I was chatting with 3 different dudes. None of them could be described as your average Joe. One of the things they have in common is their passion for BMX, in the broadest sense of that word. I´ll post the other two "episodes" on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy.
SHAJBA: Where are you right now? Are you at home?
STIV NUTS: Yeah, at my parents´ house.
SHAJBA: You come originally from Pula or from somewhere else?
STIV NUTS: I am born and raised in Pula. From the day one (laugh).
SHAJBA: Alright. BMX; Why and when?
STIV NUTS: When i was like 12-13 I´ve already been hyped on skatebording, BMX, snowbording and all that stuff since a lot of people around me were skating. I was also watching BMX videos on Extreme channel on my TV at that time and I just fell in love, so I had to get a bike. I bought a trashy BMX bike from some guy I knew for like 40 euros and I had been just cruising around until one day I met LL (Lord Leopold) and Eman. We have been riding every day ever since.
SHAJBA: You just came from a night session. How is the weather in Pula now? I am currently in Vienna and it is fucking freezing.
STIV NUTS: That sucks man! Here is good, pretty warm for winter, you can ride till late hours.
SHAJBA: The benefits if you live on the coast. We´ve met 2 weeks ago in Ljubljana and I was pretty impressed by your style of riding. You are also a member of Huscija Crew; When I watch your videos it´s clearly that you all have been influenced by the 00´s east coast/UK riding style. How did that come about?
STIV NUTS: Yeah, that was the golden era of BMX. When we were kids we would always watch old Animal videos, Am-Pm's, Shook and that stuff and it just stuck. The UK scene always had something special about it and when we saw "Voices", that was it.
SHAJBA: Man, for me personally Voices is the best movie of all times. After I had seen it, I don´t know, the whole perspective on BMX and how BMX videos should look like changed. I still do not know what made it so awesome though. I guess just the vibe of the whole movie made it so special?! What I find very interesting is that your whole crew was influenced by this type of riding. Usually if you have a group of 5 BMXers each goes different direction style-wise. But in your case, you all have a very similar way of riding.
STIV NUTS: (Laugh) Yeah, that's true. I don´t know. It's kind of normal for me because we didn't have a lot of options, we didn't have skateparks. We have always been riding street and going around the town together searching for spots and stuff to ride.
SHAJBA: Aha. It is nice to see that a whole crew is so passionate about a certain style of riding. It is not a common thing. You think a park rat could hang out with you?
STIV NUTS: If he could keep up with us, why not?! (Laugh)
SHAJBA: Speaking of the UK scene, you were in London some time ago riding with the locals. How was that experience? I can imagine it must be insane riding on the streets of London, especially when your tour guides are Marv, Clarky and others..
STIV NUTS: We've been on a trip in October for 10 days. Eman, LL, Kromo and me. That was our first "bigger" trip together and it was crazy! Dniles hosted us at his place in Brixton and was taking us around the city for the whole trip. He is the boss! London is fucking amazing! Spots are on every corner and everything is raw and unique. The locals are super cool. On the last two days of our trip Clarky came from Manchester to London to meet with us and that was a treat. It was super cool to hang out with him; I am a big fan of his films and his riding, the man knows what`s up!
SHAJBA: Were you able to keep up with their tempo in the pub?
STIV NUTS: Since it wasn´t raining during the whole trip, which is a miracle in that city, we tried to ride as much as possible and drank our beers on the streets. Especially Eman! (Laugh) That guy wasn´t drinking anything else for days.
SHAJBA: Sure, London is also fucking expensive.
STIV NUTS: Yeah, especially for us Balkan gypsies! (Laugh)
SHAJBA: You´re also in the middle of a filming process for you newest video. I imagine you got shitload of footage in London. Are you the main filmer or are you all filming each other?
STIV NUTS: Well, I am satisfied with the amount of clips we got considering we had been injured before the trip and LL fucked his shoulder on the 3rd day so he couldn't ride for the rest of the trip. In Huscija we mostly film each other and LL is the man for the editing and all that stuff.
SHAJBA: You are all big fans of Sony VX. I think you said you would never go to another camera type due to the fact that VX fits your style so well. You think it would be possible to film the same style of riding with an HD camera or would that make the special flair go away?
STIV NUTS: Well, the VX is the best thing you can film with! HD for me just doesn't have soul and you can never achieve the picture you can get on a film tape with all those colors. That's something special. DVC for life! (Laugh)
SHAJBA: You´ve seen the new animal video Facts?
STIV NUTS: Yeah, I have. I was not too impressed. Animal has changed too much, got too trendy, but I did like some clips from Matt Miler, Nick Badet, Theshitlife and of course from Chris Carter.
SHAJBA: By too trendy you mean their transition to HD?
