so. It’s not really a problem. Back in the day I used to have a real small bike and it used to give my back problems. So I realized that I could make my bike a little longer so I did that. I would think that it is better to be tall ‘cause you can stretch your tricks earlier and stuff like that.

Are there days when you wake up and you don’t feel like riding?
(Laugh) I don’t know. I haven’t woken up and feel like I don’t want to ride that doesn’t happen at all. Hopefully I don’t wake up like that actually.

How different is your life now in 2008 than it was before you came out here to Southern California?
Three years ago I wasn’t really settled in America. I had a bunch of friends all over the place. I really didn’t have any place to live.  I ended up living out in Corona with some friends. We have a good thing going on here.

Do you ever see yourself staying in the U.S. permanently?
I am not sure if I will live the rest of my life out here, but I still have a few more years to come.

AT A GLANCE...

+ Grew up in Redcliffe, Australia.

+ Before moving to the United States worked three years polishing heavy truck protectors called “Bull Bars”.

+ Moved to the U.S. in 2003

+ Among the tallest in BMX history at 6’4”.

+ Nick name is DILLSY.

++TOP

Skinnie Magazine's Official Interview with Andreas Wiig Wu-Tang Clan - Finding The Balance
words by: Hans Fink  
photos courtesy of: Alex Henry

Since its inception and subsequent rise to prominence, the Wu-Tang Clan has continuously set a precedent of lyrical excellence with its nine (now eight) diverse MCs and unique brand of slang/east coast vernacular. Legions of notable hip hop artists have been influenced by the now legendary Wu-Tang Clan and each of the members have gone on to enjoy successful solo careers in music, film and other aspects of the entertainment industry. As a result of the enigmatic cypher’s success, coupled with their overwhelmingly boastful claim that “Wu-Tang Clan Aint Nuthing To F’ Wit’,” many a music fan, from the self-important art intellectual to the casual listener, has speculated as to the origin of the Wu-Tang’s mysterious power. Moreover, speculation was recently abound in regard to the new album, the aptly named 8 Diagrams, the fifth studio album to be released after a six year hiatus had punctuated their 18 year career. Would the Clan sound the same after the loss of original member Ol’ Dirty Bastard? What is the reason for the harsh words from notable Wu MCs Raekwon and Ghostface Killah in regard to the new album? Moreover, after all the problems, sacrifice and toil that went into 8 Diagrams, would anyone even like this new album? RZA, the de facto leader and self-proclaimed abbot of the Wu-Tang Clan illuminates the situation, waxing both philosophical and entrepreneurial all at once.

As is typical with the Wu-Tang Clan, there is a great deal of meaning and symbolism behind the new album title 8 Diagrams. “I actually named the album before we started working on it,” RZA elaborates. “There’s a movie called The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, which is very influential in me devising the idea of the Wu-Tang Clan…also the eight diagrams represent the eight MCs or the original Wu-Tang members,” he says, alluding subtly to the loss of his cousin and original member Ol’ Dirty Bastard. “Also in the 8 Diagrams is the symbol of the Bak Wah, which is the book of the I Ching, the Book of Changes, which the ancient Asian culture would [use to] help calculate the future, the present, the past, big steps in life, small steps in life, big yin steps, big yang steps.  Also, eight is the number where if you turn it sideways that’s the symbol for infinity and Wu-Tang is forever, like we said in our previous music. So those are some of the reasons that I chose 8 Diagrams and there are a few more, there’s a lot of symbolism in it… the number eight itself is a self-balancing number. It’s four, four. It balances itself out. In mathematics the word for it is ‘build’ or ‘destroy’. In building positivity, you automatically destroy negativity. If you build negative things you gonna’ automatically destroy the positive things. It’s a self-balancing break. That’s why it’s also the sign for infinity… I thought the time was right to bring that kind of ideology into hip hop.”

