043: Patrick Armbruster/Double Or Quits
“That was always a big thing for me. Going on adventures, discovering the world. Stumbling into unexpected cool situations. Or not so cool. Which will eventually be cool”.
How do you recognise when to jump at those key opportunities life throws at you? How do you handle those defining turning points that can set the tone for the rest of your life – if you can’t see them coming? Today’s conversation with Patrick ‘Brusti’ ‘Armbruster is full of moments like these.
You may not know the name, but over the last twenty years has had one of the most quietly influential careers in European snowboarding, whether as a photographer at the cutting edge of the scene, or through his role as one of the people behind Absinthe Films. It’s a career arc that means he’s had a ringside seat at most of the key developments in European snowboarding throughout that time, and has also helped shape the stories that have defined the last two decade of snowboarding history. Rice, de Marchi, Muller; Brusti has worked with them all and has the stories and scars to prove it. He’s been one of European snowboarding’s key tastemakers for two decades now, with an unerring eye for talent and the platform to help that talent perform to their fullest potential.
As you’ll hear, Brusti is also a serial entrepreneur who has thrown himself into a hugely diverse number of projects in an effort to chase the lifestyle that captivated him as a young skate rat back in the day. Today, he is enjoying life in Zurich as a husband and father, running his Idealcomm agency, Ka Bru in Brazil and still occasionally getting behind the camera.
We caught up in Zurich in April 2018 for a hugely enjoyable conversation that took in his entire hugely varied career. Big thanks to Brusti for coming on the show and sharing his story.
If you only have five minutes…
Listen to this section - Brusti on the first time he saw Nicolas Muller ride.
- Working together at the start of the Fruition project.
- Where the idea for Fruition came from.
- Bumps in the road.
- Deciding to pull the plug.
- Negotiating ‘artistic differences’.
- ‘It was a tough one to take’.
- Looking back at Fruition now.
- The importance of marketing and distribution.
- Taking a different approach for this project.
- The Absinthe way.
- Meeting Nicolas for the first time.
- Nicolas’s opener in Vivid.
- Brusti’s upbringing in Zurich.
- Influence of skateboarding.
- Interest in photography running hand-in-hand.
- Swapping skiing for snowboarding.
- Immersion in the culture.
- A fateful apprenticeship – and a fateful pipe contest.
- Seizing opportunity as it knocks.
- The dirtbag hustle years.
- A National Service interlude.
- Fork in the road – choosing photography.
- The worst day of Brusti’s life.
- Physio days.
- The genesis of the first European snowboarding film.
- Buying a 16mm camera.
- Another fateful interlude – meeting Hostynek.
- More Drew Stevenson misadventures.
- Justin comes onboard to help finish Tribal – and Absinthe becomes a partnership.
- The Absinthe years.
- Proudest memories.
- KaBru Brazil – Brusti’s place in the rainforest.
- Tenacity and spinning plates.
- Shooting with Absinthe again for the first time in years
- On the shred film landscape today.
- Advice for breaking into the industry.
- Nicolas Muller
- Martin Luchsinger
- Sean Fee
- Daryl Newton
- Justin Hostenyk
- Shane Charlebois
- David Vladyka
- Drew Stevenson
- Natas Kaupas
- Damian Sanders
- Chris Roach
- Michi Albin
- Fabien Rohrer
- Gian Simmen
- Dani Costandache
- Wolfgang Block
- Stefan Gimpl
- Gary Maidment
- Calle Eriksson
- Jason Horton
- Steve Gruber
- David Benedek
- David Pitschi
- Jamie Mosberg
- Derek Reilly
- Richard Armstrong
- Travis Rice
- Wolle Nyvelt
- Romain de Marchi
- JP Solberg
- Gigi Ruff
- Chris Bachman
- Ben Ferguson
- Tom Copsey