STIV NUTS: Not just that; I do hate the fact that Bob Scerbo doesn't make their videos anymore...It's just that Animal bikes is now being represented by mostly some hotshot dudes, who grew up in a skatepark and now they go on street, film some clips and are classifying themselves as street riders. The Animal i remember was raw and straight to the point.
SHAJBA: But Corey Martinez was also an all-arounder and had an epic part in Can I eat?.
STIV NUTS: Yeah, but people back then rode for fun and today everybody wants be a rockstar catching glory and fame.. I dunno, it's weird and lame to me.
SHAJBA: You think the same goes for youngsters in our area? How is the BMX scene in Croatia in general?
STIV NUTS: Yes, unfortunately it does and not just for youngsters. It is awful! (Laugh). The scene in Croatia is pretty small. A lot of people stopped riding, I don´t know why…people come and go. Some new kids pop out sometimes which is good, but still, it could be much better.
SHAJBA: In what way?
STIV NUTS: In a way that much more people should ride, stay connected, make jams, make videos, zines, anything, you know?!
SHAJBA: Right. Are there any other jams besides Pannonian Challenge (PC)? In Slovenia there isn´t much, but we still meet on different occasions. How´s that in your scene? Where do you guys meet, ride together etc.
STIV NUTS: Well yeah, there are some street jams in Zagreb sometimes, but I haven´t been on any yet. We mostly meet people when we go to some other cities to ride and we hang out with the locals, if there are any. Also, we are better connected with Slovenians since Slovenia is really close to us and the scene is much more alive there. Btw we are making street jam in Pula soon! Gonna keep you updated!
SHAJBA: It seems kind of funny that on the one hand the PC has become this fucking huge international BMX event, now even part of the FISE events, but on the other hand you´re saying you go to Slovenia, where no BMX event comes even remotely close to the size of PC, because the scene there is much more existent. Any thoughts on that?
STIV NUTS: (Laugh) Yes, you know, the PC is a park contest, more sport orientated. We are street rats. For us BMX is not a sport, it is a tool for expressing ourselves, creating something out of nothing, you know, a state of mind.
SHAJBA: Yeah, so I´m guessing you guys have never been to the PC?
STIV NUTS: No, never. I prefer smaller events, just for the people to hang out, chill and ride together. Like the one you guys did when we met.
SHAJBA: So you think smaller events but more frequent ones are more beneficial for the scene as opposed to just one, despite its size and recognisability?
STIV NUTS: Yeah, exactly. It's nice when something is going on all the time, not just once per year.
SHAJBA: Right..I´ve also never been to the PC but I must say that I have huge respect for those guys building such a tremendous event in fucking Osjek. No offence to the Osjek people (Laugh). You know..like wow, that took a lot of effort and work, even though I´m also a bigger fan of smaller, more core events.
STIV NUTS: That is true. I am not saying I wouldn't go if it was a bit closer to me. Why the hell not?! Go get wasted and watch some park tricks (Laugh).
SHAJBA: OK, I have another one for you. You think other BMX riders feel a bit intimidated by your crew due to the fact that you know exactly what you like and what you consider lame and trash and you are not particularly afraid to say it out loud?
STIV NUTS: Well, I don´t know. It is not my intention to insult anybody, but it's just the way I think. Plus, we like to talk a lot of shit on everything (Laugh).
SHAJBA: (Laughs) Yeah, that is one the best things about riding with your buddies. What are your plans with Huscija? You ever considered making a legitimate company out of it?
STIVU NUTS: For now, just keep being productive, film as much as possible, and have fun like always. Currently we are making the new DVD, still filming for it, but it should be out in a couple of months.
SHAJBA: While we were having Cevapi in Ljubljana you mentioned you wouldn´t want to become a PRO. One of the reasons was that it would take the fun away. You think the same goes for running a BMX company?
STIV NUTS: I think business and fun are usually hard to combine, but it is still possible to do it. It would be cool to have a smaller company that is made for the love of it rather than profit.
SHAJBA: Fair enough. I don´t know if you´re the right guy for this question but what the fuck happened to the Scarecrow?
STIV NUTS: (Laugh)I wouldn't know. I know Luka Urbac had stopped riding a few years ago, maybe he lost interest in running the page too. I don´t know the other guy from the webpage though.
SHAJBA: Thanks (Laugh). Tell us something about your art. What do you do, where can people check your art out?
STIV NUTS: (Laugh) My art is fucked and trashy. I like to draw a lot, especially comic style. I do a lot of illustrations and I like to include BMX.
I have a FB page. It goes by the name “Bad Taste”. That is also my “artistic” name.
SHAJBA: When do you draw the most? What are the perfect conditions?
STIV NUTS: I like to light some splifs, turn the music on and hit the paper. I am flexible when it comes to conditions but I do prefer my room desk.
SHAJBA: I´m guessing you are more of a night bird?