The number eight certainly did balance itself out though as the Wu faced its fair share of problems in the obstacle-addled production of said album; “The obstacles had to be the business side of things; eight lawyers, eight managers… eight ideas and opinions on music…” RZA tries to stifle his laughter as if my question about the obstacles faced was a dramatic understatement. “So many people to speak for us, so many people got their opinion on what we should be doing, what we should be saying and how we should be acting. That’s a problem because these lawyers don’t know, the managers don’t know, and individually we all have our own solo careers, our solo careers being what they are, solo careers, based on our own individual personalities. But the collective Wu-Tang may sound different.” As further demonstration of the number eight being self-balancing, RZA’s original plan that built the Wu-Tang empire inadvertently plenated the seed for a negative backlash to balance out the positive reward the members have reaped; initially, the plan was to release Wu-Tang under one label, but allow the individual members to sign their solo careers under other labels. For instance, Method Man signed to Def Jam and ODB signed to Elektra. The idea was with the different members each pursuing careers under several different labels, the collective would in fact have the power of multiple labels and record industry entities at their back. The plan worked. But it also set the stage for the current problems of having to answer to different managers, publishers and entities, thereby making current and future Wu collaborations tedious and hassle-prone. “At the beginning of the Wu-Tang Clan career we all made an agreement that whoever album come out, no other member would infringe on the other guy’s publishing… But what happened in the middle of all that we became popular, we became famous and we started having our own individual publishing deals... Everybody got a piece of the credit because Wu-Tang Clan stood as one. That’s how we did it in the old days. In the new days it’s changed. Method Man’s got publishing deals, RZA’s got publishing deals, Raekwon’s got publishing deals – we gotta’ answer to third parties, we gotta’ answer to lawyers, we gotta’ answer to different people and so now we can’t live up to our own code of honor.”

In addition to the hindrances arising from each of the members having to negotiate heavily with their own outside entities, internal dissent became an issue as both Ghostface Killah and Raekwon expressed discontent with the RZA. In the case of Ghostface, who only appears on three songs, it was largely a legal dispute.  “Personally I don’t have a problem with Ghostface and personally I don’t think he has a problem with me. On the business side, there’s a misconception and confusion that needs to be settled. And when you get lawyers involved, you basically only making a bigger hole because they don’t know the problem and the longer it last the better for them. This thing with Ghostface has gone on for three years now.” In terms of the friction between RZA and Raekwon, this stems more from creative differences in which Raekwon longs for the grittier sound of older Wu-Tang records, referring to RZA as a “hip hop hippie” due to a more eclectic and, some may even contend, subdued palette. “It hurts me,” RZA admits.  “And I ain’t no goddamn hippie… the first Wu-Tang album, the first song was called ‘Bring the Motherfuckin’ Ruckus’. Who sang that hook? That’s me! That shows you I was in an aggressive frame of mind. ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit’. ‘Protect Your Neck’. These are all my hooks and my statements. So I know what Rae means because I’ve felt like that too but I’ve traveled the world and there’s another struggle out there in this world. I been to other places around the world and I seen other men, I got respect for other men, how they feel about life, how they feel about music. So I’ma jump in that way, not every song is aggressive. I got a song ‘While My Heart Gently Weeps’ because we all weepin’ inside. We act like we all tough, we these super heroes, but at the end of the day we weepin’ inside. Because the heart is weepin’. The heart really feels what’s going on inside this fuckin’ world, inside the whole crew, inside the whole household, inside everything when you walk outside.“

As cited before, the number eight represents a self-balancing force and in spite of creative and business differences, RZA illustrates a bright side that is telling of each member’s passion for hip hop as well as their collective respect for the entity that launched their careers. “The one good thing I will say about the record is the whole clan did come in and did give their vocal performances and lyrical performances in spite of all the difficulties we was having business wise. And I really wanna commend the group for that, for coming in and giving their time. I know Method Man’s lawyer, calling Method Man up going ‘don’t go to the studio, don’t go to the studio, don’t go to the studio…’ Ghostface showed up, Ghostface got a lawsuit against Wu-Tang productions right now…so I respect the clan realizing that Wu-Tang Clan and the music is bigger than any other personal problems or business problems we have and that our fans, they deserve more than to suffer while we suffer, and our music deserves more.”

