Never lacking in motivation, Dan Conway is always down to lead the charge and get shit done. And it shows in his first ever straight to web video part, Sick Mutha F_cker, for GT. He chipped away at this project for over two years while working a full-time job. He made the time to traverse the eastern seaboard from North Carolina to Connecticut capturing clips with his Stink Pit homies as well as a grip of other lensman. All the while, Dan has been consistently progressing, refining, and expanding his riding and it shows—not only in the amount of footage, but also in variety and sheer gnarliness of it all. According to Conway, “This part is definitely the way I ride. I am super proud of this part and I feel like it’s my best one yet. It’s what I’m about—the music, the clips, the speed, it’s all there!” Let’s dive in…
You said something along the lines of how you “live to film video parts.” Would you mind elaborating on that?
Since I’ve started riding, we always wanted to film/take pics and re-create what we were seeing. At that time all mags were in business and you could buy them in books stores. Videos like Criminal Mischief, etnies Forward, and FBM All Time Low were some of the early videos that were in heavy rotation when we were all starting to get better at riding and more serious about it. We even had a Hi-8 camera but had no way of doing any kind of editing so we would just plug the camera to the TV to get the effect of seeing our clips on the big screen [laughs]. It wasn’t until I was in high school and linked with some other riders who now are some of the OG Stink Pit dudes that we actually made our video with editing software and burned DVDs. Such a sick moment/crazy feeling to do that for the first time! We did a premiere at our friend’s house with pizzas, snacks and sodas. [Laughs] No one partied then so it was just the homies and parents hanging and watching us do the damn thing. Fast-forward 18 years later and we’ve done over 10 full-length crew videos and I’ve been a part of a grip of videos for assorted companies. Fucking crazy! Also, I would never have gotten sponsored if it weren’t for me being a part of a full-length DVD. The video You Got That was the one that got a few of us recognized by some companies and we just kept it going ever since. So I owe a lot of my riding to the constant push towards filming.
With the first clip for this video being filmed over two years ago, you’ve obviously put a lot of time into this project. Did you even know what exactly you were filming for when you started, or was it more about stacking clips for GT and seeing what became of it?
We were talking about the loose plan of doing another GT video of sorts after Seriously Fun dropped, so I just kept filming after and started the stack. As per usual, plans got moved, issues accrued, and shit happens. So it just turned into me filming when I could with the boys or whoever was down. And after a while the pile got good [laughs].
When I watch this video, I see a more mature and refined side to your riding. All the classic Conway big ledge bangers are there, but there’s more technical nuances, transition clips, and more… Have you always ridden this way and just didn’t really film it, has your riding evolved, or is it a little of both?
I don’t know, really. I think it’s just because people/the crew don’t always want to just drive to big spots to sit and watch one guy try something. I feel over time the crew got burnt out on riding like that. Which is completely understandable. So most sessions are just pick an area with a spot we know and we’ll go see what happens. I’m lucky because the Stink Pit crew is so diverse in skill/riding styles I kind of just roll with the punches and ride whatever and anything now. I’ve always been a fan of all styles of riding, but I feel like when you’re younger and on the come up you try a little hard to be a certain way or ride only one way. To be honest I wish I never was like that, but it is what it is. Now when we’re filming, I just try to ride to the best of my ability in any situation. I been having a blast so I’m a keep running it this way.
Beyond your trick selection, how would you say this video part is different than some of your previous sections? This is your first DVD level / full-length video part that has gone straight to web, right?
Yes, it is! Kind of crazy, but I think it’s just the name of the game these days. I’m not gonna be that guy who is old and salty because BMX isn’t the way it was in the “glory” days. Fuck it. I can and will always make DVDs with the Stink Pit dudes so I ain’t worried about nothing. Web presence is very important to brands all over so, if you get lucky enough to catch a check from a company, just go with the flow and do what is expected, and that is be a good solid human, ride hard and have a damn good time doing it. Fuck the rest.
