In between working to save the Casselberry trails, printing his ‘zine Rats, and as always, shredding, Trey Jones found the time to talk to us about pegs, trend followers, Bad Brains, and more…
Name: Trey Jones
Location: Casselberry, Florida
Sponsors: Cult Crew, The Shadow Conspiracy, Dan’s Comp, Fox, Vans
Interview and photos by Jeff Zielinski
So you finally upgraded from sleeping in a tent back into a bedroom…
I think I ended up spending maybe three or four months in the tent? I wasn't really counting. I loved being in the tent, it was free and just overall a cool experience. I think the craziest part about it was all the noises—there were a lot of nights where I would be up for a few hours not being able to sleep because of owls. Yeah, I know…you wouldn't expect owls to be a big problem, but they were. They seriously are so loud and they just repeat each other. When they talk or whatever, one owl says something and the other says the exact same thing back. So they just go back and forth repeating each other all night, which kept me up a lot of nights [laughs]. When I first started staying in the tent, I stayed in the woods on the side yard where Ryan Herbach already had his tent set up and we both were back there for a solid month and a half. Then I thought, "Well, why don't I just make like a little bungalow/shack thing back here and just set up permanently?" So after I built it I stayed in it for one night and when I woke up in the morning there were cops knocking on my door telling me that the woods we were staying in are actually the neighbors property. So I had to tear the bungalow down and set my tent up in the backyard next to the mini ramp, which was cool, but people would always come ride the ramp at like three in the morning hammered and I would be three feet away trying to sleep [laughs]. I think what really made me move out of the tent was that it got to the point where it was just too hot, I'd wake up early in the morning and be sweating, which helped me wake up earlier, but it just got uncomfortable. You'd understand if you've been in Florida during the summertime. And another reason why was because Greg Smee was moving back to Pittsburgh, which meant there was a room opening up in the house. Actually, Greg didn't live in the house at the time, he lived in the trailer on the side of the house with Dave McDermott. Greg had been staying inside for a few months sharing a room with our friend Jon because the trailer started to leak really bad and needed some work. So when I started to move in I had fix a lot of stuff and it's pretty dialed now. It used to be divided into two rooms, but McDermott left so now me and my girlfriend got the whole trailer—which is pretty sweet!
Do you miss sleeping outside?
Ah kinda, I miss waking up to just that woods smell and hearing the birds and stupid stuff like that, but I do like having AC [laughs].
What's the latest with Casselberry? Is the city still threatening to tear down the jumps?
So pretty much the story is, the jumps have been in the front yard for 13 years and the city has never said one single word about them until six months ago. We have to get loads of that orange clay dumped for the jumps because the soil is just sand in Florida. The city says that since we trucked in the dirt from somewhere else it means that the dirt is unnatural to the environment and it's contaminating the ecosystem and effecting the trees and plants and stuff like that. But if you leave the jumps for more than a month plants and trees start growing on them—so obviously it's not affecting anything because things are growing still. They are also saying that we are in a flood zone and you are not allowed to tamper with the elevation of a flood zone, so all the holes and jumps are not allowed. And we did everything without a permit. It's really frustrating because their solution to the problem is to flatten the jumps, which isn't going to solve anything—the clay is still going to be there, just in a different shape. And if they flatten the jumps it's going to flood worse. It's really frustrating because the problem that they say exists, and their way to solve it isn't solving anything.
Well, other than your ongoing battle with the city over dirt… I got that text with the video clip from that Bad Brains show you sent me. I never asked how the rest of the show was…
That show was awesome! The show was right after Rickey had passed so pretty much everyone went in his name, it was really awesome to see everyone together and stoked for Rickey, especially when they played the Regulator. HR came out on stage with only a towel and a ski jacket on and just mumbled through the whole set which was strange, but hey, crack is wack.
Have you bought any new vinyl?
Not really, Brien Kielb gave me a Meatmen record the other day which was pretty cool. Back in July my girlfriend got me the first Motorhead album, it's the German Chiswick press version! I was so stoked, thanks babe!
Are there any more shows coming up that you're excited about?
Cro-Mags were supposed to be coming through, but that got cancelled or something. And Midnight were supposed to be come through before them, but that got cancelled too [laughs]. Brien Kielb is the master of knowing when shows are coming up, so I always ask him.
I read issue one of your ‘zine Rats. I didn't realize you were so opinionated. You always struck me as someone who did your own thing and didn't really care about what was happening around you. Is it your opinions about the current state of the trends in BMX that inspired you to make Rats?
Yeah, pretty much, I mean… I've always had an opinion on things happening around me, but I never really had an outlet. Of course listening to music and hearing what bands like Black Flag and Minor Threat had to say made me always feel a little better because I could realize that there are actually people out there who feel the same way I do. I know people look at my opinion as whiny or a crybaby, but this is how I feel and I want people to know that. I've been trying to think of something to do to express my opinion, but I've never really known what to do. Then I thought a ‘zine would be sweet because I could put a bunch of different stuff in there like photos, stories, and all kinds of other weird funny stuff.
Seeing as you only printed 100 copies, do you want to take this opportunity to reiterate any of your gripes since you can reach a wider audience now?
People gotta get the ‘zine to find out [laughs].
You made a lot of comments about pegs. For the record, is it pegs in general
that bother you, or just how people seem to be making a big deal about how many pegs are on other people's bikes?
I have nothing against pegs at all, I don't think you're dumb if you ride pegs, I don't care about your pegs, they are just pegs! What I do hate is the fact that every person in BMX hops on this bandwagon of three pegs, and beanies, and weed, and hop-over grinds… It's just sad that the pros who influence kids are more worried about looking cool than the kids themselves! It's crazy!
I know you don't drink or smoke, which is ironic considering you live at Casselberry. But you didn't touch the topic of smoking and drinking much in the ‘zine, does that not bother you as much as people blindly following trends?
I do hate drugs and I do hate alcohol, that's all I'm gonna say about that.
Can we expect more of the same in issue two? Or did you get all of that off your chest?
[Laughs] I have tons of ideas for issue two already, trust me, there's more where that came from for sure.
Let’s talk a little about the process of making the ‘zine, buttons, and stickers, as well. You stuck to the DIY ethic and did everything yourself?
Yeah, I guess, I made a blank ‘zine then printed out the things I was going to put in the ‘zine. Then I just taped everything in, took it apart, scanned it, and then copied it. Then I went to Kinkos and got 100 copies made. With the sticker sheets, I'm lucky enough to have a screen printing shop in my living room, so me and Aaron Sarkisian got some rolls of clear vinyl and printed the sticker sheets. Hit up GGSB for any of your printing needs. Then with the buttons, Mike Cottle let me borrow his button maker and I ordered some supplies and made some buttons.
Also, you vented your feelings about how some pro riders simply follow trends, but being a pro yourself, do you want to give some advice to the kids who are reading this? Maybe something about how it's cool to be the black sheep, so to speak…
All I want is for kids to have fun jumping their bikes—that's it. And not worrying about what they wear or how they look, just have fun riding your bike, that's it kids, have fun everyday.
You can get your copy of Rats, along with a sticker sheet and buttons at ratszine.com