Friday, December 17, 2010
in celebration of his new website, I have reposted an interview with Mike Aho from 2008. What's changed since then? Another addition to the Aho household, a relocation to Austin, Tx, some pretty snazzy videos, and a couple new bodies to the Sounder lineup.
Damn, maybe it is time for another interview.
Also, check out their Facebook Page
> maybe you should start by telling us a bit about yourself, where your
> at, and what keeps you going everyday:
Well, I live in costa mesa, CA with my wife and daughter. I've been drinking a ridiculous amount of yerba mate lately, so that keeps me going. I really just got into it and now I'm totally obsessed with it. I want to buy a huge gourd to drink it out of.
Other then that, I guess the pursuit of interpreting the world around me with creative endeavors keeps me going.
you have a close knit family of people you work with. Whether its
> musicians or other "skateboard" artists, how do you think working with
> other people affects your work?
Well, I think that I've just met people over the last ten years that have really helped me to understand art and music a lot better. I've been lucky enough to collaborate with them on different projects throughout the years, and I think working in that way helps me to learn about myself. Namely, Sieben, Millard, Mel Kadel, Dave Bryant, Sam De La Rosa and Todd Bratrud have all made a huge impression on my creative growth. I look up to all of them in different ways. It makes it easier to work when you know that there are people you can show it to that will know where you're coming from, and will be honest with their opinions of it.
> adding to that, can you tell us about the director collab you have
> been working on...seems like a great idea...
The ((sounder)) Director's Collaboration Project was a series of videos that I just finished up with. It was in place of touring for the new ((sounder)) record. I think that the idea of touring around the country in a van to play for, most likely, 15 people at bars is an archaic method. I don't really like playing music live all that much anyway, I'm more into writing, recording it and then drinking 2 bottles of wine and realizing I hate it.
But really the video collab thing was a way to work with some friends on a video project and get the music out there at the same time. I directed 4 videos in all, collaborating with the people I mentioned above.
> on top of everything else, you recently worked on a video for will
> oldham. i am amazed at all the things you do, and the result is
> effortless. yet, you have duties with volcom and you have a family to
> maintain. where do you think this ethic comes from and how do you keep
> from getting burned out?
I think that I am pretty burnt out, but things come along and I just feel like I can't pass up the opportunity. Working with Will was very intimidating, just because I'm such a huge fan of his. I ended up doing the video and then he asked me to do three tee shirt designs for him as well.
For Volcom, I do a million different things, from videos, to ads and some tee shirt graphics, so that's just kind of a constant in my life. But doing commercial work like that, in such a free-form environment, helps fuel ideas for my personal work, and visa versa.
As far as the family thing, that's just natural, spending time with them is the best thing in world and luckily I have a wife that understands that the we make a living in a pretty unconventional way, she's extremely supportive.
> i think there is a definite eeriness that i can see in your paintings,
> and definitely in your music and videos...almost a hopeful depression.
> how do you tie all these things together and could you ever imagine
> doing one and not the other? Like if you could choose between playing
> your guitar and painting, could you?
Yeah, I can imagine doing them independently, this is how I work most of the time, I go through periods of only doing music or videos and won't really paint for months at a time and the other way around. But I think I'd get terribly bored if I didn't work in different mediums. As far as the eeriness in my work, it's funny because I hear that a lot and it's not really intended--which I think is great. I guess I'm just harboring some ghosts I don't know about.
> can you talk about any upcoming projects your working on? when can we
> see a mike aho shoe, maybe the ((sounder)) by Reebok?
I'd rather make ((sounder)) Roo's.
Upcoming projects? Ummm, I'm working on a collaborative video project with my friend Kill Pixie right now for a show that he has at the mary karnowski gallery in Berlin. That will be easy because his art is really radical these days. I'm just kind of bringing his characters to life in video form.
Also, my wife went out of town for a week, so I set out to record a little EP while she's gone, she gets back tomorrow so my deadline is approaching. It's not that I don't record when she's here, I just thought it would be a fun project with a limited time frame, it's working title is 'When the cat's away, the mice will play . . . a guitar'.
Also, doing some drawings for a couple little art shows coming up.
> texas or california?
> electric or acoustic?
> wine or beer?
> ok man..i wanted to keep the questions short, but if you wanna ad
> anythig, feel free.. i might actually take your answers and come up
> with another question or two....
> love ya
you can see more Mike Aho's video/artwork here