Turmoil and mathematics aside, one notable thing about the Wu-Tang Clan is unlike many mainstream rappers, they have not needed to have their beefs, whether they be internal or otherwise, highly publicized to sell an album. They simply spit the way they spit and the masses gravitate toward it. In spite of the perceived conflicts within the clan, RZA sums it up: “I think Raekwon put it best in an interview: ‘When we together, we have no problems. We only have problems when we all apart.’  That’s what I feel like… at one point I didn’t think Ghostface was going to be on this record and I was willing to do it without him, to be honest with you. But at the end of the day we sat down face to face and it felt like all the problems disappeared.” As exemplified by the previously stated symbolism of the numeral 8 turned sideways to reveal the symbol for eternity, it would appear that Wu-Tang is in fact forever.

AT A GLANCE...
+ The tracks “Tar Pit” and “16th Chamber” (featuring a vocal track from the late ODB) only appear on the track listing for the European release of the album. However, RZA states that he hid “16th Chamber” at the end of the American release should fans try to look for it.

+ The dialogue at the end of the track “Life Changes” is actually the Heart Sutra, as read in Mandarin Chinese. “Everyone should hear the Heart Sutra in its native tongue at least once in their lives,” RZA states.

+ RZA looks up to Snoop Dogg and Slick Rick. “Snoop Dogg to me is the coolest rapper in history. Only one who’s cooler is Slick Rick. He is the only one who can compare to Snoop as far as coolest.”

+ Each of the members of the Wu are referred to as “generals,” whereas RZA refers to himself as “The Abbot,” meaning the superior of a monastery. In the old kung fu movies, the abbot was the one the badass warrior monks turned to for leadership or advice.

+ The RZA and other Wu members espouse the divinity of mathematics, as taught by The Nation of Gods and Earths (more commonly referred to as the 5% Nation of Islam).

+ RZA’s favorite soundtracks that he’s composed are for Kill Bill and Afro Samuari. “With Afro Samurai I was just doing my own thing, no guidelines.” The Afro Samurai Soundtrack made Skinnie’s Best of 2007 issue.

+ Two favorite movies that the RZA has worked on: Kill Bill, in which he worked with his hero Quentin Tarantino and American Gangster, in which he acted alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

+ The Wu-Tang Clan is a labor of love for RZA: “But even as the producer, I did this whole album for only $200,000. I did a commercial where it took me three days to get that money. I got paid more for that commercial than I did for this whole fuckin’ album!”

+ Having studied all religions and paths, RZA comments that all gods and all spirituality are essentially the same thing. “You can call it what you want, I choose to refer it as Allah, because the first three letters are ALL. It is all things, all gods, all paths.”

WU TANG CLAN’S
“8 DIAGRAMS” is available now. For more info on the Wu, visit at www.wutangclan.com

++TOP

Skinnie Magazine's Official Interview with Andreas Wiig Tommy Lee + DJ Aero = Electro Mayhem
words by: Eric Bonholtzer   
photos by: Drew Ressler

When it comes to sheer love of their craft there are few musicians out there who can compare with Tommy Lee and DJ Aero, and the pair’s latest project, a foray into the ever-expanding world of electronic house and dance music, is indicative of why these artists are doing it for the music. Lee and Aero have performed numerous club and festival gigs over the past three years, and the duo continues to rock venue after venue in support of their Electro Mayhem Tour. “We aren’t doing this for the money,” Lee explains.  “We’re doing this for the sheer love and passion for beats and dance music.” And that would certainly seem to be the case as Lee has experienced a great deal of success in his work as a drummer for Mötley Crüe and Rock Star Supernova, and DJ Aero is a prominent DJ in his own right. “I think that’s what makes it so legit and real,” Lee says. “We love what we do. I think that it just makes it real when you’re doing it for the right reasons.” The performing for the sheer love of performing mentality is echoed by Aero as he relates candidly that, “the money comes secondary on this project.”

