Intro by: Joey MCgarry
Interview by: Oliver Nermerich
Images by: Will Pursell

Mushroom Blading Vol.2 from Joey MCgarry on Vimeo.

HEY TODD, HOW ARE YOU DOING, BUDDY?

Doin’ alright. It’s pissing rain so no blading today. Just laying low with my hoebag. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get some afternoon delight.

CAN YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO THE READERS? NAME, WHERE YOU’RE FROM, HOW OLD YOU ARE?

My name is Todd Anthony McInerney, but most people call me Ron. I’m 27. Right now I’m living in Vancouver, B.C.  

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO LATELY?

I’ve been stupid busy. I’m working over 50 hours a week. Skating-wise, I filmed Mushroom Blading 2 and 3 in the past year. I’ve also been chipping away at my section in Dustin Werbeski’s new video, “Imagine Blade Shun”. At the end of the day I come home to my beautiful girl Carly and our two children – Tonky Buns and Barry Cute. I have a lot of love in my life. These days my role is hunter-gatherer, I’m the provider for one hot piece of ass which I refer to as “The Dumpy Rump”. It gives me a strong sense of purpose to take care of my family.

Carly actually knew me first through skate videos, so she came into the relationship understanding that skating is a large part of me, so I never get any of that “so when are you gonna quit?” bullshit, I’m grateful for that. I also spend a lot of time preparing food, eating food, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the cat’s litter box, grocery shopping, and I juggle everyday. I go through spurts of drawing a lot, then go months without doing it at all.  

SO YOU (IN COOPERATION WITH JOEY MCGARRY) HAVE ALREADY AMUSED THE INTERNATIONAL ROLLERBLADING CROWD WITH SEVERAL VISUAL ENLIGHTENMENTS. I’M TALKING ABOUT “CIRQUE DUH SOL EH?”, “BETTER THAN BASEBALL”, MUSHROOM BALDING” AND NOW YOU’LL BE ENTERTAINING US WITH THE SECOND EDITION OF THE MUSHROOM SERIES, “MUSHROOM BLADING 2.” CORRECT BACKGROUND INFO, RIGHT? DID I FORGET ANYTHING?

Those are the videos that were distributed – the only one missing is “OK Buddy, Fuck Whatever”, which was on the disc with Cirque Duh Sol Eh? Before that, we made a few grommet videos. This was long before putting shit on the internet was an option, so we just shared them with our friends: Under Canadian Skies (You can see my section here – http://www.blog-task.com/videos/Todd_UCS.mp4), Allusion, and How To Be Unpopular.

WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT ROLLERBLADING VIDEO YOU HAVE EVER WORKED ON?

It was definetly this last one [MB2].  This video was filmed on a one week tour of the interior of B.C. Having such a limited amount of time meant that our ‘plan’ was very fragile and so many things could have gone wrong . To make things worse, my feet were killing me the entire time. I had painful bunions growing on the sides of my feet and was skating carbons that have a hard shell. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have been skating, I would’ve been taking time for my feet to heal. Instead, I would ice my bunions numb, put my skates on, do a “power blast”. As difficult as it was, it was the trip of a lifetime. The interior of B.C. is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world, and there are skateparks everywhere. Thank you skateboarding!  

WHICH VIDEO PRODUCTION HAS BEEN THE MOST FUN?

The era of “Cirque Duh SOL eh?” was really fun. I was living with Mason at the time and he’d wake me up almost every morning with a lit doobie and I’d hear old school blade videos playing in the living room. I was working nights so I would skate all day, every day, then go to work at night. Reality hadn’t really hit me yet and I thought I was totally invincible. This was before my ACL surgery and I could jump huge gaps without thinking twice. In all areas I was super cocky. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I was gonna make the world my bitch.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC? DO YOU SUFFER FROM PERFECTIONISM?

It’s impossible for me to answer this honestly, because I am a perfectionist.

There is a good chance I have OCD, ADD, AD-HD, BAD or a combination of the above. Typically, I am a restless person who feels the need to be productive until I am both mentally and physically fatigued enough to sleep/unwind. If I am not being productive, I spend my time stressing about my lack of productivity. Like right now, I am worrying that I may be spending too much time writing this interview. I consciously try not to be a perfectionist and am aiming to be less critical of myself. Because of this incessant need to be productive I’ve become a camera-skater. I hate doing the same thing/trick over and over but I will if I need to. Was that answer good enough? Maybe I should re-write it.

