The Kelly Freakin’ Bolton Interview

The Kelly Freakin’ Bolton Interview
Interview and photos by Fat Tony.

A recent move to Greenville, plans to ride Megaramp, solo filming sessions for the Eastern DVD, a wall mural in progress, and new tricks in the works… Welcome to the Kelly Freakin’ Bolton interview.

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The man and his van.

When did you make the move from Venice Beach, California, to Greenville, North Carolina?
I moved to Greenville from Venice Beach in September of ’09. The reason for the move was more personal than anything. I really felt like BMX in general was just flying right by me. I remember a time when I didn’t ride for three months just because I didn’t feel like it. BMX is tough to survive on and I felt like I wasn’t getting any younger, so I started debating whether or not to just push away from BMX and go to school. I went to school and finished a semester, and I was like, “Shit, dude…I NEED TO LIVE!” So I said, “fuck it,” changed my life around, and I feel 100 percent back in the game.

I really want to do Megaramp this year…it looks like my style and I have a gnarly trick that needs to happen.

What has daily life been like out in Pro Town, USA?
Pro Town, USA! Haha. Greenville is sweet. Everyone here kills it and the spots are ridiculous. People come and stay for long periods of time so you get influenced by a lot of different styles. When people would come to L.A., I wouldn’t find out ’till they were gone ’cause they got stuck in the hustle. I’ve been riding with Josh Perry, Brandon Christie, Dave Mirra, Mike Laird, and Ryan Guettler. Most of the time Josh, Brandon, and I will ride this ramp we built in their driveway. We’re working on a driveway edit now.

What do you miss from the West Coast so far? Do you have long-term plans for your move, or are you just taking it as it comes?
Warm weather for sure…friends, family, the beach, the herbs, and just the feeling of home. I’ve got some plans, but they are just like any other person scrappin’… live life and eat well.

A creative lie to a parking attendant, twenty minutes to block foot traffic on the Venice beach path, a quick hop up two stairs, a side step out of the way of an overhang, and this gap out over the rail was done.

A creative lie to a parking attendant, 20 minutes to block foot traffic on the Venice beach path, a quick hop up two stairs, a side step out of the way of an overhang, and this gap out over the rail was done.

Besides the obvious (riding a lot), what else have you been doing in Greenville? I saw on your Eastern blog that you are officially a video game nerd now…
Dude, I’ve always played video games! What else are you supposed to do when you’re hurt? COD has taken over life as we know it… Don’t be surprised if some of your favorite pros are getting their game on right now. Other than riding a lot, I’ve been painting in my spare room and designing a Web site for my graphic work.

I heard you filmed a lot of stuff for the Eastern “Death Of Fun” DVD in a warehouse by yourself. How did that come about?
I was strapped for cash, so I got an offer to do shows for a theme park in Sandusky, Ohio. There is nothing in that town worth keeping around and they should probably burn it down. One night my buddy Jacohhh got wasted and wandered into a warehouse then told me about it the next day. So I checked it out and there were pallets and plywood everywhere…it was too perfect. So I managed to get a cart to push the pallets around and then “borrow” some drills and a hammer from the theme park to hold everything together. I only had time to build a box jump and quarterpipe. It took four days to get it all built ’cause I was alone. So then I filmed and rode alone. While I was working on the ramps, five police officers came in with tazers drawn ready to electrocute any tweekers huffin’ paint or spreadin’ AIDS. They thought I was crazy for building all that shit and told me it was haunted. I was wondering why on the fourth floor was a room with toys, stuffed animals with their heads ripped off, old pictures of a family with a baby, and spray painted on the wall was “stop killing kids.” I don’t really believe in ghosts or anything, but while I was working I heard kids screaming upstairs…NOT COOL. P.S. The warehouse is supposedly where “Tommy Boy” was filmed. Callahan brake products, dude.

…five police officers came in with tazers drawn ready to electrocute any tweekers huffin’ paint or spreadin’ aids.

Stepping down into the deep end and dipping a tbog along the way.

Stepping down into the deep end and dipping a tbog along the way. Click to go big.

What was it like filming for your Eastern video part? And as a Deftones fan, did you choose your song? (Deftones, “Change”)
Well, filming was hard due to the time I was doing shows was directly in the middle of filming, but I made due and just squeaked enough in. Unfortunately I’m not too happy with it, but for what I could accomplish that summer I’ll settle. That song is one I’ve always wanted to use and since we didn’t have music restrictions we were golden. I also heard that a member of the Deftones actually rides… he needs to get a hold of my part.

Since we just started a new decade, what are your plans and/or goals for 2010?
I really want to do Megaramp this year…it looks like my style and I have a gnarly trick that needs to happen. Mostly I just want to have fun, stay on my grind, pick up a couple more sponsors, bring some elevated tricks and get that elevated money. Get money, or die tryin’.

Up and over the wooden rail. Click to go big.

Up and over the wooden rail. Click to go big.

You’ve always been one for wild and progressive tricks (wallride to barrel roll off a dirt jump, fakie whip down stairs, fakie frontflip flair, etc.); are you working on anything new you can tell us about?
I have about ten new tricks in the works. I can’t tell all of them, but I’ll tell you the ones that I’m closest to. First one is gonna be called “the orbit” and it looks like your bike is orbiting around you in the air. Awesome. The second trick, which has been on my mind forever, is a fakie frontflip tailwhip. ELEVATED.

I saw on your video blog update that you are drawing a mural on your wall. What’s the story behind that?
Yeah, I’ve always been heavily influenced by art. I always wanted to just take whatever was in my mind and go with it on a big wall. Since I had the extra space, I got to work and here is where I’m at so far. Should be a pretty sweet room for guests to stay in.

Photo provided by Kelly.

Photo provided by Kelly.

Anything else going on in your world you want to tell us about? Last words? Shout-outs?
Just rolled my ankle on a fly out. Sweet. I just want to thank my sponsors Eastern, DC shoes, Staff BMX for backing me up, my mom for always supporting me, and my girlfriend Nicolle for being a down ass chick. Thanks to any other playas that got my back. Peace.

Photo provided by Kelly.

Photo provided by Kelly.

Kelly keeps a bunch of shit in his van that he was able use to make a ramp off this mellow bank to launch over the barbed wire fence. You can see the footage in Eastern's "Death Of Fun" DVD.

Kelly keeps a bunch of shit in his van that he was able use to make a ramp off this mellow bank to launch over the barbed wire fence. You can see the footage in Eastern's "Death Of Fun" DVD.

This is the mother...make that grandmother...of all bank to walls. Kelly pedaled mach IV down the hill to have enough speed to reach the top of this bank. One speed wobble and he would have been torn to bits on the cement.

This is the mother...make that grandmother...of all bank to walls. Kelly pedaled mach IV down the hill to have enough speed to reach the top of this bank. One speed wobble and he would have been torn to bits on the cement.

Bump jump over the rail, toboggan into the rough bank.

Bump jump over the rail, toboggan into the rough bank.

Icepick to toothpick on a tall sub rail.

Icepick to toothpick on a tall sub rail.

Check out Kelly’s first video blog entry from December 2009. If nothing else, fast forward to the end of the video to see him land a fakie frontflip flair and hear a bunch of kids yell the name of this interview.