Times have changed as the avenues of entertainment have shifted from hardcopy to the more accessible “Internet Edit”. I love that I have the ability to watch the most jaw dropping and awe-inspiring riding at the click of a button. It is “Stoke On Demand”, and it is all the most current riding available. From all of these edits in the past few years, I have discovered some amazing new bands, artists, and one-hit wonders. My Grooveshark playlists are filled with band names that came right from the ending credits of an edit I saw online. I use sports edits (skiing, snowboarding, bmx, and skate) as a main source for new music. Filmers always have their fingers on the pulse of the music scene, just waiting and listening for that one perfect song for the latest segment.
At an age when most kids had headphones in and a scowl on their face, I was outside with a shovel in my hand. The only rhythm and beat drumming in my ears was the one created from digging, throwing, and packing dirt. Building jumps and trails, those sounds were the music of my younger years. Coupled with the birds’ songs, the wind in the trees, crickets, and the rustle of leaves, I had a very peaceful and calming taste in music. My preference of Classical music meshes well with this facet of riding. The organic sounds of the creation and execution of a trail are sublime, they can only be matched by the swish of snow sluff following me while skiing in the winter.
My real exposure to contemporary music came from bike movies as it were; my way of relaxing after playing in the woods all afternoon. The variation between the Kranked series, New World Disorder, and then The Collective films provided a substantial and eclectic range of music genres to dive into, and dive I did. I hunted down and replicated the musical line-ups from those films so that even if I wasn’t watching the films, I could channel the “vibes” from the different riding sections to get fired up while driving to and from riding. When I got into racing, the playlists were derived from films like Super 8, In Between The Tape, and Earthed 1-5. I then felt like I had my own riding soundtrack, collected over a period of time, and the guitar riffs echo in my mind to this day when I dig and ride.
One downside of the immediacy of being able to view all of this content is that often “that one great song” gets used repeatedly until it is no longer enjoyable to listen to – like when your favorite Indy band makes it to the Top 40 radio play (a sad day). I think it is cool when the power of a song is unanimously recognized, but there should be a rule about how many times “Radioactive”, by Imagine Dragons can be used in online edits (among a few other songs from last year). Strive to not only keep content current, but the soundtracks for the content as well. I’ve noticed a trend in The Big Three (snowboarding, bmx, and skating): they have been going “old school” – classic rock, old punk, and even some vintage metal. I think this is a refreshing resurgence of “the classics”, as I will always get fired up if it is a new use of a song, regardless of what year it was recorded. With that in mind, I’m not sure how I’d feel if “Call Me Maybe” was the song that queued up with the footage.
At this point in my life, I have “crawled out of [my] cave” and listen to plenty of non-bike related tunes. Most people take me for a “Metal Head”, someone who just smashes things with the volume way, way up – partly true, but I enjoy a large array of types music. I believe that this was influenced a bit by The Collective guys when they put in an eclectic variety of tunes for a lot of the screaming-fast trail shots and flowing big airs. With some of the more mellow jams, I found they brought my personal levels up, but kept my mind relaxed, and that is how I like to listen to music: I like to be energized, but placated mentally by the sounds I’m listening to. While I will never be the guy with headphones in on the trail, just know that under my helmet I have my own little concert politely playing to a crowd of one, as a cacophony of trail and bike noise fills in the background.