STIV NUTS: Exactly. Night is a special time of the day.
SHAJBA: Yeah, I agree. It´s that special feeling when everything settles down…You see any connection between doing art and riding?
STIV NUTS: Riding is art. It's your freedom to express yourself shredding a spot in your specific way, like you do with a pencil on a paper. But yeah, I really would like to combine my illustrations with BMX in general, if that was the question (Laugh)?!
SHAJBA: In what way? Doing art work for BMX companies, crews etc.?
STIV NUTS: Well yeah, I guess. It would make me happy doing art for something that is pushing BMX forward and also promoting the culture through my art.
SHAJBA: I am sure this will happen sooner or later..
STIV NUTS: I hope so (Laugh).
SHAJBA: You are pretty young, 23 right? And you like to travel quite a lot. You´ve been to Barca where you stayed for 6 months, if I am not mistaken. How was Barca treating you?
STIV NUTS: Yes, I am 23 if that is still young (Laugh). Barca was really nice, something different for me. I stayed there for half a year living with my girlfriend Lea. Life there is really chilled. I was just riding and chilling all days. People are not in a rush and it is really nice to hit the streets every day. I met a lot of people there, a bunch of pro riders too and made some really nice friends who I hope I will see soon again. Only bad thing was that I had a lot of problems with my ankles during the stay, which I still do, so I wasn´t able to ride as hard as I usually do…but maan, it was fucking nice! I can`t wait to go back!
SHAJBA: You think you´ll move out of Croatia in the future? Or if that´s too hard to answer, would you want it to?
STIV NUTS: I really don't know, man. I am in that period of "putting the life in place”, but I don't worry about those things too much so will see how things are gonna go. Although I have a love/hate relationship with Pula, I like my city despite all its negative sides. I also circulate a lot, so it's cool. My girl studies in Ljubljana and I often go there, as well. I really like that.
SHAJBA: That´s actually nice to hear. Nowadays, one usually hears younger folks talking about their escape to foreign countries. You were also a taxi driver in Pula. Any cool stories? I mean, I know you must have some cool stories but would you care to share any (Laugh)?
STIV NUTS: Oh man, there were so many of them, but now when I try to remember one, I cannot. A traumatic experience which I try to forget, I guess (Laugh).
SHAJBA: (Laugh) Were you scared in any of those situations? Like, afraid for your life?
STIV NUTS: (Laugh) No, not really. I somehow manage to avoid that kind of situations on the job.
SHAJBA: Wait, are you still working as a taxi driver?
STIV NUTS: Nooo, I quit after summer.
SHAJBA: Yeah, I already heard a lot of weird stories related to taxi drivers. It seems like a harsh world of hustlers. I guess because it is one (Laugh).
STIV NUTS: Oh yeah, they are like mafia, no doubt about that.
SHAJBA: A friend of my mine always says: ”Whatever you do, don´t mess with taxi drivers” (Laugh).
STIV NUTS: (Laugh) He got a good point there.
SHAJBA: OK, I have one or two more questions, then we are slowly coming to the end of our little conversation.
STIV NUTS: Hit it.
SHAJBA: Since you seem to appreciate details and aesthetics a lot, what is your opinion about fashion in BMX? You think BMXers should pay more attention to it or should be more involved with the fashion world similar to skateboarders?
STIV NUTS: I think people follow trends too much nowadays. They don't even know what they like really.. just doing what everyone else is doing. Wear and do what you like just be yourself, don't just try to fit in.
SHAJBA: OK, I get that, but do you think that the way one is dressed has an impact on his style?
STIV NUTS: It certainly does make a change. I never think about that too much to be honest. It is something that helps you define your style.
SHAJBA: You said you are making a DVD now. Why would one want to release a DVD in 2017 instead of a Webedit? Shit on internet gets a lot more views than DVDs.
STIV NUTS: It's much nicer to have your video on a DVD, than to just post it online and later people forget about it. You will also always have it in your collection and will enjoy it much more putting it on. I guess it's an old school thing that we try to keep alive.
SHAJBA: Are you planning to have a nasty premiere?
STIV NUTS: Fuck yes! It is going to be our first one ever.
SHAJBA: Pfff, nice!
STIV NUTS: We wanna make a street jam accompanied by a mini ramp session at a venue where the premiere will take place. Still planning, but it´s gonna be a blast. I hope to see you there!
SHAJBA: Sounds perfect. We´ll try to come, of course! Would you like to add anything? I believe we covered a decent amount of subject matters…
STIV NUTS: Thank you man for doing this, shout out to everyone who´s reading this. I am so bad at these things (Laugh).
SHAJBA: Oh, should I write Stefan or Stefan St….?
STIV NUTS: “STIV NUTS”, it´s how everybody calls me (Laugh).