Interview: Brian Tunney

Harrison Boyce Photo

I know the Print VS. Web thing is tired/irrelevant and each aspect has it’s own legs to stand on, but you have worked in both fields. Do you have any new insights or new found respects on either of those?
I am a product of a magazine generation, and I respect magazines enormously, but I question their future relevancy, as any pragmatist would. Currently, I only subscribe to and read one magazine consistently (The New Yorker) and it’s weekly. I think that’s my single favorite source of reading week to week for over 15 years now. I’ve never read it online, or looked at the magazine on a tablet-type device, because I still like its disposability factor. If I drop it, or spill something on it, or let it get crushed in my Ryan Nyquist signature Ogio backpack, it’s $6 to replace, and another one will be in my hands in seven days. Once Kindles, and iPads get cheaper, I think that will change, but old habits are dying hard right now. As for the print vs Web argument, I think it’s worth noting that from the invention of the printing press, in the 15th century, up to the 1990s, information was pre-packaged, filtered by an editor and given to people in pre-determined, timely amounts. Over the past 15 years, that has changed. The 500-year-old tradition of receiving information in news “bursts” now competes with constant, unfiltered and unedited information, and that has obviously caused a sea change in everything we do, from our brain chemistry to our language to relationships. This should be the obvious shit we’re thinking about when we’re talking print vs. Web, because it has caused a huge shift in human behavior, but it often gets overshadowed by competing egos in conversation. I don’t necessarily think the print vs. Web argument is worth pursuing anymore. We’re living in the middle of the biggest shift in information exchange since the dawn of humanity, and that’s what baffles me.

And I know I’m getting completely off topic now, but in the all the time I worked at a magazine, the only way I knew if people liked my work is if I got a personal e-mail, or letter, or if someone straight walked up to me and said, “Hey, I liked so and so in issue 50.” Now, I have real data to tell me what people want, and how to better serve our audience, and that’s pretty cool.

Speaking of insight, tell us a little about your personal site.
Not much to tell really. I just post random writings from my life when I feel like it. I try to keep it as BMX-free as possible since the bulk of my time online is devoted to that.

How did the name ASSBLASTERS come about?
I got drunk one night by myself, and wrote on a dry erase white board, “Do not go to assblasters.com” because it made me laugh. Jamie Mcparland saw that on my white board while visiting, then bought the .org version for me a week later. That was like seven years ago now…

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  • Oompa

    Interesting read, thanks, and when it comes to typo’s. Common ones on bmx sites kill me;

    Lose,loose,and lost are NOT interchangeable.

    Same for brake and break

    Good luck!

  • Steve

    Nice interview.

  • tom

    great stuff. remembering tunney and the hip-pack from an old props. what’s up with jared though?

  • Love everything Tunney does, this is no exception. Brian rules!

    Nice work as always Nuno.

    PS. Sorry for the Bestwick/etnies situation Brian.

  • nice.

  • Casey

    Harrison, are you living in NYC now? I see all these photos from the city (like WSP up there)

  • thanks for the good words on the judges Brian. You gave me my start in the judging game.keep up the good work

  • amazing interview, really enjoy the defgrip interviews, didnt want that to end!

  • So rad! Keep on keepin’ on Tunney!!! And Harrison great job, really good selection of questions. Good photos 2!

  • Rick MacDonald

    Not one Steve Martin reference?….you’re a changed man, my friend. Love, Rick.

  • ghostface

    great interview and yeah paul theroux is the bollocks!

  • bk

    fuck yeah UHF

  • Will Stroud

    Tunney is the man.

  • C. Doyle

    Some good, well thought out answers right there. Good read.

  • Cleggy

    Love you Brian xxxxx

  • Fat

    Great read. Much respect and admiration on many levels.

  • Ken

    Always entertaining and enlightening.

  • deuce

    Brian i’m pregnant!

  • tate

    defgrip and tunney. awesome interview.

  • kc

    this is the exact reason why Tunney is one of the most liked/influential people in bmx.

    Also, Tunney is one of the few people ever interviewed where their personality is portrayed perfectly and not lost in ( viral) translation.

    good read!

  • Peterg

    Excellent read. Excellent people

  • my favorite bmx writer!

  • Paulo Martins

    Nice words, nice interview. Thanks Brian!


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