Dylan interview from Monster Children in full.
By Chris Nieratko
Dylan Rieder is arguably the most handsome man in skateboarding. It is no easy cross to bear. I would know. I am arguably the most handsome writer in my house. And so it only made sense for Monster Children to put us together to discuss the hardships of the handsome. In Dylan’s case he faces the common woes of identity theft, battling robots and thwarting off verbal attacks from cult members while trying to put in a day’s work at the office. His plight will pull on your heartstrings so proceed with an open heart and open mind but please, don’t shower Dylan with your pity. He is a survivor. Just as the millions of Jews of Eastern Europe were able to make it through the atrocities of Dakow, Auschwitz, Warsaw, etc. so was Dylan able to survive years of kooky sponsorship and emerge from the ashes. And like those survivors of WWII he walked out of those Sponsorship Camps thinner, more gaunt, with razor sharp cheek bones but goddamn he made it and it’s shaped the man he is today: a man skateboarding should be proud to have as our poster boy.
What’s going on, Mr. Rieder?
Just waking to money coming out of my account that are not my transactions.
Dylan Rieder identity theft is happening?
Dude, it’s happening right now. I never had to deal with this before. I got a call this morning from my bank saying there’s some funny shit going on and I go and look on my statement and there some crazy language and someone is pulling money out of my account. It wasn’t that bad, just a couple hundred. One transaction was kind of high…I don’t know what happened, I’m just canceling all my cards.
It’s good you caught it early. I got refused for a beer at the airport on a Sunday and so I called my credit card company and they’re like, “Yeah, you’re maxed out. Since Friday you ran up a $6000 tab on online gambling.”
Wow, that’s huge. People are gnarly. Technology is gnarly.
Do you think in your case it’s Alex Olson that’s doing this to you?
Ha. No. Yeah, Alex has been embezzling money from me for years. That would be funny. I would hope it was him.
When I first met you, you were a little kid riding for Yo-sirus and Birdhouse. How did you manage to grow up and not kook it and become skateboarding’s darling?
Yeah, I rode for Mr. T. Hawk’s company, when I was a little guy for a couple years but yeah, it’s a mystery. I’m still trying to figure that out. I got lucky apparently. When you’re a kid you don’t know better. It was good, it was great as a child but then you figure it out. I guess it’s a combination of time, age and luck. I had a lot of good people looking out for me, I guess.
But some people don’t come back from bad sponsorship choices.
I don’t think too many people remember that 13-year-old, longhaired, brace-faced kid that you first met. I hope they don’t.
Do you think Birdman remembers you rode for him?
You know what’s funny I was watching this interview he was doing with Tyler the Creator, which is really random Tony Hawk interviewing Tyler the Creator. I was watching it and Tyler brought up my name and Tony was like, “Yeah, he used to ride for my clothing company.” And I was like, “What? I never rode for your clothing company [Hawk Clothing]. Dude, I rode for your board company!” So I don’t think he remembers me. But what’s surprising is that he still knows quite a bit about the street skating world because he brought up Tyler Bledsoe’s name and I was like, “How does Tony Hawk remember Tyler Bledsoe’s name?” I thought that was kind of cool.
Does it make you sad that he really didn’t remember you?
No, not at all. Not at all. Once upon a time…
Tony Hawk has been known to run through his share of women. Did he ever try to make the moves on your mom back in the day?
Ah….no. At least not that I know of.
Let’s be honest, who would you rather have as a step-dad, Tony Hawk or Chris Ortiz? [Photographer Chris Ortiz is married to Dylan’s mom.]
Dude! Let’s not get on this shit! Don’t ask these kinds of questions.
Why? Because we both know the answer is Tony Hawk?
Fuck, at least I’d be fucking rich if he put me in his will.
You should be rich; you’re in Street League.
Yeah…after taxes and all it’s not that exciting. You can’t win any money out of there anyways competing against fucking robots. It’s the same top 3 people all the time taking all the money. They need to have a cash limit, like if you win 500 grand you get kicked out to help the rest of us who can’t land everything first try; maybe give us a shot at the money.
Have you ever thought of pulling a Tonya Harding on one of the robots?
