100a: Danny MacAskill/Decade
“A good concept for me is something that will allow you to get really creative with the riding”
It’s the first half of my episode 100 bonanza! To mark my ascension to triple figures, I wanted to stoke my loyal listeners out AND do something that sums up the spirit of the podcast. So I’m releasing two episodes at the same time and calling them BOTH episode 100.
This, episode 100a, is the first instalment, and is my interview with the great Danny MacAskill. Danny is a professional street trials rider who is one of the great stars of the viral age. In many ways, his career is emblematic of the way that action sports and the wider media landscape have evolved over the last decade.
As everybody knows, Danny came to prominence when he released Inspired Bicycles, a film he made with some mates around Edinburgh which quickly became one of the defining viral films of the last ten years.
It also made him globally famous, with the opportunities afforded by such a platform, and he took full advantage of it with a string of peerless films that upped the ante with each release, showcasing the full range of his creativity and sense of humour.
Naturally, I’ve been keen to get him on the podcast for years, and happily Danny agreed to meet up for an episode 100 chat. So I headed to Edinburgh to meet Danny and get his own take on the last crazy decade.
The result was a relaxed and intimate chat in which we covered the lot. Big thanks to Danny and Till Bohlig for helping make this one a reality. Listen to the episode below:
- Torn meniscus.
- “Crashes happen when you don’t expect them”.
- Where it all began ten years ago.
- Back with Drop and Roll.
- Working in a tighter area.
- The Meadows.
- Doing shows with Duncan Shaw.
- The coolest trial show.
- Henry Jackson’s commentating.
- Ramp challenges for BMXing.
- Perspex ramps.
- Technical challenges.
- “If it was easy it wouldn’t make it into the videos”.
- Coming up with concepts.
- ‘Danny Daycare’.
- “Make the film as if you’ve never made the film before”.
- Forgettable action sports films.
- Inspired Bicycles.
- ‘Fully Flared’.
- Role of music in films.
- ‘Hoppípolla’ by Sigur Rós
- ‘The Rat’ by The Walkmen
- ‘Funeral’ by Band of Horses
- “The song makes up 50% of the video”.
- Trials Forum.
- Virality of the video.
- The Clan.
- Letting the dust settle.
- “If I was still working in the bike shop, and I was watching someone else doing what I’m doing, would I be impressed?”.
- Working with Tarek Rasouli.
- First video with Red Bull
- Man made objects in the Scottish countryside.
- “It’s important to find things people can relate to”.
- Danny’s book ‘At The Edge of My Life’.
- “The concept is more important than the riding”.
- Creative permission.
- Speaking to people who are new to mountain biking.
- The supportive mountain biking community.
- E-bikes: “I’d ride one in a heartbeat.”
- ‘The Ridge’: “one of the easiest films we made”.
- Skye man.
- The ‘Inaccessible Pinnacle’.
- “It’s the people that make the place”.
- Having so much space in his childhood.
- ‘Tricks and Stunts’.
- ‘Drop In’.
- “I never dreamt of being a professional rider”.
- “If you’re good enough at something, the right people will notice”.
- Always fun.
- Pressures and goals.
- Inspiration from climbing films ‘The Dawn Wall’ and ‘Free Solo’.
- Broken 30+ bones.
- ‘Sunday 8PM’ by Faithless.
- ‘National Express’ by The Divine Comedy.
- Finding the perfect song.
- Dyslexia and writing a book.
- His next big plans.
- The Asian market.
- ‘Big in Japan’ by Alphaville.
- “I want to do the best I can while I can”.
- Nicolas Müller
- Stephen Fry
- Lance Armstrong
- Owen Tozer
- Ali Clarkson
- Duncan Shaw
- Henry Jackson
- Martyn Ashton
- Chris Akrigg
- Hans Rey
- Dave Serby
- Peter MacAskill
- Tarek Rasouli
- Robbie Henderson
- Richie Jackson
- Tate Roskelley
- Erik Elstran
- Steven Hamilton
- Stu Thompson
- Ryan Leech
- Steve Peat
- Rob Warner
- Tommy Caldwell
- Adam Ondra
- Kevin Jorgeson
- Alex Honnold