Mike Vallely hits them where it counts 

MIke Vallely  Rockin' Out
  • MIke Vallely Rockin' Out

Who: Mike V and the Rats

Where: X-Games Main Stage, base of Whistler

When: Saturday, May 17 at 4 p.m.

One of the biggest names in Whistler for the Global X-Games wants to hit us between the eyes in more ways than one. He is pro skateboarder, movie-maker and punk rock music-man, Mike Vallely. The legendary street skater may not be competing while he’s here, but he’ll definitely hit the skate park, the stage, the screen, the curb, the hand rails and hopefully our hearts and souls in his quest to keep skating and punk rock music pure and true to its roots.

The outspoken street skater is known as much for his passion and dedication to the sport as he is for his physical and verbal altercations, but his spirit is undeniably contagious. And while the mellowing family man’s lustrous skate career might be slowing down, his music and film career is doing quite the opposite. With his video premiering in Whistler this weekend, a movie soundtrack with Mike V and the Rats in the can, and a tour later this month with legendary Black Flag member Greg Ginn, things are going from strength to strength for Vallely’s creative front.

Mike V and the Rats will deliver fast and furious punk rock rhythms on the X-Games main stage and the GLC is hosting the official world premiere of his highly anticipated and controversial film, Greatest Hits.

Pique : You’re a pro skateboarder, a family man, a movie maker, a writer, a poet and a musician – what’s the order of priority for you these days?

Mike V: My family definitely comes first but skateboarding is still paying the rent and has been such a major part of my life for so long now that I value it greatly. I discovered punk rock music and skateboarding at the same time though and they both profoundly affected me. I guess in some ways I could live without skateboarding but I couldn’t imagine a world without music. It’s all encompassing.

Pique : You’re very outspoken about the way the skateboard industry has changed. Why?

Mike V: Like with many sports, once they get unearthed and land in the hands of people with money and power rather than a natural love for it, the soul gets lost. Maybe it only means something to me and the generation I skated in but we really had to fight for everything and it meant so much more. We went out on the streets and created this whole new way of seeing things (called street skating). A bench was just a bench, a curb just a curb, but we changed all that and that can’t be understated. I started in 1984 when skating was about total freedom and individuality and not having the pressure from anyone to be the best. Nowadays I see your typical soccer mom or hockey dad yelling at his kid to land his tricks and get better and that’s a freaky thing to see. There are days when kids should go out and not land one trick. That shouldn’t even register, just enjoy getting out there and going for it. I’m afraid that innocence is going to evaporate from the skate community.

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