Oh, the ice skater that was taking the pole to people’s legs? A metal bat? It has crossed my mind. I wanted to put Xanex in everybody’s drinks the night before and then they’d all have Xan-y legs the next day and couldn’t skate; that would be pretty funny. Maybe put roofies in their Red Bulls, Gatorades and Monster drinks.
Has Monster made a run for you? How come you’re not riding for some fantastic energy drink company?
Fuck. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to wear one of those logos on my forehead. Their shit is fucked. It’s cool for those guys; they make a lot of money. I despise logos and I think it’s contractual if you sign up for one of those things that every time you’re on your board you have to have one of their logos near or on your body; it’s kind of retarded. They make little stickers that look like your shirt tags and you’re supposed to put them on you. It’s retarded. I don’t understand the Nascar outfit. The whole racecar uniform shit just blows my mind. But all those dudes are rich now so kudos to them.
You’re the polar opposite; you wear no logos at all. Just blank tees. There has to be a happy medium, no?
If it was something cool, I’d wear it. It would be cool to ride for Voss, that fancy water that comes in the glass bottle. Maybe 5-Hour Energy drink, that thing works.
What do you listen to in those headphones during Street League?
Dub step. Some reggaeton, some gangster rap. No, I normally just skate to mellow music, probably the complete opposite of what people might think. I listen to a lot of Bright Eyes. I’m a big Conner fan. My goal at Street League was to pull out my iPod every time before I went and show the Apple logo because I thought maybe someone at Apple Corp would be watching and I’d be getting a call from Apple but I haven’t gotten it yet. I’m pretty disappointed.
You might have to get your agent to make Apple aware of it.
I know, I got to get one of those! Fuck, I’m blowing it.
How did you end up in Street League? You’re the oddball. You’re not doing push ups, you’re not plugged into the wall. How did it happen and do you enjoy yourself?
Yeah, it’s alright. Dyrdek is my boy, Workshop and all. Maybe he just wanted another Workshop rider. He called me and asked me if I wanted to do it. Why not? It’s extra dough in my pocket. I’m normally not too fond of the whole contest circuit thing but I got a mortgage now. You got to think about the extra pennies that can help pay the gas bill. I don’t mind it. It is what it is. You show up, you bail a couple times and then you go home. I’m not in it to win it. Under the circumstances it’s not even physically possible because everybody can do everything every try and I’m not that technical of a person. But it’s fun. I don’t lose sleep over it at night, that’s for sure. I don’t have a trick list like some of those dudes do. They know how much each trick is worth point-wise and I’ll see people pull out their little trickometer and if they’re doing bad, it’s fucked up, they’ll figure out what trick they need to do. It’s so far beyond not skateboarding. And every time somebody lands a trick it’s like they’re at the Olympics, right away they look up at the scoreboard to see how many points they got.
Winning is everything, Dylan.
Winning is everything. Winning contests is the most important thing to your career ever. But Street League hooks up all those dudes; it’s great. I mean, Nyjah was winning all those things and I don’t even think he had a shoe sponsor.
Didn’t you get into a fight at one of them?
A fist fight? Not a physical fight, maybe a semi-verbal confrontation. What? Did you hear the Berra story?
Haha. That dude is a kook. So Berra was standing on the course, which I don’t know why he has any business to be on the fucking course; he’s not skateboarding. He’s on this bank ramp and I had to keep skating past him and this is right when he got kicked off of Workshop, maybe a month or two after. I kept passing him and I wasn’t trying to make things awkward, I had no beefs with Berra before. Me, AVE & Dill were the catalysts of him getting kicked off, which he had heard. My whole thing with Berra getting kicked off is that he doesn’t skate. I don’t have a problem with his Scientology. My whole thing is, “You don’t fucking skate, you don’t ride for The Workshop.” We’re trying to revamp the team where it’s just fucking skate and everybody rips, everyone works hard and hits the streets every day and he wasn’t doing that. So I was like, “Yeah, kick the dude off.” So I’m skating up and down this bank ramp and he’s standing right there so I’m like, “I’m going to say what’s up to this dude.” I was like, “What up, Steve?” and he looks at me and is like, “Really? Really dude? You’re going to shake my hand?” I’m like, “Yeah, you’re standing here. I’m trying to be cordial. Really dude? You’re this butt hurt over the whole Workshop thing?” He looked at me and says, “Keep walking, bro.” He told me to keep walking. I was so blown away. That was it; it wasn’t a full screaming match. I just thought it was really immature. You got kicked off a team, we’ve all been kicked off, don’t take it personal. But I hear so many stories about him just being a little fucking bitch. It’s funny; he shuns me because I’m younger than him and then he runs into Dill and AVE and they pretty much shut him down. He’s all nice to them. He treats me like shit but he’s scared of them so he treats me like a little kid.
