Phoenix is a magical place that I end up finding myself stuck in for a couple weeks a year. The people are down for anything fun or destructive, the spots are plentiful, the girls are weird, and if it's hot, you just go sneak into a hotel pool. The riding scene there is diverse; little cliques of riders all have names for their groups of friends and yet there's no qualms about getting together and seemingly no beef over random BMXness. The scene is tight and now Bobby Kanode has finally released Mediocre At Best that, despite the name, really does the scene proper justice. A great feel—one that can come from a labor of love—and tons of amazing riding ranging in all types, just as you'd expect from a scene born and bred on The Gonz and Ratboy. Bobby decided to release a 20 minute mixtape of "leftover" footage, so I figured it'd be no better to shine a little more light on Mediocre At Best. Definitely pick it up: mediocreatbest.bigcartel.com
So like, what’s Mediocre At Best?
Mediocre at Best is a BMX film. It's a full length DVD. It’s a 38-minute montage of bicycle stunts. It really is mediocre at best.
Did the video come along from just stacking clips or did you just have the idea to film a video one day?
I had the idea to film a full-length video over three years ago. Before I even had a camera, I wanted to make the BMX equivalent of A Happy Medium.
How long were you filming? Didn’t you take some sort of hiatus in the middle?
I filmed almost every day for the past couple years of my life and it all kind of feels like a whirlwind. My hiatus was from riding, after I had about 6 surgeries on my tailbone from when I was 19-22. I was also studying business management at ASU full time, working as a copier salesman (that job sucks), and making web videos for a little bit of extra money. So with all that going on, I still didn’t care about anything except this goal… I HAD to make a DVD. I slacked off on everything else just enough to have room for filming. I went through the typical “parental pressure” to give it all up and get a good paying job so I can be “happy"… well, mom, dad, you guys were wrong. I’m happier now than I ever have been so I’d like to preach: “stay foolish, stay hungry.” I think that's a Steve Jobs quote.
Who has full parts?
Proud to say that Joey Motta, The Wonder Twins (Dawson and Cody Clark), Drew Hosselton, Smoker Dave, Myself, Eric Bahlman, Dean Watson, Troy Blair, Aaron Maxwell, and Lahsaan Kobza all have full parts.
Mediocre definitely has a feel all its own that I’m super into…you have any inspirations with the style or did it just come all its own?
Filming-wise, I’m heavily into Buster and Hunter O’Shea, Jason Hernandez, and obviously some of the BMX homies too: Malouf, Ennis, Navaz, etc…
Editing-wise, I’m not scared to say that Jackson Casey’s “BOYISH” inspired the shit out of me. If I can go to a video premiere, not know any skate tricks, and enjoy the video because of how it’s put together, its a damn good video. I’ve heard from a few ladies who know nothing about BMX that they enjoyed Mediocre at Best because of how it’s put together. You know how good that feels? Real good.
It also might have a unique style because I waited until the last week before the premiere to edit it, and I had many a late night getting trippy with it. I was definitely awake and staring at a computer screen for the entire 48 hours leading up to the premiere.
DVDs are ever scarce and you’re no stranger to web edits, so what made you want to put a DVD out?
Basically, the internet is unstoppable. It has so much pull and is important to the pro riders as a platform for quick and easy self-promotion, which in turn leads to more trips, bigger checks, etc. So when I tell riders like Drew or Lahsaan, who are both pro, that I want to sit on their footage for a few years…it doesn’t bode well. I had to film Drew 3 different web videos before he let me keep a clip for my DVD. Same with Lahsaan, we did about 5 web pieces together before he committed to Mediocre. I have to shout out Joey Motta, because we have been sitting on his clips for years and he was so Zen about it the whole time. I remember I put together a small edit of his footage, sent it to him, and he was like, “nah bob, save it for the DVD”…and that was at a time where it was uncertain whether or not I’d be able to finish it. I love Joey.
A DVD stands the test of time much better than a web video. I want people to remember how awesome my friends are.