 

WITH YOUR LASTEST FLICK, WHO ALL WAS INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION PROCESS OF “MUSHROOM BLADING 2” OR IS THIS JUST SOMETHING BASED FROM YOUR CREATIVE MIND AND SINGULAR COMMITTMENT?

It was myself, Joey McGarry, and Dayna Beaver in the video. Joey planned out the route of the trip, brought his nice camera, his video skills, and compiled the footage into what it is now. As for the creative process before the trip, there were many late-night, caffeinated and/or inebriated emails sent back and forth about how we envisioned the trip happening. But when it comes down to it, life just happens and it’s always a mistake to try and control it.  

ANY FUNNY “BEHIND THE SCENES” STORIES THAT HAPPENED WHLE FILMING FOR MB2?

It’s hard to think of anything that didn’t end up in the video – it’s all in there. There was one thing…

I’ll mention this one, though; after a skate session we were hanging out in a parking lot in Oliver, B.C. and out of no where this french hippy dude came up to me, looked me in the eyes, and pushed me. Not super hard, but hard enough to knock me back. He looked at me for a second and said, “Thanks man, you just made me $20… my buddy bet me I wouldn’t push you, you look like mean guy”.

In retrospect I should have asked for my $10 cut.
 
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR FILM WORK?

When I was a kid I was really into baseball. I loved playing baseball and dreamed of playing in the big leagues. Then when I was 12, my mom bought me my first pair of rollerblades. I just wanted them because my friends Joey and Colin were blading all the time, and I wanted to hang out with them cause they were really sweet dudes. I wasn’t really that into rollerblading, I just wanted to make some friends.

What really hooked me was when I first discovered rollerblading videos. The first ones I saw were “The Bottom Line”, “VG3”, and “Harvesting the Crust”. At the time we could rent them from Play It Again Sports for like 3 dollars. To say the least, they flipped my fucking world upside down. Suddenly, I was watching these videos EVERY DAY, and wanting to skate EVERY DAY. I tried to quit baseball but my parents forced me to play for another year.

Ever since I’ve spent a stupid amount of time watching blade videos over and over and over. They’ve all had an impact on the way I see rollerblading and life in general, but I think the video that has had the most impact on the way I skate now is “Words”. Before seeing Words I never thought of myself as a “creative” skater. After seeing Latimers section(s), I started tapping off shit and mimicking his movements.  

 

IN TERMS OF LIFESTYLE, SKATING, ETC., WHY DO YOU THINK VANCOUVER IS THE BEST CITY IN THE WORLD?

It’s the only large city I’ve ever lived in, so I can’t really say it’s the best. Before moving here, I’ve always lived in smaller towns. Time seems to move faster in the city. I’m not as easy-going in the city. Here you have so many options all the time, that it can be hard to focus on one thing. I’m sensitive to all these things because I’m small town people. These big city fuckers freak me out.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT SKATING OR FILMING?

The question is funny because skating and filming is a very small fraction of what I do. I like to juggle (you can watch me juggle at http://www.youtube.com/justjuggle), draw (you can check out my artwork at http://www.seeingscribbles.com), play with my cats, hang out with my girlfriend.

I like to stand on my deck and stare at all the things I can see.

I take advantage of any opportunity to play sports. Sometimes with work we play badminton, ultimate frisbee, soccer, ball hockey, dodgeball, bowling. I’ve always loved playing sports and I always try REALLY HARD.

I spend a lot of time in my own world, not talking to people. I am a web-developer, right now I am doing a lot of Flash/AS3 work. It’s kinda funny that I’m doing this because a few years ago I knew nothing about computers and very rarely even used them. I didn’t even know how to copy and paste.

These days I work 8am – 5pm, Monday-Friday for a software company. We do online advertising and web solutions for big car and real estate companies. I’d tell you more but I’m sworn to secrecy.  

SO, DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THE “9 TO 5 OFFICE WORKER” GROUP?

I do really like going to work every day – I’m developing skills that I really care about and for the first time in my life money isn’t the only reason I go to work (I go to learn and grow in my career). I do dream about having more flexibility. If it were up to me, I’d be working from 5am-noon and then skating the rest of the day. And I’d take a three-day weekend, two days just aren’t enough.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER HOBBIES THAT CAN KEEP UP WITH ROLLERBLADING?