While both Lee and DJ Aero have always had an intense passion for dance music, neither man began their career in the electronic scene.  However, both have always been drawn to it, and even in Lee’s work with Mötley Crüe there has always been an element of that underlying attraction to electronic beats. “I’ve always loved it,” Lee says, “It’s been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember and every time I’ve done a drum solo I’ve always incorporated electronic sounds. I like electronic, you can hit harder and you can make crazy sounds.” Lee’s talent as a drummer helps explain why he has been so drawn to electronic music, particularly breakbeats, which have a rhythm that’s more similar to drum fills than the standard house rhythm. In addition, his experience helps create a unique flavor in his work with DJ Aero.  “That’s one of our bonus points,” Lee elaborates.  “I’m a drummer so if I’m effecting something and I add a quarter note, or half note or three quarter delay I can make it funkier. So as a drummer, every chance I get I’m trying to make it funkier, make it heavier, make it dirtier.”

Lee’s distinctive flair compliments Aero’s solid turntable experience. A background in hip hop on Aero’s part helps to create a dynamic that allows the pair to draw from many different sources when they spin. Aero, who hails from Victorville, California explains that before he moved into electronic music he began his DJ career in hip hop. “Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, that’s kind of really where it started,” DJ Aero relates. “Jam Master Jay, Run D.M.C. and all those bands with prominent DJs. I was fascinated with it and that’s really how I got into it.” When he first started mixing firsthand, however, Aero realized quickly just how complicated mastering a turntable can be. “I started doing hip hop because I wanted to scratch, and when I first started DJing I had no idea that you actually had to mix records,” the DJ elaborates. “I thought that they just scratched the records.” After a little practice, though, Aero began making a name for himself in the scene and, soon after, the turntablist became involved in a new kind of sound: dance music. “The rave scene started hitting big in 1989-1990, so I started going to LA raves and watching all the big DJs in LA and that’s what really got me into house music.” Even with a passion kindling within for electronic beats, Aero still kept grounded in his hip hop roots. “To be honest, hip hop kind of paid the bills. There weren’t a lot of house parties where I grew up, obviously, so you had to play whatever you could play to get paid and that’s kind of what I did.”

Once Lee saw a three-minute clip of Aero’s skills, though, the drummer immediately invited Aero over to check out his work in person. “I had the awesome opportunity of working with a couple of amazing DJs in the studio,” Lee explains. “So I had a chance to see some of the best of the best.  Then I saw Aero’s clip and I was like, ‘that guy’s as good as these guys.’” It didn’t take long for Lee to be impressed by Aero’s ability. “He came over and he killed it,” Lee says enthusiastically. “He had a lot of flavor and I was like, ‘let’s do this.’”  While Aero worked with Lee for a while in Lee’s band, Methods of Mayhem, it wasn’t until 2004 when the impetus for Lee and Aero’s turntable partnership really began. “Tommy called me up out of the blue in 2004 and was like, ‘Hey, dude, do you want to go rock Miami with like 20,000 people?’” Aero relates. “I said, ‘let’s do it,’ and to be honest that’s where this Electro Mayhem tour really started.” Lee and Aero then began to craft electronic beats in the studio. “We sat there… and started putting together a bunch of crazy music and drums and samples and loops and we just went nuts,” Lee explains.

Lee and Aero quickly discovered that they were on the same page. “We’re not trying to recreate the wheel,” Lee relates, “It’s dance music and we do our best at making the best dance music that we can.” Lee and Aero focus on making their songs memorable. “I believe that you really want people at the end of the day to go away singing your songs,” Lee says. The duo’s penchant for using vocals and catchy hooks ensure that each song is distinctive. “Aero and I are big fans of melody and vocals,” Lee explains.  “So when you hear a hook you’re like, ‘we could put some beats to this and it would be slamming’ and that’s kind of how we do it. We find these little gems and put a little love on top of them and then, boom, there you go.” Lee and Aero are also huge proponents of remixing their songs live in order to get the crowd moving. “If we don’t see an instant reaction or people are not feeling it, we’re out of the track,” Aero relates. “It’s good to see the crowd react and now with the software and technology we’re able to perform like that every night.” Lee and Aero will soon be releasing their first album, which promises to be a mix of hard electronic music and melodic memorable songs. “With our tour schedule it’s been impossible to get to a room and finish these songs, but Tommy and I probably have about seven or eight tracks that are close to being finished,” Aero explains. “They’re heavy. It’s really hard electro. We’re working on some original remixes with a couple of bands so those are going to be cool too.”

