Saturday, November 07, 2009
Refueled Magazine + an interview with Chris Brown
An interview I did with Joe Conway, editor of Drift, was published in the most recent issue of Refueled Magazine. I wanted to get to know the man behind this hip, online magazine. Let's see what I found out about Mr. Chris Brown...
Chris, you are quite the producer and publishing magnate. You have an online magazine, Refueled, a fashion blog called Fuzz and a surf/skate inspired blog called Choka. And it all started with the popular Urban Prairie.
Yes Jamie, it did seem to start with Urban Prairie. That lifestyle brand did attract a lot of attention for me very quickly.
Now in its 4th issue, what is your vision for Refueled?
Refueled has grown so much, so fast. The new issue that dropped this week is the closest I've come to producing what I envisioned the magazine to be - look, content & vibe. Refueled is a total labor of love and I just want to share with people the things I dig, and if they dig them too then that's really cool.
You have such a great sense of style - your work really stands out. Is your background in design?
My background is in design & advertising. I've been designing my world around me in one way or another my whole life it seems. Design, music, fashion, decor, film have all played a big part in my life and inspire me everyday.
You are also a stylist and collector - what was your very first collection, and what is your favorite collection of all time?
My first collection as a kid was anything having to do with "Planet of the Apes". My favorite of all time? That's a really hard one. From my vintage scissor collection, vintage three-legged metal stool collection to my collection of random oddities - they all mean something different to me.
I bet you have long been a magazine lover. What magazines do you subscribe to? And what was your favorite magazine as a teenager?
I'm a huge magazine lover, but surprisingly I don't subscribe to any. To me there is something about going to the book store and picking out my favorites once a month. As a teenager my favorite magazines were MAD and Circus. I still own most of them today. When Raygun came out I knew I'd be publishing a magazine one day.
It's interesting and sad in these times to see so many magazines going under. Have any of your favorites disappeared and how are you viewing the future for online magazines?
I can't say that any of my favorites have disappeared. A lot of my favorites wouldn't even be considered mainstream publications. I feel the future of online publishing is wide open. There are so many possibilities. I don't think the surface has even been scratched yet.
I know it's a lot of work and there is so much involved - what is your favorite part about putting a magazine together?
With the small staff/contributors of the magazine there is indeed a lot of hard work, but once the issue goes online and the comments start coming in it's all worth it. I'm very lucky and honored to work with some really great people. They help me shine. I love the whole process of putting it together. From conceiving ideas, suggesting features to on-location photo shoots and designing the spreads - it's all rewarding watching it come together in the end.
Do you have any pets?
I do, two cats. My wife and daughters idea.
How did you come to live in Dallas, Texas?
For most of my 20's I toured as a musician. Dallas is where we decided to call our home base because of our management. Been here ever since.
What's your favorite bar in Dallas?
There are lots of great bars in Dallas and Fort Worth. The Deep Ellum area in Dallas is a really cool place to hang out on a Friday or Saturday night - great local and national acts, tattoo shops and cool dives.
What's your favorite way of blowing off steam?
To grab my long board and hit the streets.
What is the last vacation you took and where do you want to go next?
My last vacation was surfing in Maui. I'll be hitting a lot of the West Coast early next year with the magazine. Those trips always feel like a vacation to me.
What is your favorite tattoo and who was the artist?
All my ink is done by a guy name Nick from Epic Tattoo in Fort Worth. I have a very small 07 on my wrist that have quite a bit of meaning behind it. My birthday is July 7. So in 2007, on 07-07-07 I got that tattoo. Once in a lifetime baby!
What are you most excited about right now?
I'm always excited about what the future holds. 2010 is already turning into what might be my busiest year yet. In the Spring I will be launching a skateboard line called Refueled Sidewalk Surfboards. A little throw back to my youth. I also have a series of Refueled Books coming out - collaborations between myself and some very cool photographers, so I'm pretty stoked about those things. Producing and directing a few more little films. And of course, two more issues of Refueled magazine. That should keep me busy enough.
Thanks a lot, Chris. I truly can't wait to see what you come up with in the future.
Peeps, check out page 78 in Refueled Magazine issue 4, for my interview with Joe Conway. This issue has a great cast of characters - including a photo spread by Ryan Tatar (pg. 12), and a very cool interview with Shawn Stussy (pg. 56).