Other activities, like drawing and juggling I do in bursts, whereas rollerblading is constant. There’s never a time when I’m not thinking about skating and not wanting to go skate. No other activity satisfies me the way a good skate session does.

WITH YOUR DAILY GRIND OF WORK AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS, DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL YOU HAVE TO BREAK FREE AND SEE THE WORLD?

My world is my work, my obligations, my daily grind, my routine. Routine is the enemy of intelligence. When my life gets too routine, I begin to feel uncreative, narrow-minded, and not stoked on life… skating removes the mundane feeling and helps me realize I am capable of doing whatever I want in any moment. I don’t have to break the chains, I just have to remember that they’re there because I imagine them there, and poof, they’re gone.  

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I wouldn’t change anything. It’s never really been important to me about where I am in the world, its more about how I feel and how I am perceiving things. If I could go anywhere and do anything, I would go to Japan and film a volume of Mushroom Blading with the Fantastic Puncher guys.

IF WE’D HAD AN INTERVIEW 10 YEARS AGO AND I’D ASKED YOU, “WHAT’S ONE FO THE MOST IMPORTANT GOALS IN YOUR LIFE?” WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE ANSWERED AT THE TIME?

10 years ago (I had just graduated high school) I was really focused on getting rich. I was working 2 jobs, stupid hours and obsessively saving money. My most important goal was to become a real estate tycoon and be filthy rich. In those days, rollerblading really took a back seat and I felt it was really immature for me to still be skating, I felt pressure to grow up.  

…WHAT WOULD YOU ANSWER NOW?

Now I value experiences and the development of skills over how much money I have in the bank. My goals now are about what I am, not about what I have.

Things I would like to do before I die? Make ten volumes of Mushroom Blading. Have kids (not for a while). Be an agile and healthy old man, capable of jumping over shopping carts and doing alley-oop fishbrains. Stop chewing my fingernails (my worst habit and it’s the only addiction in my life I feel I have no control over). Have a positive impact on the world and appreciate every moment. I want to want less. Produce work that will always work for me.

IMAGINE BLADE SHUN: Todd McInerney Personal Teaser from IMAGINE BLADING on Vimeo.
 

BESIDES SKATING, FILMING AND WORKING, I KNOW YOU ARE ONE OF THE MAIN PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ONE OF CANADA’S MOST POPULAR COMPS – THE “POPULARITY CONTEST” IN KAMLOOPS. I’VE HEARD RUMORS THAT YOU WON’T BE DOING IT THIS YEAR? IS THAT TRUE? WHAT’S THE STORY?

The rumours are true. I won’t be the dude running Pop Contest this year. I’ll be the dude blading around, doing silly tricks, and not taking the contest seriously.

In the past, I poured a lot of time, energy, and money into Pop. And the first couple years I did it, I had the time of my life. I felt like I was in the right place, yelling on the mic and running the show while everyone had an amazing time and got high on blade. It was a beautiful event and I was very much a facilitator of the party. I felt really good about hosting this magical day that everyone enjoyed so much.  

Over the years, my vision of skating, and how I viewed my role in skating changed drastically. Running contests seemed like the opposite end of the spectrum from where my true purpose was. My intuition was telling me that I was in the wrong place and it was time for a change. So I handed the event over to my friend Matt Vigneux, and yes, I feel great about it. Someone who is as passionate about it as I used to be should be doing it, and Matt’s the guy.  

TODD, THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR GIVING ME AND OUR READERS A CHANCE TO IMMERSE OURSELVES IN YOUR WORLD FOR A BIT!

Thanks for putting this together Be-mag! And thanks for not asking me what I think we should be doing to make rollerblading more popular. That’s a question we should all stop asking.  

ANY OTHER THANK YOU’S?

– Carly for all the delicious meals, paying for my MB2 trip, distributing Mushroom Blading, and killin’ it in the sack.
– Joey for writing the intro and for being an awesome friend.
– Will – www.willpursell.com – for taking photos.
– Leon at Shop-Task for hooking me up and driving me around.
– Skateboarding for getting so huge and getting skateparks built everywhere
– Damien Wilson for the birthday blades and for being a crazy fuck.
– James and Gretchen – www.revolutionskate.com – for the blades, and for taking care of Carly and I for 10 days.
– The Canadian health care system for paying for my ACL replacement surgery.
– Dallas Kurtz for being Dallas Kurtz.
– Joseph Merlin for inventing rollerblading.
– Check out www.mushroomblading.com!