Like any successful musician who moves into another genre, Lee’s work with Aero was met with some initial skepticism, but with Lee’s easygoing manner it really didn’t bother him much. “It’s getting better, but in the beginning people are like, ‘What? You’re DJing?’  And they don’t quite get it,” Lee laughs. “It’s not like a guitar player. I’m a drummer - I live for beats. So it makes clear total sense to me, but a lot of people at the beginning were confused.” Lee remained undaunted, though, remaining tenacious in his new pursuit. “The more and more we’ve been doing this the more they’ve been getting it,” Lee elaborates. “There’s always going to be fans that want to come and see you whatever you’re doing which is cool and it rules,” he explains, noting how things have changed the longer he keeps DJing. “In the beginning it was like a ‘meet and greet,’” he says.  “You’re up there DJing and people are handing you a copy of your autobiography or a Shout at the Devil record.” Now, though, fans are really beginning to appreciate Lee and Aero’s work in its own right and with the passion that these two demonstrate for their craft it’s of little wonder that their music will make you get up and dance and have you singing along long after you’ve left the club.

UP IN THE CLUB

+ Performing:  While their partnership involves both artists creating the beats, for the live sets, Lee handles the video mixing while Aero takes care of the audio. “I handle the audio mixing and Tommy handles all the visual edits and visual mixing and does the effects on top of the audio,” Aero explains. “There’s nothing better than hearing something and seeing something,” Lee adds. “It just takes it to a whole other level.”

+ The Venue:  Lee and Aero have played venues of all sizes, and as long as the fans are happy and enjoying it so are they. “There’s two different types of crowds, there’s the festival crowd where once you get them hooked they go off and they’re nuts,” Aero explains. “Then there’s the smaller venues when you get them going, there’s nothing like being in a smaller room with like 300 people jumping up and down.”

+ Here to Stay:  While Lee and Aero are touring the world extensively, there’s also a good chance they might become once a month resident DJs at LA’s Crash Mansion. “There’s talk of us doing some kind of residency in Los Angeles once a month so that might be something that comes to fruition in November,” Aero says.

++TOP

Skinnie Magazine's Official Interview with Andreas Wiig SNOW STASH - The Best Of The Southwest.   
words by: Donald C. Stefanovich

It’s overcrowded. There’s smog. There’s traffic. There are earthquakes. There are wildfires. There’s a high crime rate and even higher cost of living. But, there’s also a downside to Southern California. If you grew up here, you probably never woke up to see the name of your school scroll across the bottom of the television screen on the list of school closings, never shoveled driveways for money, never built a snowman only to have the cool kids smash it and you sure as hell never had a white Christmas. But as part of all that Southern California magic (by magic I mean the combination of geological and meteorological occurrences and the deep pockets of resort tycoons) there are still some pretty mean mountains in which skiers and snowboarders may seek solace.

Mountain High
Easily the most convenient drive for most So Cal residents, Mountain High is actually three resorts. The West Resort, the most popular among jibbers, is home to the Faultline terrain park. The East Resort is serviced by a single quad lift, but features some of Southern California’s longest alpine runs as well as some secret glade stashes after a storm. The North Resort is family oriented and also home to the tubing park. Although it rises out of the Mojave Desert, 155 inches annually cover Mt. High’s 8,200 foot peaks. Snowmaking is courtesy of the mountain’s own reservoir on the backside of the peak, but locals know the Bullwheel is the best watering-hole on the hill.
www.mthigh.com

Mammoth Mountain
This mountain is indeed, mammoth. Yes, I know I’m clever. The summit sits at 11,053 feet and over 400 inches annually grace these peaks. What else? Mammoth features world-class terrain parks and an Olympic-size half-pipe as well as some of the steepest lines and most badass backcountry on the west coast and 3,100 feet of vert, which would explain why it’s not unlikely to find pros training here. Not ready to huck your meat from something that gnarly just yet? June Mountain, Mammoth’s little sister features more beginner friendly terrain.
www.mammothmountain.com