Would you consider this to be a complete video part? Is it a good reflection of your abilities and where you’re at as a rider today? How does this video rate in comparison to some of your previous video parts?
Oh, yea for sure! At first it was chill, but that didn’t last long. If I’m gonna film something I’m gonna make it count. This part is definitely the way I ride. It’s everything I do, minus some trail footy—which I did get a clip, but you chose to cut it out! [Laughs] Honestly, I am super proud of this part and I feel like it’s my best one yet. It’s what I’m about—the music, the clips, the speed, it’s all there!
I’ve heard and read a lot of great comments about the video. How do you feel about the response/feedback the video has received?
It’s crazy! I definitely see how people can get hooked to that Internet fame. So fucking sick seeing other dudes who ride reacting to the video! Some big fucking names too, dudes I grew up sweating and still do to this day. But honestly, it means the world to me to see the comments of peeps! That’s a lot cooler than just double tapping. If you ever met me you know I love bullshitting and having a laugh so when people reach out, I love responding. And for this video I found myself spending a lot of time reaching back to people and reposting, but it was all worth it! Love y’all! Woooo!
Let’s talk about the song a little, “Rotten to The Core.” People were hyped to see an Overkill song used. And GT actually got the rights to use the song…
Yea man, that’s the way shit goes now. So it always tough to get a good song because of rights. But luckily enough I used a song under the label Nuclear Blast for my Seriously Fun part and we already had an in with those guys. Also, Overkill rules! My cuz Ed turned me on to them few years ago and I was kicking myself for not knowing more about them, we’ve seen them live too. Myself, Kim (my old lady) and my cuz Ed and it was the first show I’ve seen Kim go in a mosh pit—it was hilarious! She said, “hold my stuff, I’m going in.” Next thing you know I’m watching the top of her head go in the pit and then straight up disappear! Man, I’ll never forget that!
What other video projects have you been working on during the filming of SMF?
Stink Pit 6, and a new video for Profile!
Filming for three projects simultaneously, how did you go about managing the footage? Like which clips go to which project and so on…
Most of the time if we’re crew’d up with the SP dudes and stacking clips I’ll use that for the Stink Pit video. I like to keep that vibe apparent in the video. Good tunes, good vibes is the main goal for Stink Pit videos. That’s usually the way banger clips get done. The clips I go on more missions for and plan out I usually use towards GT projects. They’re usually the moves that stress me out or I have to stew on, but I’m cool with that. It’s like an extra push to get shit done. As far as the Profile video, that’s the newest project so we just started on that.
You filmed your ender with your lady on your anniversary. Why did you bring your bike and camera with you on your anniversary? Did you know of the ledge ahead of time? I have so many potential questions, so just give us the full story…
[Laughs]… Yea! We were there on vacation the year before and were on a bike ride along the water when we found it the first time. I was tripping out how sick it would be to grind it. At the time we were on beach cruisers and just chilling, so I snapped a pic and saved the pin. Fast forward a year later and we planned to go back to the same beach for our anniversary, and beside thinking of my lovely lady and our special weekend…. I also remembered about that beast of a ledge! Kim being so down that she is, knew that, and she was completely cool with me bringing the gear and my bike. After a solid weekend together, on the way home we made a pit stop at the ledge. I showed Kim a few things about filming fish, set up the long and sent the ledge! It was so crazy she filmed it perfect both times! I did it twice because the first time I didn’t grind as much as I wanted. I also made it a point to throw the metals on for my man BK [Brian Kachinsky] because I know he wouldn’t have it any other way! What a trip! Love you Kim!
You mentioned how you worked with the most filmers you’ve ever had in a project. Who all did you work with? And what’s it like working with so many different filmers as opposed to a more dedicated filmer who you develop a bond with? I’m sure there are advantages / disadvantages to both…
It was cool! Most times when you film with bunch of people it’s hard to keep your footy all together in one place. Most times you end up losing shit, or just never seeing the footy get used. But I was lucky enough to film with the best of dudes and everyone was cool with me using it all for this video. I’m really thankful for that! Major shout out to Ryan Howard, Trent Lutzke, Justin Benthien, you [Jeff Z.], my old lady, and all my Stink Pit boys! This part would be worth shit without y’all.
