‘What Is Dime?’ — An Interview With Antoine Asselin & Phil Lavoie

dime-lotus

This originally appeared in Dank Skate Mag issue number 8. We felt this was worth sharing online, given the slim chance that you have difficulty obtaining Norwegian skateboard magazines where you live.

Dime is one of the greatest “things” in skateboarding. I say “things” because even they don’t exactly know what they are. A brand, a crew, a series of videos, something? Being funny is hard enough, but being a funny skate crew — without falling into the same overused tropes of weed and dick humor as every other skater on Instagram — is impossible. These dudes somehow figured it out, all while embracing the relative invisibility of Canadians in skateboarding.

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What is Dime?

Phil: It’s a bit different than what it started out as. Now, it’s a brand, but it became one accidentally. At first it was a crew, and we just skated together and made videos.

Antoine: It started as a shitty website that we never updated. We were fifteen-years-old, just posting shitty web clips. We started making full-lengths and it grew from there.

P: We sell some clothes, but it’s not really a clothing brand or a skate video brand. Everything we make is just for fun.

It’s kind of a good era with the internet and all to have the luxury of not knowing what you’re doing.

A: We’re not too sure what it is ourselves. We’re just going with the flow. I think people like not knowing what it is.

P: It’s nice being able to do whatever you want whenever you want. Whenever we have a good idea, we do it. Real clothing companies have timed fall drops, and we’re completely lost on that. We’re trying to learn everything as we go along.

Alexis Lacroix in the back: No definition, no limits.

P: Our goal is to skate. Anything to keep us around skateboarding. That’s what we like to do. I’m never going to become a professional skateboarder, so I might as well make something I want to do in skateboarding. Antoine makes money off his sponsors and all, but I quit my job to focus on Dime.

So, the goal of Dime is to keep you dudes from having real jobs for as long as possible?

A: To us, it’s not work. Now, we have clothing in stores, so we have to be more on point, but it doesn’t feel like work. We want to do this.

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QS in Print: ‘What is Dime?’

dime in dank

Had the opportunity to interview Antoine Asselin and Phil Lavoie, two of the principal figureheads behind Dime, for Dank, everyone’s favorite grown and sexy Norwegian skateboard magazine. We discussed their origins, the invisibility of Canadian skateboarders, Peace Park, the mythology behind Eric Reidl, and more.

In the opinion of our award-winning international low impact skateboard media institution, Dime is the finest skateboard thinktank in operation today. There are a few great companies and crews out right now, but there is no other crew that incites envious feelings of “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” to the extent that Dime does with their consistently brilliant output. (Check yesterday’s “Legend of Joe Valdez” video.) They make you laugh, say “holy shit,” and hyped to go skate all at the same time.

For a sample of the Dime crew’s ability to do all three of those things, we compiled a bunch of their Instagram videos into one ten-minute compilation a la Worldstar.

Dank No. 8 should be available in the States soon. Theories typically stocks copies, and Labor has sold them in the past. It’s pretty much the only magazine worth keeping back issues of going today. This edition also has a cool Bobby Worrest feature :)

Excerpt from the Dime interview below.

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Why did you guys stop using the logo with the girl throwing up the devil horns? What’s the story behind her?

Antoine Asselin: That girl fueled everything there is to know about Dime.

Phil Lavoie: There was a website called DoYouLookGood.com, which was like a Hot or Not sort of website. You put a picture up, and people rate it. Hugo Balek sent us a photo of this young girl throwing up devil horns, saying “Check out my new girlfriend” as a joke. We go “Ha ha Hugo, nice one,” and forgot all about it. A few years later, my homie is going through my computer and finds a photo of that chick way down in my downloads folder. He goes “Who’s this?” and we started getting so hyped on her.

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An Interview With Eirik Traavik, Editor of Dank Magazine

dank stack

We spoke with Eirik Traavik, editor-in-chief of Dank magazine, an awesome bi-annual mag based out of Oslo, Norway. Dank is one of the most all-around unique skate publications we have come across — it’s closer to something you would see on the rack at McNally Jackson for $25 than a crumpled up Thrasher at your local shop. Eirik talks about the idea of a “grown up” skate magazine, independently running a print operation in the iPhone and Hella Clips era, and the future of mags in general.

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What is the skate scene in Norway like? What mags do you guys read up there?

The skate scene in Norway is small and relatively fragmented. You have multiple cliques in every city, and smaller scenes in the countryside. Parks are popping up everywhere, so it seems like more and more kids are getting into skating. You can only skate street for about six months a year, so Norwegian skateboarding has traditionally been presented in parts of mags also devoted to snowboarding and/or surfing. When it comes to print, people are generally into Thrasher and The Skateboard Mag. You’ll occasionally see copies of Transworld. Print seems to be losing ground a bit, I guess most kids are more into instant gratification through Hella Clips and Skatevideosite.

Most countries in Europe have their own mags. I think the geographically closest influential magazine is Fluff from Holland. Scandinavia doesn’t have many interesting print publications. I usually pay attention to Grey, Anzeige, Kingpin and Soma.

A lot of print publications are folding or becoming online only. The magazines that do remain have big websites to back them up. You guys are four issues into Dank and don’t have much of an internet presence. What made you want to start a magazine when all signs seem pointed against printed skate mags?

The decision was based on nostalgia and personal preference when it comes to presentation of skateboarding, especially photography. We’ve all grown up with physical formats, and would hate to see good mags disappear completely. Dank is an argument in favor of slowing the pace down a bit. I can only speak for myself, but I feel completely numbed by the constant online flow of footage, ads, photos and montages. It doesn’t sink in. I think print offers an opportunity to really let photos and interviews sink in. Whenever I’m on Slap and come across something interesting, I’ll usually be looking at it with at least five other tabs open. Dank doesn’t have a big internet presence, true, but it is a product of the internet. It’s a printed mag that takes the consequences of the proliferation of quicker media outlets into consideration. We don’t run stories that are shorter than four pages, we come out only twice a year, and the materials are chosen to make the mag feel more like a book.

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