Mount Baldy
Baldy is a double-black diamond in the rough – one of Southern California’s best-kept secrets and the locals like it that way - so if I disappear, you know why. While it lacks the extensive marketing of other resorts and doesn’t have the resources to compete in the arena of snowmaking, when a killer storm dumps on the 8,600 peak, its unrivaled by anything in the southwest. Sick drops, glades, chutes and cliffs make this anything but a beginner mountain and the closest you’ll find to expert, big mountain runs without wasting a few tanks of gas. You’ll need someone familiar with the mountain to find the best stashes nestled among the 2,100 feet of vert.
www.mtbaldy.com

Heavenly at Tahoe
Okay, so maybe it isn’t really Southern California, but trust me, it’s worth mentioning. A peak of 10,067 feet and 4,800 acres make this California’s largest resort; so large in fact that it spills over the Nevada border. Nevermind the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe or the Vegas-esque nightlife replete with casinos - nearly 400 inches dump annually blanketing the 3,500 feet of vert and the ratio of bars to hospitals is 108 to 1. I like my odds.
www.skiheavenly.com

Bear Mountain
This resort is known as “The Park,” which should give you an idea what the main attraction is here. This mountain features a peak elevation of 8,805 feet and 1,665 feet of vertical drop – most of which is some of sickest freestyle terrain in the southwest. The jumps and jibs here rival some of the best in the country and there’s a professionally groomed 400 foot halfpipe with 12 foot walls. How do they do it all? In spite of its So Cal home, The Park actually receives about 100 inches annually. Of course they wouldn’t rely on that, so there’s also a snowmaking system capable of making 6,000 gallons of water per minute into snow. Yeah, that thing blows.

++TOP

Skinnie Magazine's Official Interview with Andreas Wiig For The Record - Brook

Heights of Compassion
Hawthorne Heights’ Casey Calvert’s untimely death prompted the non-profit To Write Love On Her Arms charity to offer a memorial shirt. All proceeds go to Casey’s widow. TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski says, “there’s a wife who just lost her husband… she is not alone in this moment.  Her husband’s life meant a lot to a lot of people and this is our chance to respond.” Even a dick like me recognizes a good cause – order yours at www.twloha.com.

Foo for You
Foo Fighters are about to embark on their biggest American tour to date and will be rejoined by fan-fave Pat Smear on guitar! Ticketmaster will auction a limited quantity of premium tickets, with proceeds benefiting local tree planting through TreeBank, who will put new trees in every stop of the FF tour. I feel a kinship with this program. In fact, I’ve been erecting wood for artists like Fergie and Beyonce!

Maybe it’s in the Jungle, Baby
Slash’s suitcase was misplaced when he flew into the UK on a recent trip. “It has got loads of really expensive jewelry and all my leather trousers in it… I saw one suitcase that looked like mine. I would have taken it but could have ended up walking around London in someone else’s dress.” Could be a nice change for a guy who’s worn the same ensemble since 1987!

Evel Makes Peace
Just before his death, Evel Kneivel, motorcycle legend and OG patriot, settled a lawsuit with Kanye West over a video which satirized the ‘70s daredevil. Days before he died, Evel said “We settled the lawsuit amicably. I thought (Kanye) was a wonderful guy and quite a gentleman” – good thing they didn’t discuss politics!

Riot Quiet
Kevin DuBrow, the controversial vocalist for Quiet Riot, passed away in his Las Vegas home. He was only 52. QR became the first metal band to have a debut album hit #1. Kevin lived very much in the “now” but he never ceased paying tribute to his friend and former bandmate, late guitar legend Randy Rhoads. It’s nice to know that they’re jamming together again.

Sparkless?
2007 American Idol Jordin Sparks debuted on the charts at #10. That’s pretty damn good but it’s been panned for being the lowest entry to date for an album by an Idol winner. With 119,000 copies sold, artists everywhere would probably give their left nut to be in the Top 10 but in our finicky society it’s deemed a failure. Go figure.

