Evan: How was filming this past winter?
Sean: It was good, me and JP didn’t really have any planned schedule. We just decided to go up and start filming, not thinking about who we were filming for, keeping all the politics out of it. We just started filming, doing what we do, and we ended up getting some super sick stuff. It was just JP at first, so we got to shoot a bunch of stuff that you don’t get to shoot when you’re with a big crew.
In Whistler we were filming in an area that no one really knows about, we started looking at the terrain a little differently and found stuff no one has hit before. We ended up building and hitting some pretty dope stuff.
What’s Infamous Management?
It’s a management company that I decided to start after working at Mack Dawg. I have basically been managing for fifteen years, helping people with their careers, sponsors, telling them where to go and what to get. Infamous gets involved with everybody on a more personal level. We do everything—help them set up their taxes, help them invest their money. Basically, we’re making sure everybody doesn’t make the same mistakes I did when I was a pro snowboarder. I try to pass on my experience to the younger guys. Roberta Rodger and I are running that right now.
Who are the best riders to work with?
It depends on what your goals are. If your goals are to make the sickest snowboard movie of all time, it’s obviously best to work with guys who are on the same path, focused, sober, whatever. JP, Seth Huot, Lukas Huffman, Devun Walsh, those guys are all super positive. The Forum guys in the day were the best to work with because there was no messing around. The whole team was on the same program, they just wanted to be the best snowboarders. It wasn’t like “Oh, dude I can’t come film, I gotta go get wasted, or I gotta go bang this chick. Everybody’s focus was on the movie. Riders with that work ethic are few and far between now. People don’t understand what those guys did to make that company what it was, and to push snowboarding like they did.
When we first made The Resistance , all the distributors, all the companies—everybody said it was impossible. Halfway through the year Mack Dawg wanted to pull the plug because his videos are based on sick snowboarding and he just didn’t see it coming together. Which actually turned out being good because when you tell me something can’t be done, I push even harder. With The Resistance we proved everybody wrong. We made a team video with sick riding all the way through, that could compete with the other videos.
Before that team videos were kind of a skate thing.
Yeah it was a skate thing, and filming snowboarding is totally different. Getting people together—you’re dealing with so much different shit. With skateboarding, most of the time you’re not even dealing with weather because a lot of the stuff goes down in California. Where as snowboarding, let’s say you get the team together and then you want to go hit this jump; all of a sudden the snow stops in that area and you need to move everybody. Everybody’s got lives, everybody’s got different things going on, and you just need to charge forward, but it wears on everybody. After all the traveling and all the bullshit, you’ve got to stick a rider on top of this gnarly thing were he’s gotta hit it, and in those days they were doing stuff that no one had done before almost every jump, every single thing was gnarly huge. They were pushing it, and for those guys to pull it off like that was mind blowing for me. To go through all that and then to have those guys pull it together last minute is just the sickest thing.
What’s the biggest difference between your Wskey days and today for you and for snowboarding as a whole?
In those days snowboarding was so new. When I first moved to Whistler they had just allowed snowboarders on the hill so we were totally exploring. We had this skateboard mentality and we were taking it to a ski town. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because snowboarding is so hurting these days, snowboarding seems to be coming across now like this gangster hip-hop rich kid thing. But the dope part about snowboarding is going to a ski town and taking that attitude and fuckin’ up skiers and fuckin’ up the ski town mentality. It was kind of all new in those days, and now it’s more corporate, more structured. Ski companies are making snowboards, some of the best snowboarders in the world ride for ski companies, that’s just funny to me. In the Whiskey days, we were just exploring losing our minds. It was all about riding pow and getting drunk, there was no structure to being a professional snowboarder. Now it’s like you have to do all your nines, your tens—there was no way you were going to get drunk fuckin’ Sean Kearns to do anything more than go straight down the hill to the bar, you know what I mean?
I think what’s different about riding, is that Mack Dawg and those guys just pushed snowboarding. I remember Mack Dawg would come to Whistler and he’d be so tripped out on me and Johnson and how wasted we’d be. We’d be fighting every night, wasted all the time, trying to make snowboard movies, while he was trying to progress snowboarding. We were just trying to make movies of what we were doing. It’s pretty funny if you think about it; one of the main reasons I made movies with Johnson, why we made Whiskey, was because we didn’t like the Mack Dawg videos—they seemed synthetic to us. I mean the snowboarding was dope, but it wasn’t really showing the lifestyle, what was going on and all the shit that was happening. I was stoked on the videos, we watched them, we got stoked, but I wanted to make something that was more real. Then I ended up making Mack Dawg videos, I don’t know quite how that worked out. Maybe because it was a much better and healthier lifestyle to not be wasted all the fuckin’ time making booze videos. It actually became quite a bit easier. It’s funny that I ended up running MDP in the end because I became what I hated.
What do think about Vague Upbringing ?
It’s good, I’m stoked on her doing it, there’s quite a story to be told there. Sean and I have had a lot of people offer and come to us over the years, and it’s never been about money for either one of us. We both want the story to be told, that’s the most important thing. So Lauren Graham came to Sean and I, and pitched her idea of making this documentary, and we both agreed that this chick was legit, she wants to tell the story. She’s not doing it for the money, she was brought up on these movies and she’s got a legitimate stake in this. The only thing I do is tell people to do interviews with her, I don’t know what questions she’s asking or anything. I have no creative control or direction over this movie whatsoever. I’d imagine a lot of people are gonna be talking a lot of shit about Sean and I, and I can’t blame ’em. We were nightmares in those days, and I want that to come across—it’s gonna definitely throw Sean and I to the dogs. She’s running into a lot of bullshit because we were dealing with a lot of crazy people. A lot of people have emotion tied to that time in their lives, like “fuck that guy, that guy broke my nose. So she’s running into a lot of resistance, it’s gonna be interesting to se how that movie turns out. She’s a good director, she’s the new breed. In those days, Whiskey was the dope shit, fuckin’ smash, break, crash—that was it.
Now all these kids are busy trying to find themselves and have emotions and feelings—all these art fags and all this shit. I don’t understand it, and I can’t relate to it. I’m not against it, I just don’t understand all these kids fuckin’ getting hurt feelings and shit when their fuckin’ nineteen, you’re not supposed to have fuckin’ feelings yet. In my day you’d fuckin’ get smacked in the face. So I have no grasp of this emo fag shit, and she’s right into it, she’s an art queen, art princess or whatever you want to call it. So she’ll portray it in a way that kids these days will understand. If I was to make that movie, I would just scare the fuck out of everybody and make them have hurt feelings. “Oh man that Whiskey movie really … oh that clown, what is it Bozo the clown? That hurt my feelings. Shut the fuck up. That’s what I’d call the movie, Shut the Fuck Up. But Vague Upbringing, sure. She’s aiming for Sundance. It’s to be entered into film festivals. It’s not to be sold in snowboard shops. I just don’t understand all these kids fuckin’ getting hurt feelings and shit when their fuckin’ nineteen, you’re not supposed to have fuckin’ feelings yet. In my day you’d fuckin’ get smacked in the face. So I have no grasp of this emo fag shit, and she’s right into it, she’s an art queen, art princess or whatever you want to call it. So she’ll portray it in a way that kids these days will understand. If I was to make that movie, I would just scare the fuck out of everybody and make them have hurt feelings. “Oh man that Whiskey movie really … oh that clown, what is it Bozo the clown? That hurt my feelings. Shut the fuck up. That’s what I’d call the movie, Shut the Fuck Up. But Vague Upbringing, sure. She’s aiming for Sundance. It’s to be entered into film festivals. It’s not to be sold in snowboard shops.