How do good, local DVDs like yours, Chocolate Truck, and others fit into BMX these days?
It's funny that I’m watching/listening to Chocolate Truck as I type this. I don’t want to jinx it but I think we are on the cusp of a new wave. I hope Deadline, Markit, Choco Truck, etc. all have an influence on young riders. I want people to focus more on group effort projects, rather than the individual rider-coming-up thing. Committing to a DVD with your local filmer shows your potential sponsors patience and dedication. Want to make a real, lasting impact on BMX? You probably won’t do it all by yourself.
I consider Phoenix is one of the better scenes in the country…whatdaya think makes it so damn good?
We can ride 365 days a year and there are infinite spots. The general attitude here is super laid back. Nobody is too hungry, well…. yeah most of us aren’t too hungry. We have a lot of talented riders, filmers, and photographers around, and we all do it just because we love it. We have the “I Got Work” crew to provide a good father figure for the younger Arizona riders. The DITCH crew to keep things tight. We have The Gully Factory mansion out in Glendale, Ray’s ramps out in the desert with the Wheels in Motion crew, downtown Phoenix with the O.G. Pegleg homies Clay, Robbie, Zuka…Lahsaan and his BLNTD crew killing it nearly every day out here on the east side…we have riders that are repping Fit, S&M, BSD, Subrosa, Shadow, Volume, Demolition, Skavenger, Animal, ODI, and so many more. We have legends on our streets. We share spots with Ratboy. We have Malouf, Moliterno, the legendary Bill Brown, Matt G, Chum, Lahsaan, and myself all making edits on a semi regularly basis…We have at least a few big events where everyone gets together each year. We have F-Unit crew/fam in Flagstaff, Krimzen and the Chubscout Mafia in Tucson. We are influenced by the AZ skate scene. The AZ skate homies are the best homies. Every time a new skate video comes out we bombard the homies with spot questions and they do the same to us. The social aspect of it all out here is so cool. There is a premiere or a party almost every month with how good the skate and BMX scenes are out here.
You recently premiered Mediocre At Best at a theatre out in Tempe. Was it the best night of your life?
So corny, but dreams, like, come true, maaaaan. I literally thought about and visualized that premiere for over 3 years, every damn day. When it finally happened, I cried. Maybe I’m just a big softy, but I let out so many tears of joy when the intro came on the big screen. I just hoped nobody was watching me. I was at a point of delirium and I remember when I was on the microphone, I made everyone stop talking for 10 seconds and just go “OHMMMMM”… a movie theatre full of humming people is pretty magical. I wish I could live it over again. So I guess that means we have to film a second Mediocre at Best at some point.
What’s this mixtape that were posting about? You had that much footage left over?
You know, the whole internet thing… I thought the internet people might like to check out what wasn’t in the video. I really did have that much footage left over. Pretty cool. I actually left some out of the DVD on accident, and there are definitely some bangers in this mixtape that I regret not fitting into the video. Either way, you all get to watch for free. Hope you all enjoy.
What’s next for ya?
2014 is the year of Subrosa. Expect great things.
Where can people pick up DVDs?
You can either email me to do a package deal at [email protected] or you can go to mediocreatbest.bigcartel.com and order there. Sparky’s will be distributing, so you will be able to find it at your local bike shop that carries Shadow or Subrosa sometime in the next few months…
Thanks to everyone who rides bikes in Arizona for supporting Mediocre at Best. Thanks to my families…blood family (hi mom), Mediocre family, Sparky’s family, Gully Family, DITCH family, family family family.
HUGE special thank you to the ol’ boy Greg Moliterno for helping me out so much towards the end. Thanks to Andrea for letting me pull all nighters at her house editing.
Big thank you to KORE BIKE SHOP in Scottsdale, AZ. Big E (Erik Hilburn) has been nothing but super supportive with this project. Thanks to the Maxwells…and thanks to you Fudger, for the steady flow of shitty nicknames on the internet.
ALL HAIL CHUBSCOUT