Interview: Addy Snowdon

Grindmaster Flash on his new vid, old vidz and safety in the home…

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You’ve just finished your new video. Although I own a copy and have watched it quite a few times, I’m going to ask you a few questions from the perspective of someone who hasn’t seen it…

Can you tell us a bit about this video? Who is in it? Who isn’t in it? What’s the oldest clip? Is there any interesting facts about it that you’d like to divulge?

The second Flukelife DVD is imaginatively called Flukelife Issue 2. It took longer than I care to think about to make but it’s done now. It’s a video of a few Liverpool locals doing our best.

There’s sections from Matt Glover, Dan Roper/Matty Lambert, Minney/Mini, me/myself and the Strangeways squad, that includes you Sam. Plenty of other people make an appearance in the mixed sections, but not everyone. I won’t bore you with a list of those who don’t feature.

First clip captured was of me I’m afraid; 24th March 2013, 7:47pm. It was a little red handrail I clambered over the top of instead of using the traditional technique.

An interesting factoid is that one of the songs I used has previously been used in one of Marv’s DVDs. I’ve seen all of Marv’s DVDs but for whatever reason, my memory let me down. Since being made aware of this I’ve been reading up on the well-defined etiquette of BMX video song ownership and have had many sleepless nights worrying about how many UK street heet points I’ve lost.

Who is Ste?

Ste arrives, Ste conquers, and Ste vanishes. In a world where everything is documented, Ste shuns the limelight and chooses to exist only as an intangible memory.

What’s your editing set-up? Laptop or desktop? What chair do you use? Do you ever drink and edit or do you like to keep a clear head?

I use a Dell(boy) laptop with additional monitor, keyboard and mouse. The chair is an IKEA wheeled swivel type. At first I doubted the use of wheels on laminate flooring; dangerous mouse and keyboard slippages can ensue, but this one works fantastically. The bearings are designed to operate smoothly but with appropriate resistance under the weight of an editor, and lock the chair into position on the floor when you stand.

I tried the drinking and editing thing but when I came back for a sober review, I realised that my sight and hearing must have gone out of synchronisation so I had to repeat work. It’s been all about staying teetotal and focussed since then.

Going back to the beginning, what first attracted you to the exciting world of BMX? And what was the best place to ride when you were growing up?

Wheelies on a mountain bike always interested me. I had a brief switch to BMX in ’99 when I bought a second hand Diamond Back, but I couldn’t wheelie it the same as the Kona Hahana. I also bent the Diamond Back forks, so I was back on the Kona until around June 2000.

The turning point was a day at Chorley race track when I snapped one side of my Rock Shox. I remember the oil in the forks had a distinctly carrot-like smell. Fork damage seemed to haunt me for a while, which is surprising as I only weighed about 5 stone at the time and have never had a problem since.

Anyway, after a go on my mate’s ‘goose, I made the switch and promptly bought a second hand Dyno XR with money I earned on my paper round; perhaps an obsolete occupation now?

It was all about dirt jumps for a while. The best places where the doubles at the bomb hole, and the doubles by Champion Spark Plugs. Champion’s has now closed and been replaced by an Oak Furniture Land, which is a great shame and a sign of the decline of British industry. On the street side of things, there was a good wall outside Threshers and a couple of good four sets locally. I’m rambling now.

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Still got it m8. Frankie Boyle was impressed too…

A fair few videos have come out of Liverpool over the years. Can you give us a full run-down of Liverpool (and surrounding areas) riding videos?

The videos I’m aware of are as follows:

The Nettles Summer 1997, (thanks to Lee Williams for that one)

Deth Crüe edit by Sidwell, 2001, perhaps 2002.

Ruffride VHS tapes by Marcus, 2001-2002 era.

Fire in the Hole by Tom Pimlott, CD-R format only, 2003.

Push the Button by Tom Pimlott, only 2 copies in existence, 2004.

2006 by 9’s by Matty Lambert, 2005

What Ya Lookin’ at? by Matty Lambert, 2006

Section in Shook, Over the Pond, Chad Shackleberg, 2007

Nonstopvid, by Matty Lambert, 2007

Section in One More Brew, by Matty Lambert, 2008

B-Team Grindhog Day, by Tom Pimlott, 2009/10

B-Team Episode 2, me, 2012

Flukelife Issue 1, filmed by Mini, edited by me, 2014

Flukelife Issue 2, erlojwspeomfewepm (ran out of steam)

Liverpool has some well-known exports, but who are your favourite Liverpool riders who went under the media radar?

Richie Pettman, you’ll see him in the above video at The Nettles. He’s from the Wirral actually but then so am I, so he’s getting mentioned. There are others I could mention but some could be considered to be of questionable character these days so I’ll stop now before I dig a hole for myself.

In the last few years Liverpool and Manchester have put their differences aside for some cracking Saturday rides. When did you first ride in Manchester? And what is your favourite Oasis song?

I’m glad we were all able to put aside our differences and integrate. First time riding in Manchester was with Loz Taylor, perhaps in ’05. I was there for a couple of days and it rained the whole time but we still went out riding. I’m a bit more fussy about weather conditions these days. Loz invited Clarky and Tommy Gore over to Liverpool soon after that; that was the first time I met those two. It rained that day as well.

“Don’t Look Back in Anger” is a good one. Going back to paper rounds, my brother’s mate who lived up our road used to return from his round singing Oasis songs at the top of his voice on his own on a weekend morning. I could hear him wandering up the road wailing when I was still in bed.

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Tom, Gaz and Addy during the early days of North-West synergy.

What’s Tom Pimlott up to these days? I remember he used to come over quite a bit with you.

