Q&A: ADAM ROYE / BURN SLOW

In early January, something by the name of BURN SLOW started circulating on BMX social media via stories and regrams, largely from Austin peeps. It was vague, but still seemed exciting. Naturally, we had heard some things, but I decided to go straight to the source for more info, Adam Roye.

Click below for the full Q&A with Adam, and be sure to follow BURN SLOW.

Adam… how are you, and what were you doing before answering these questions?

Hello… I’m doing well, thanks for asking. Fluctuating between excitement, anxiety, confidence, dread and hope… or something like that. Just got home from the bank, getting ready for a little trip we’re taking to New Orleans to shoot promo material. 

In addition to the various brands/projects you lend your hand to, you have decided to take on a new project called Burn Slow. Tell us about it.

Yeah, so after doing art and creative direction for Tina & Tom at Empire, and Robbie at Cult for the last 10+ years, I felt like I was finally ready to run my own brand. 

What was the inspiration or “aha moment” that brought BURN SLOW to life?

Truthfully, this is something I’ve (or we’ve actually) aspired to do for a long time. In about 2007 I was living in a house with Aaron Ross, Chase Hawk, and Devon Hutchins (plus various other characters). The four of us would throw around company ideas, as young friends do. That’s when I first started doing cult (as a zine)… my original plan was to slowly build it up into a clothing brand. But in 2009 when Robbo left Fit, he asked me, with encouragement from Hawk, how I would feel about turning Cult into a BMX brand. I agreed, and so from there Cult took off into the BMX company we know today. I had no real idea what I was doing at the time, but I’ve spent the last 10 years quietly learning, observing, and trying to grow.

Can you give us some insight into the aesthetic or direction behind the line? Will it differ visually from other brands you’re involved with?

I think It should fall somewhere in-between Empire and Cult visually… a mix of both. That’s sort of where my personal aesthetic lies. A nice balance of clean and raw, ideally. The logos and graphics are open for interpretation…  probably similar themes I’ve instilled in cult, but more nuanced and with a tighter presentation. I prefer quality to quantity when it comes to marketing. And a healthy bit of humor.  

Will you be solely in charge of art and branding?

Correct, everything will run through me. It’s a bit overwhelming, so hopefully I’ll be able to hire some help if all goes well. We will definitely be collaborating with our friends and other designers/artists. My dear friend Mason Tucker is our first guest artist (follow him @negativnancytattoo). Devon and Bob Scerbo are helping me with camera work.

What can people expect from BURN SLOW?

Clothing and etc… anything we want really. It’s an entertainment company, so I want to make entertaining products. No hard goods, unless it’s in collaboration with an existing bike brand. My lovely Girlfriend is an upholsterer, she’s helping me out with a few things that I’m excited about. (Follow her @raynewares)

Will BURN SLOW operate on a seasonal schedule, or be more freestyle?

The plan is to run five drops in 2020, seasonal plus BTS… everything is fluid though, and we’ll adapt as necessary.

You’ve got some interesting people involved on the backend. Care to speak on that?  

Sure, I think it’s great to be transparent about as many aspects of a business as possible… Aaron, Chase, Devon, Tina, Tom and Robbie are all minority owners / investors. Which gets back to where we left off earlier… once I got that feeling I wanted to take this project on, my first thought was, ‘I wanna get my friends involved like we always talked about.’ Every single one of them has been a great friend to me… We shoot ideas back and forth and get advise off each other. They’ve all helped me out greatly and I couldn’t say thanks to them enough. I’ve tried to structure it financially in a way to hopefully give back to them slowly over the longterm, to help show my appreciation. I also have a ton of gratitude for BMX in general, as it saved me from a dark place when I was a young guy… so we’re gonna try and use BS as a vehicle to give back to the community as much as possible.

How will people be able to get BURN SLOW? Direct or through retailers? 

The first release will be available exclusively on our web store (burnslow.co) in mid February. The second release will be available online again and also at Empire sometime in May. After that, it’s up in the air. Additionally, I think we will try and do some party / pop-up shop type gatherings this year. 

Thanks Adam, anything you would like to add before we wrap this up?

Thanks to you, and everyone reading. I appreciate being able to respond in long form, so thanks for providing an integral platform. 

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