Kevin Bäckström has gone from promising supergrom, to the bete noir of the Swedish snowboard federation, to becoming an integral cog in one of internet wonderland’s most popular web series – BYNDxMDLS.
With the BYNDxMDLS full movie dropping yesterday, we decided he’d be a good dude to rap with on the current state of snowboarding video content…
Were snowboard movies important to you when you were a kid?
Movies were pretty important to me when I was a kid. I grew up in Sweden, kinda down south. We only had a small hill – not too many crazy features or anything – and when you saw the snowboard movies you were like… you saw what tricks they were doing and everything, and you went to the hill and tried to do the same stuff. Not necessarily the same tricks, but something similar. [Through the videos] you kinda saw the whole progression of snowboarding that we would have otherwise not been aware of in our part of Sweden, you know?
What are your thought about how most movies are just online nowadays?
I don’t really know if I like it too much that snowboard movies are mainly just on the internet now, but we do the same thing so I can’t really hate on it [laughs]. I feel that when I was younger and the movies dropped you got so much more pumped than nowadays when everything is just dropping online and you see stuff all the time. But it’s still nice though, you see so much content all the time and see what the boys are up to.
Often the quality of footage drops when the price of producing it goes down – everyone’s a hero, as it were – and anyone can upload anything. Are we at the point when it’s too much?
As long as it’s good snowboarding, I like to watch it. I dont know if it’s too much when people upload everything, but I think it’s still cool that the kids can go out and film themselves, and they then maybe get recognised. I think it’s a good thing that everyone can make edits and all that, and as long as it’s good snowboarding I don’t mind watching it. But it’s also always nice to see when the big crews make something epic, and I like to watch that too. I can watch any snowboarding as long as it’s good. I just enjoy watching snowboarding.
Do you think it also fuels progression?
For sure the progression of snowboarding is going upwards because when someone does a new trick they put it out and other people can see it’s possible so then everybody just sends it. You don’t have to wait a whole year to see the movies drop and wait till the next year for other people to start trying the tricks. So I think it helps the progression of snowboarding, I don’t know if it’s good or not, but it is what it is.
Compared with 10 years ago, there are hardly any traditional movie companies making high quality films any more. Is snowboarding worse off for this?
I wish it was still like back in the days, the big movie companies and all that. I remember as a kid watching all the big movies I got so pumped, and nowadays you don’t really have to wait for that moment. You know, you were waiting for a whole year for a movie to drop and then you saw it and you got so pumped. But now everything is just dropping at the same time and you don’t even have time to see all the movies. It’s kind of weird.
Do you think something needs to change or is it just done and we have to adapt?
I think we just have to adapt to how it is. We can’t really do anything about it now when the internet is out there. But I’m doing the same thing, I’m putting out things on the internet cause that’s just what you have to do these days. To be out there.
With riders taking matters into their own hands and releasing their own projects, so you think these have the same impact as say a section in an Isenseven movie?
No. I feel like I’m saying the same thing all the time, but when back in the day the big movies dropped, the riders that were in them were big. I felt it was way bigger back then, the whole scene. All the pros were like, if you saw them… I remember going to the European Open when I was a kid and I saw all the movie stars and they were way bigger [deals]. Nowadays, everybody’s dropping so much that it’s way harder to stand out and get big. Everyone can make their own edits and everyone’s pretty much killing it these days so it’s hard.
Do you ever imagine a time when even a 15-second Instagram edit will be deemed too long?
I don’t know about that [laughs]. I think 15 seconds is too short, but I don’t think it will ever be too long. Instagram is good though. It’s good for people to put out stuff and keep all the little kids up to date, sponsors happy and all that. Have you guys seen Marcus Kleveland? Dude, all his Instagram movies? Fucking killing it! It’s insane, he’s so good. He fuckin’ sends it on Instagram. He should have filmed in the movies back in the days, you know, then he would be the biggest star ever.