Silly Akon, Tossing’s for Salads
Young Abby Rosa said she suffered a concussion when hip hop star Akon tossed a teenager off the stage and onto her during a concert. The incident was later revealed to be staged, however poor Abby wasn’t in on the joke. Someone always gets hurt in the manufacturing of bullshit!

Vintage Fad
A Christie’s auction of rock memorabilia made a killing recently. How ‘bout $4,000 for a Rolling Stones’ T-shirt? A 1973 Led Zeppelin shirt for $1,625? Then there was the Yardbirds shirt worn by a rock journalist to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival that brought $3,000! Wow! Who wants to buy the Snoop Dogg shirt I wore to Hot Topic in 1997?

No, he’s not talking about Mexicans!
Morrissey is suing a UK magazine, claiming it took a recent interview out of context, making him appear racist. He was quoted as saying he would no longer live in Britain because an “immigration explosion” was stripping his native land of its identity and went on to elaborate. Big deal - if the article insinuated Morrissey was homophobic, THEN I would question its validity!

++TOP

Skinnie Magazine's Official Interview with Andreas Wiig Action Sport Round Up
By Bobby D. Lux
RIP Sam Vazquez
Mixed martial arts has suffered its first death from a fighter taking part in a sanctioned event. Sam Vazquez passed away on Nov. 30 after complications stemming from a bout against Vince Libardi in Texas on Oct. 20. Vazquez lost via TKO in the third round and was immediately rushed to a medical facility. He underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. He then endured a second brain blood clot, brain swelling and a massive stroke before passing away.

Surf’s Up, Bloke
The first major storm of the year hit the shores of the U.K. (that’s England) creating some of the biggest waves ever seen on the British Isles. Winds came in at nearly 70mph, creating conditions with waves hovering around 25 ft. in the English Channel, and over 40ft. in the Atlantic. Big wave enthusiasts swarmed to England to ride waves that run normal people out of their homes.

Tito on the Apprentice
Want a reason to watch reality TV? Here’s one (and it’s the only one I’ll give you). Former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion and former SKINNIE columnist, Tito Ortiz, will be one of the contestants on the upcoming season of The Apprentice. The season is a celebrity edition, with the contestants playing for charity. Ortiz will face off against Lennox Lewis, Gene Simmons and the biggest “no real reason to be a celebrity of all-time,” Omarosa.

Back to the School!
One of the oldest skate parks in Orange County is getting the boot. The skate park neighboring Huntington Beach High School will be closing thanks to unanimous vote cast by the Huntington Beach Union High School District. Two of the main reasons cited to shut down the park were litter and bad language. No joke. I guess if that’s the main criteria to shut something down, the football stadium and baseball field should be next to go, right? The park was originally built in 1994 to stop skaters from skating at the high school, which had become one of the top skating locations in the US.

RIP Evel Knievel
Evel Knievel was the first action sports superstar in history. “America’s Legendary Daredevil” passed away at his home on November 30 at age 69 (which is very fitting!) after battling diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis for many years. Knievel is best known for his red, white and blue jumpsuit and his amazing feats, including his motorcycle jumps over buses, sharks and his most famed stunt: jumping the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.

Got some $$$ to blow?
If you do, then do I have the product for you!!! Sure, a high-end skateboard will cost you some hard earned scratch, but if you want to distance yourself from the pack and have 2 G’s to burn, then the Groundsurf board/thing is just for you! For your money, you get an electric motor, sensor detection system, plus an option to control this thing with a touchscreen Bluetooth mobile phone device thingy doo-hickey gadget… being a hip yuppie was never so easy!

Sherk And California Don’t Mix
UFC lightweight champ Sean Sherk was found guilty of using controlled substances by the CSAC. Sherk has expressed a desire to never fight in California again for any amount of money and maintains the CSAC was wrong. Living legend BJ Penn will face up and coming Joe Stevenson in March for the interim lightweight title.

++TOP

 
 
   
Site by Jay Grewall