22 Nov Catching up with Jack Leonard
Jack is everything good in BMX; creative, humble, positive, artistic, talented, and the list goes on. It’s also no secret that we are huge fans of the DWOK squad and everything they do. While in Montreal recently we met up with Jack and got a talking. We could not think of a better person to do a Q&A with during our 5 year anniversary. Take notes kid.
Photos by Mason Gray and Mitch Oudshoorn
What’s good homie. How you livin?
Chilling man, scanning some negatives, listening to music.
What brought you to Montreal?
I was living in London, and had a bunch of shit going on in June. The premiere for the promo at the beginning of the month, and then a book release/photo show at the end. Once all that was done with I didn’t really feel like being in the city. Had a homie with an empty room in Montreal and decided to give it a shot. It’s been sweet so far.
How do you compare, or can you compare Montreal and London?
They’re way different, for sure. I’ve got a soft spot for London, but it kind of sucks. Lots of closed-minded people there. Not a whole lot of inspiring things going on in the city. It’s a university town, so it’s flooded with students for 3/4’s of the year, and the city kind of caters to those people. Shitty bars, bad music, a boring downtown. But it had a sweet riding scene growing up, which kind of made up for all those bad things.
Ya it seems like the majority of riders around MTL live slightly out of the city and/ or spend their time riding plazas/Taz rather than riding the amazing street. Hopefully the Verdun park changes that and can provide a good meeting spot for everyone. Now being in a rad city with smaller BMX scene, compared to a smaller city with arguably the best BMX scene in Canada (DWOK), is it a challenge to have the best of both worlds? Or do you just make the best of any situation?
Yeah the spots here are nuts, man. Canada’s version of NYC. I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge not being part of a scene here, but it definitely makes me less motivated to cruise. It’s sick when dudes roll through though. Mason was here for 2 weeks and we cruised a bunch, which was nice. It was sick when you guys were down here too. Just gotta get une maison de DWOK happening out here.
You’d never admit it but in my opinion you’re up there with the best filming/editing wise. We were talking skate vids a few weeks back, what are some of your biggest motivators in filming/editing or some of your all time fav projects/ filmers, etc?
A lot of things motivate me to edit. I realized this year that I draw a lot more inspiration to edit from things outside of riding. Like if I go see a show or something, I’ll leave and just have all these ideas for videos. Or reading interviews with different artists and musicians. Individuals. Shit just gets me stoked to create something cool. I think if all you do is watch bike videos and then you try and make one it just ends up being recycled. Becomes a bit stale, and you limit yourself. It’s good to break out of that mould.
I don’t think you need a budget to make a great video, but it obviously helps. Paying one dude to film and edit all of your videos seems like a no brainer to me, but I guess the budget just isn’t there for that. Seems like all the good full lengths coming out nowadays are scene videos anyhow. It would be cool if companies cared more about good video content. Lots of good riding being poorly documented.
What would be your dream video project, unlimited budget, go anywhere with any dudes type deal?
Oh man, uhhhh. If I could go back and film the mixtape again, that would be sick. If not, just a big ol travel budget, my pals, and 100% creative control. Still wanna go to Barcelona. Maybe I’ll get a Kickstarter going.What’s your current camera setup?
What’s your current setup?
Sony pd150 with an Opteka fish and a bunch of spacer rings.
My sister bought me some disposable cameras before I went on a trip to California. I was hooked after that. I shot on those for like 2 years before I realized you could buy rolls of film hahaha. Kind of got into zines and photo books over the past year or so and decided to put something out. My friends run a small press company called The Buster Collective and they helped me fund the whole thing, which was sweet. It’s just like riding and editing to me. Feels good.
Seems like there’s some dope stuff going on in the UK. Strangeways, The Make, Mark Webb etc. That Chris Carter dude from SAF is sick. What Adam Roye does for Cult gets me stoked. A good webisode gets me going too.
More full lengths, more video premieres. Hopefully see some kids doing interesting things with riding.
Yeah man, that was sweet for a while. I didn’t really see eye to eye with what they were doing near the end, so I decided to part ways. All on good terms. Definitely thankful for everything they did for me.
Yo I would but my bikes broken lol
Guy, I’m eating canned beans and instant rice. You think I’ve got money for a Century lens???
I think one final video. Might as well make it a trilogy, right?
I’ve got no idea to be honest. Working on a Make video with Mason right now. Should be good.
Haha ummm I don’t know, I don’t really care, but I guess it’s wack. Wasn’t really down with what they were doing before him being on the team anyway. The only thing that bums me out about that is how dope of a job Rich Hirsch used to do with those companies. Like the art direction Lotek used to have was so tight. Same with Stranger when it first started.
What’s next for Jack? What are your plans for the winter? Are there plans for a 4th stem bolt come spring?
Nothing planned. Would be sick to go on a trip, but I’m broke. I was putting my seat on the other day and snapped the bolt for the seat post clamp. So I’m out 2 bolts now. Not very good at working on bikes.
Can you tell us a crazy Eli story?
I can’t think of anything crazy really. Once when we were like 17 we had a trip planned to Toronto and he was messaging me on facebook about going to the LCBO with his fake ID and my mom saw the message and didn’t let me go hahaha.
What’s 5 places you’d go if you had 5 free flights anywhere in the world and why?
There’s this planet NASA discovered called Kepler 452b that’s supposed to be earths cousin planet. I’d like to check that out but it takes 14 years to get there at light speed.
Barcelona for bikes
Back home to London to hangout
Scotland w fam
Trade the last one for a bus trip across America
Aliens? Are they out there, amongst us, visiting?
I don’t know about Aliens. Can’t look into that stuff too much. Definitely some people chilling on Kepler 452b though. Prolly still got Dinos over there to be honest.
What happens when we die?
Not too sure. Nothing, from what I understand. Which is the crazy part about it all.