In a sense you are Dill and Ave’s kid. Did they come to your defense?
Oh, of course. They thought it was hilarious. Dill calls him out all the time. I know Dill has run into him a couple times and Berra tried to shake Dill’s hand and Dill just looked at him and was like, “Nope.” It’s great.
Dill is so torturous of Scientology now. I just filmed him for my show on Vans’ Off The Wall TV and he goes off on them.
Oh, he loves it. He’s the man.
I can’t wrap my head around any pay to play religion.
It’s insane. I don’t know that much about it, didn’t some science fiction writer create the thing?
Yeah, it’s the religion of Star Wars.
Congratulations to the fuckers that are making millions of dollars off it.
Dude, the lady that does the voice of Bart Simpson puts over a million dollars a year into it!
Shut the fuck up! And what? Tom Cruise is the all-seeing-eye over there? Did you see the Thrasher King of the Road where they had, I think it was Vincent Alvarez, he put on the green alien suit and he skated the Scientology stairs in LA? That was pretty funny.
Is there anyway you’d give any of your income to them if they guaranteed you crazy-success?
Fuck no! Maybe if they paid me to do it, that would be cool. I’ll wear a Scientology space outfit. I’m just kidding. I would not. I wouldn’t do it. I don’t get it. I’m not a big follower of the religion thing especially not the ones you have to pay for.
What do you know about Dyrdek buying The Workshop?
It’s awesome. I just found out the other day. If anybody should own The Workshop it should be him; he was there when they were naming it with Neil Blender. He’s been on forever; I think it’s great. I don’t think anything is really going to change. It doesn’t affect the team. Workshop is in a good place right now.
What if his first order of business was to put Berra back on the team?
HA! We would not allow that. He’s claiming that Dill is now the President and AVE is the Vice-President. I think I’m the Treasurer.
You’d make a sexy secretary. Let me ask you this, say you got burned in a fire and you weren’t handsome anymore, would you kill yourself?
What are you trying to say?
Once you’ve gone handsome, you can’t go back.
Well, hopefully I’ll be married to a rich, successful, beautiful women by then and if that happens I’ll just ride her coattails and stay in the house.
What if you could get plastic surgery to have any one person’s face you wanted? Who would it be? Young Burt Reynolds?
Kris Kristofferson? Who rips? Who is a ripping human being?
Clint Eastwood is a badass and pretty badass looking.
All those years of running Kate Moss t-shirts and griptape, did she ever take notice? Did you ever hook up with Kate Moss?
No, she didn’t notice me. I was trying to put that buzz out into the universe and thought I’d get a return but it didn’t happen.
If you had to choose between Kate Moss, Daria or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, who would you choose?
Damn! That’s huge! That’s hard. The Swedish one or the American one? Probably Rooney Mara. I just saw that movie and she rips in it. I think Rooney is the youngest so I’d say her.
What would you do for money if skateboarding went out of business tomorrow?
Start working at McDonalds? Sell my house and start cleaning houses? Probably move back to Westminster and become a barber, like my dad. I have that hook up. He’s cut hair for as long as I can remember.
Did he used to cry when you had long hair?
All the time. He’s actually the only one that has ever cut my hair. I’ve never had anyone else cut it. I feel like if I went anywhere else I’d be cheating on my dad. It’s like a committed relationship. If you’re ever in Westminster and you’re going to cheat on your barber, you should cheat on him with my father.