Introducing: The Army Snowboarding – Interview with Adam Graf
It is a pleasure and total excitement each time, seeing new crews popping up on the web and even more if they show serious snowboarding. If those crews then also have a certain interest in getting media support, for further pro aspirations or the simply motivation to influence snowboard film making, be our guest. In this year’s Spring, when the first teasers were already out, a new collective showed its face to the world, going by the name of The Army Snowboarding. A new local crew from Austria, whose riders you might have heard already, or some of them at least. The teaser looked pretty solid and well made, without fancy Double Corking and simply good snowboarding among friends who enjoy riding together. Coming from Austria, we want to be damned if not finding some good powder shots in their debut film we’d say, but actually we just expect a healthy mixture between backcountry and urban shots, not showing only good tricks and a good note on the editing, no. There is one thing I’m missing in this big mass of free online films: The character of a film, that makes you want to go snowboarding with your friends asap. You can spend a big ass amount of time surfing the digital hemispheres and watching free snowboard films, but those who also bring exactly that character seem to be getting rare and more rare, with more and more crews who do their thing and try to get you hyped with their snowboarding or other bullshit they do online. When watching the Army‘s teaser, it hit me and here we are now, trying to get more about what they do and who they are. But read on and you’ll see..
SOM: Is it correct, when saying that this is your very first ever snowboard film project as that crew we know from the teaser now, or is it just the first snowboard film with a budget?
Adam: Yeah, absolutely. It’s our very first snowboard film and we made it without any budget at all.
SOM: Do you guys know each other now for a long time already or how did that thing with the Army get started?
Adam: Dominik (Metzler) and I have been riding together since the age of 14 I think. Through our passion we met a bunch of new people and new relationships were born. It was just a matter of time to start a crew with our friends. We like to shred, hang out and party with each other. That’s it.
SOM: So, what is your main motivation? I mean, do some of you have serious pro aspirations, or is it rather more the will to get people pumped with your own way of riding and doing that as a crew of friends like you are?
Adam: Making a living with your passion is everybody’s dream. We have some really talented riders, who just need to get their names out there and The Army Snowboarding is the best place to do that for them. Everybody gets his piece of the cake with his own style and terrain. We are pushing each other, but the fun still remains.
SOM: How old is everybody in the Army relatively speaking?
Adam: At the moment we are all 18 or 19 but Philip (Toplitsch) turns 20 this Tuesday (the interview was done some weeks ago, so he already is 20 – by the „Chief-Smartass-Editor“). It’s good that we are the same age so we can share other interests beside of Snowboarding like girls and parties…
SOM: Any motivation to Double Cork or what is your approach to snowboarding and tricks when going to film somewhere?
Adam: Philip for example is able to do 2 Double Corks in the park, but to stomp them on a powder jump is something different. For sure we want to get the best tricks on tape. This can be also frustrating because the best tricks are also the hardest to stomp.
SOM: Did you do any cool trips this season for your Ambush film?
Adam: I wasn’t able to travel too far, because I was finishing school but we were riding all over Austria. But this season will be different I hope.
SOM: Your chance to put one of the guys on the spot: Best story of the season?
Adam: One day I will remember forever, was last year’s party at the KTO (Kaunertal Opening – by the „All Knowing Chief“ again). We arrived with so many people from our home resort in the Zappadello. It’s the hotel next to the party. In the first floor everybody was drinking and making party. So we went down and the whole floor was full of people dancing and in the middle was a DJ playing music. In one room a toilette got smashed into pieces, girls were making out in the bed and a door got lost. We found it the next day in the fourth floor. Everything was so crazy. Best party I’ve ever been to.
SOM: What can we expect of the film? How is urban and backcountry riding balanced?
Adam: The urban part is bigger than the powder one. Powder shots need more time and I unfortunately didn’t have a lot of time last season. I think we made the best of the time we’ve had.
SOM: Are you the only filmer in the crew?
Adam: Yep I am, but we are always looking for new ones. That’s pretty hard without a budget. But our friends are helping out if we really need a second angle and the riders are also able to film a little bit by themselves.
SOM: What about your crew name ..why Army?
Adam: At the moment this whole Army thing is totally in. When we were looking for a name, someone came up with the idea of The Army Snowboarding. In the beginning not everybody liked the name really, but there’s much more behind it: An army is a group of guys, in which everybody is different in a way, but they need to stick together though to have their full power. Everybody has his part and we wouldn’t be complete if someone‘s missing. Together we can make much more than alone. For example is everybody getting more publicity through the film than they would get with their own season edits.
SOM: So when will we get to see The Ambush? Any premiere parties? Online releases? DVDs?
Adam: The film will be online on November 3rd. And the premiere party is going down the day before at the E-Werk Andelsbuch. (all info on that FB-Event right here)
SOM: What do you think of web series? They’re everywhere. Snowboarding web’s sake or the downfall of snowboard film making really?
Adam: Some web series are pretty cool because they are able to show some behind the scenes footage, which wouldn’t make it into a normal full length film. I’m enjoying happy faces and some funny behind-the-scenes stuff more, than only a whole film with banger tricks only, because to me Snowboarding is about having fun.
SOM: How do you look at snowboard flicks with a real concept?
Adam: I think films with a real concept and cool intro sequences are awesome. It gives you a much better feeling of the people you’re watching.
SOM: Coming back now to the Army: Do you have already (filming) plans for the 2014 season?
Adam: Dominik, Philip and I have 4 months to snowboard and film for the movie. Felix moved to Innsbruck and Gesh (a.k.a. Georgi Mihaylov) to Zell am See so we should have some places to travel to in Austria. We are also thinking about a trip but right now we don’t know where we should go. We will see.
SOM: Are you nervous about the premiere considering that it is your very first one?
Adam: No I am really looking forward to it. Can’t wait to party with all the dudes!
SOM: Alright then! Anything else you would like to talk about or add here?
Adam: I really want to thank Pascal (Heidegger) of the Smashbros crew. He takes care of the whole organization for the premiere. Without him there wouldn’t be a premiere really. Thank you!
SOM: Cool Adam,. alright man..I’m looking forward to see the full film soon ..keep it up!
Adam: Thank you for the interview. We are stoked you hooked us up!
SOM: No worries, you’re welcome man. Cheers!