Tom made an appearance at Tank’s birthday night out last Saturday. He lives in Leeds, plays music and works in a school. I gave him a copy of the new DVD and two days later he’d got a new frame, so he might be turning up on the riding scene again soon. Although I think he’s just bruised his hand boxing. 

How do you feel being the proverbial ‘designated driver’ of the Liverpool crew? Do you think Mini and Glover would still be clocking as much hot U.K. street fuego if you weren’t texting them bright and early on Saturday morning?

‘Designated driver’ is a role I have willingly assumed. I’m not big into the boozy nights so organising myself and completing my domestic tasks while others get a few extra hours in bed is not a problem.

I’ve been known to drop the ‘I’m going to [place], reply by [time] if you’re coming’ text. I feel this is a good approach, making people get up in time for the fuego, but throwing in a caveat that allows me to leave when I want to without feeling guilty about leaving someone behind if they’ve gone and got themselves into a particularly bad state. Perhaps things would be different without my early morning texts, it’s hard to say.

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Assertive brick wallride from sensual lover Matty Glover.

You do some fairly Vinnie Sammon-esque quake-damage style moves in your section. Have you ever considered doing an over-ice-pick whilst wearing a large chain around your neck or doing a rail with a cowboy hat on your head? And what are your thoughts on those weird looking bright red foil tray meals that he is often seen eating?

I’m not the only one who spotted that hat then. No, as you know Sam, I don’t like to accessorise too heavily, so if I turned up in such a chain I’d struggle to act like there wasn’t an elephant in the room, or around my neck in this case. Also, matters on Merseyside have improved dramatically but back in Y2K you’d be leaving without the chain in some areas, so I think that’s influenced my lack of chain and neck ice. I think Vinnie looks more intimidating than me to potential chain thieves though so he could pull it off.

Not entirely sure about the tray meals, tikka masala without the rice perhaps? I’d be willing to try one if it improved my ability to place the back peg in ever more awkward positions.

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On the subject of food, what’s your favourite Subway sandwich?

12″ Italian BMT, Italian herbs and cheese bread, cheese and toasted, all the salad, sweet onion relish. First half at 13:00, second at 15:30.

When did you first meet Mini. And has he always had longer than average shins?

 I’m going to say ’07, back when Mini’s shins were shorter. Since then Mini has got a lot taller, largely down to shin growth.

We shouldn’t laugh at anyone suffering from disproportionately long shins though as it’s not without its problems. When watching television in a standard armchair, for example, it can be difficult for a person with this problem to see past their own knees.

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Shins in full effect.

Your job involves testing electronic equipment. Is this beneficial when it comes to filming with decades-old cameras and the general electronical, technological hassle of making a video?

Luckily I’ve not had to get involved in the nitty gritty of old camera electronics repair. There was a slight accident Matty L had while filming with my camera which ended up with both Matty and my camera skidding across some gravel. Luckily the damage to Matty and the camera was superficial.

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Lambert and Butler jam-up-2-manny-down on William Baker’s favourite wheel of steel.

Have you any tips for staying safe whilst enjoying electrical equipment in the home?

 Just don’t poke inside the toaster with cutlery and be careful with hair dryers near the bath, the rest is just common sense.

There’s a lot of shit videos around at the moment but it seems like there’s still a few gems in amongst the pile. Which videos do you like watching?

Newrick and Clarky make good ones, I like watching those. The Skapegoat and 90East videos are good too. All of these look like they’ve come from normal riding sessions; that’s what I like in a video.

When I watch a video and I know each clip took three hours of mental torture, and everyone else who was present was bored and sick of having their day ruined, that doesn’t inspire me to ride. It’s a farce really; they wouldn’t spend three hours if there wasn’t a clip to watch at the end.

Which videos suck?

All of the skate plaza ones with people talking nonsense in them. I can identify them before I press play now so no longer a problem.

Any sightings of Chester Blacksmith lately? And how did your recent sesh with Leigh Ramsdell go?

Chet hasn’t visited Liverpool for a few years now as far as I know. I had thought the days of sporadic visits from professional riders were over, until Leigh turned up at Rampworx on a bleak mid-winter Sunday. From a brief chat he seemed like a decent bloke. I didn’t get to see the infamous tree flair though.

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The seldom-seen one-handed double-peg. Not sure if this was intentional…

You’ve pioneered some fairly prog grind movements over the years. Is there any combination you’ve yet to conquer?

 The Xbox 360 is one I’ve failed to land so far. To the layperson, that’s an X-up grind to opposite 360. I don’t think I ever will land that one. It seems like it would take a long time to do and my days of trying any trick for more than 20 minutes are over.

Favourite Rampworxxx obstacle (past or present)?

Without a doubt it’s Percy; a small sub box, now replaced by the resi roll in. It was named Percy to avoid having to describe what it was and its location in the skatepark, and it worked well. I think more spots should have names, or even better, numbers.

I’ve thought of giving every spot in Liverpool number before, to avoid the arduous task of having to describe which spot you mean; instead you could say, ‘let’s ride spot 12 today’, ‘ok, yeah, meet you there’.

I think I’ve ran out of questions now. Have you got any words of wisdom to pass on?

I don’t think there’s anything left to say, I’ve covered it all.

Fluke life 2 is available now from The Central Library.

3 thoughts on “Interview: Addy Snowdon

  1. I didn’t mind helping you tackle that nuisance teenage girl, Addy but I have to say I’m a little annoyed at the manner in which I was promptly discarded afterwards.

  2. dis guys a dik fukked up ma hair well bad took ages to get dat sticky shit out n den i ad 2 thro ma best kappa top in biffa

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