GT had a lot of plans for videos and travel this year, and all of that grinded to a halt with the pandemic. We literally had an entire trip to Taiwan planned and tickets booked for Swampfest for the team and it was all canceled. How did that affect you, in regards to motivation, filming, and so on…
I’m still bummed on that. Man, I don’t even want to think of what this year was supposed to be for travel. But I will say, shit happens. It is what it is. I just stayed motivated, kept the house sessions up, and got out there as much as I could and as safely as I could. Filming was kind of easy because it seemed like people didn’t really want to get involved so we wouldn’t get hassled. Also, most places were closed so it was open season in the streets!
So, the majority of the filming was done on independent trips and missions. While working a full time job, how did you manage that?
That’s how I’ve always done it. It’s truly has become the norm. Work Monday through Friday, Friday night hangs with the friends, and Saturday usually dedicated to girlfriend time, and Sundays we shred! Any kind of multiple day trip is usually planned out months in advance because time is very important to everyone so it’s good to lock shit in and have a plan. Then when we get together, we do the damn thang!
You recently moved into a new place with a driveway full of ramps. How has that transition been going for you?
It’s so sick. My landlord and neighbor, Ryan Serrano, is a really good friend of mine that I’ve known since 9th grade. He rides as well and already had the first ramp built before I moved in. Since I got there we’ve built a bit more gindables so now it’s just a training ground. It’s like Mad Mike’s compound. We just come home from work, have a sesh, sometimes heavy, other times just chilling and bullshitting. I try to get out every day and do at least one move. Sometimes that’s a lot harder than it sounds, but it’s all worth it.
Speaking about ramps, a lot of your Instagram content lately has been on ramps, parks, and backyard sessions… Obviously everyone knows you’re a force to reckon with on the streets, but there was no hint on your ’Gram that you were leading up to this heavy ass video part. Did it just kinda work out that way, we’re you keeping it a secret, or what?
Well, that’s funny because most people feel that skatepark and plaza stuff is Insta worthy. Now that I have the ramps at home and a few of my friends have house set ups too, that’s kind of what we ride for fun. And that’s were our Insta clips come in. I still think any clip is worth going in a video rather than Insta so I usually don’t too many street moves on the Gram. I ain’t got it like the young bulls these days [laughs]. I’d just rather stack and post screenshots, and random pics of music art and my dog.
You recently got on Profile, congrats on that! How did that come about?
Hell yea! I’m stoked on that! It’s the fucking Cadillac of part brands. Matt [Coplon] is such a rad guy and gives a HUGE fuck about BMX. I’m honored that they want to work with me! I definitely got to thank the BIG DOG Shane and my man Dillon Leeper for making it all happen. We’ve been riding together for a while now and they put in the word and now it’s fucking go time! I’m extremely excited for the future with Profile!
Let’s talk about GT some more, the team has grown a lot over the last few years, most recently with the additions of Demarcus Paul, Noah Miranda, and Julian Molina over the last few months. What are your thoughts on the currently stacked lineup of GT?
Fuck with us! Just wait until we have a full team trip again…. This team is so sick and diverse, we will destroy anything in our way! I’m stoked to be riding with all these guys! Fuck yea boys! Woooo!
Obviously, you just wrapped up a huge project with GT, but do you have anything else in the works with them?
We got an AM video in the works, which will have footy from the squad and be more focused on the young guns! Who are all sick as hell, so that’s gonna be another banger. Also, I have a two-piece bar coming out, so we’ll be doing some kind of video for that! And hopefully sooner than later we can all get together and plan out some more radical shit that involves everyone getting in the van and shredding at the same place! Wooooooo!
Whether it’s a re-watch or you somehow missed it, here’s Dan Conway doing it for GT!