“Babes, babes, babes!” Honestly, that’s my first thought when I think of Sweden. I’m a twisted creep though…
The Scandinavian countries hold such contrast. On one hand, they have probably the best summers to be found in the northern hemisphere, seemingly endless summer days where the sun never really sets. But, then comes the frigid winter, where the temperature plummets way below zero and the sun never really seems to rise above the horizon. Definitely contrasting.
You might wonder how riders make it through the harsh winters? Well, they go in extra-hard during spring and summer then retreat to indoor parks and dry spots to wait out the winter. Also, they party like wild men to fill some of the in between time.
The ¥outh Crew are the rowdiest group of BMX riders in Sweden and they shred too. I got to chatting with the main man, Tim Sjöholm aka Hotline Tim, about the release of their new DVD – ‘Retirement’ and just to find out what these guys are all about.
– Introduce yourself, Tim… Tell us about Youth and what it is you guys like to do? “I’m a 22 year old guy from Stockholm in Sweden, who loves BMX and everything about it – bikes, beer and beautiful women. The holy three B’s! I think that was what started Youth!”
– I’ll start by stating the obvious, Youth is centred around BMX. But how did the crew come to be? Were all you guys friends from the Stockholm scene? “Actually, not all of us come from Stockholm originally. A few guys moved here from small towns outside of Stockholm, but most of us are born and raised here. We met through BMX, but back then there were like 5-6 crews in Stockholm, we rode together but still had different crews.
One day a bunch of us we sat and talked about how we wanted the Swedish scene, or at least the Stockholm scene to feel more united. Some guys had quit riding, some were more into drinking and some wanted just to keep progressing with riding. So we started a new crew, one where everyone was hyped to do the same stuff. Then by a coincidence, Giancarlo had switched the name and profile pic of his Vimeo channel to Youth, and we just went with that.”
– How many riders are part of the crew and are all you guys from Sweden? You’ve got Oliver Qvick in the mix now too, right? He’s a buddy of mine from your neighbouring country, Finland. “I think we are 10 or 11 guys, but It’s not really a fixed number, I’m not sure, haha! But what we have are great guys, they are always repping for other parts of Sweden too and of course Finland. I don’t really know how we got contact with Oliver, I think it was when he ordered one of our shirts. Then he came to Stockholm the summer after to ride and he totally killed it! As seen in his Friends Part in our Youth Retirement DVD!”
– Talk us through the process of filming, how long did it take and what places did you visit? Was the idea always to make a DVD, or did it start out smaller and end up being a bigger project? Who was responsible for the filming, was it a group effort? “We have filmed long mixtapes before, both indoor and street, but this project was one we wanted to be a little special and we planned it for DVD, right from the beginning. We’ve all helped out with the filming duties, but I guess that I’ve been the main filmer.
Over the course of two years we rode, travelled and filmed. We travelled to Copenhagen, Barcelona, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lisbon and all over Sweden! By the end of the first year we were already making up names for the video.
Everyone was sore and we joked about how we should retire after this project. It took one more year of filming and finally we completed the project. We printed 50 limited edition DVD copies with handmade leather cases that sold out almost before they were released. It all worked out perfect!”
– Finally, any shout outs or words of wisdom? “First of all, we want to thank Erik Lindgren, the owner of 116-Bikeshop, the best guy ever to turn to if you got bike problems as well as life problems! Big shouts to the Swedish BMX scene and everyone involved and for letting who let us stay on couches and floors. Shout out to all additional filmers, and all of you who support us. Oh, and thank you to The Hells Angels for not killing us in Lisbon! Last but not least, cheers to Patrick Alaspää for telling you about us and the project!”
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